If there’s one thing 2020 has taught us, it’s that we are still entirely too reliant on humans and legacy tech for the manual processing of documents, data and other incoming customer requests. Our antiquated processes and systems are slowing us down.
With the explosion in applications and call requests across multiple industries — in particular, finance, insurance, and government entities — response times have increased exponentially, as have employee work hours, as companies try to manage a fluctuating volume of incoming requests.
Some stats to consider:
- 4.1 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans were applied for and approved in the first six weeks of the program — an average of more than 136,000 loans processed every day.
- Banks had employees working through nights (and on weekends) to process loans.
- Inbound support call volumes have increased by more than 50% across multiple industries.
- Support call wait times have increased an average of 27 minutes.
- In some states, as many as 69% of applicants have not yet received unemployment benefits.
What do these numbers mean for customers and companies?
Companies have been inundated with requests, and outdated systems aren’t able to keep up. It’s estimate that 70-80% of IT budgets are spent on system maintenance, but even with investment, these systems struggle to accommodate unexpected surges in business, new use cases, or changing regulatory or customer conditions.
In contrast, companies who were early adopters of cutting-edge AI and ML-enabled technologies are having an easier time adapting mission-critical processes to the realities of remote work, enabling business continuity. Automation technologies can bridge processing gaps, allowing organizations to remain agile and more responsive to changing business conditions and customer needs.
54% of employers surveyed said the current crisis is driving their need to find automated solutions, and at Hyperscience, we’ve seen increased platform usage amongst our customers.
“Usage of the Hyperscience platform jumped over 30% in March across our customer base, including a 37% increase in financial services use cases and 23% increase in insurance use cases,” said Jon-Marc Patton, Vice President of Customer Experience at Hyperscience.
Despite the benefits of automated processes and technologies, many companies still do not have tools in place.
Here are some additional key statistics:
- Only 25% of companies say they have met their IT modernization goals.
- 92% of respondents said the pace of investment in automation in AI was increasing in 2019. In 2020, only 52% agreed.
- Of those companies who have made moves toward automation, the majority are still in the pilot phase.
What is the cause of this?
Companies likely went too big on automation projects and either got stuck thinking about projects with no plan in place for evaluating and adopting solutions, or they remained in pilot mode, testing experimental technologies that couldn’t be deployed quickly or provide tangible ROI.
Fortunately, there are a few simple steps all companies can take right now to support current business challenges and emerge well-positioned for the future:
- Use times of crisis to re-evaluate automation initiatives at your company.
Very few people saw the economic and business ramifications of a global pandemic coming. However, there are many other more localized situations that can create similar problems for your company or region, so use this time as an opportunity to future proof your operations against unexpected challenges. Start by evaluating existing processes, paying particular attention to information bottlenecks, customer pains, or areas where employees are spending the majority of their time on manual work.
- Don’t get lost in pie-in-the-sky initiatives.
Find concrete ways automation can support your business right now and drive value for customers and employees. Automating critical, document-heavy back office processes has been proven to be a critical asset for some companies to weather unexpected increases in applications.
- Move out of POC for hypothetical test cases.
Companies can no longer afford to have significant investments tied up in longer-term projects and proofs of concept. Focus on tools that can solve specific business problems, deliver clear operational improvements and can begin production quickly. Learn more from experts as they share their 4 keys to a successful automation transition that will set your firm up for success.