If there’s one thing 2020 has taught us, it’s that we are still entirely too reliant on humans for the processing of mission-critical information including documents, applications, forms, and more. Our antiquated processes and systems are slowing us down and holding us back. Enterprises need automation.
With the pandemic-related explosion in applications and call requests across multiple industries — but especially finance, insurance, and government entities — response times have increased exponentially. Employee hours spent trying to effectively process ever-increasing amounts of requests have increased in tandem.
How a Crisis Highlights the Need for Intelligent Automation:
- In the first six weeks, there were more than 136,000, or 4.1 million, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications and approvals.
- 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.
- Wait times for support have increased an average of 27 minutes.
These staggering statistics from 2020 speak for themselves. As the pandemic continues in 2021, it’s important for enterprises to realize the impact this will continue to have on their day-to-day operations and customer experiences – especially without an intelligent automation solution in place.
What do these numbers suggest about the need for businesses to upgrade legacy operations and embrace the future of automation?
Seemingly overnight, what had always been important – speed, efficiency, reliability, customer service – became urgent. Outdated systems and legacy technology couldn’t keep up.
For those that had it in place, an intelligent automation solution has been able to help. Organizations around the world and across various sectors embraced solutions like Intelligent Document Processing to reduce operational complexity, lower error rates, and improve outcomes for their customers when they needed it most.
“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 intelligent automation, many companies and government agencies do not currently have the right tools in place.
Consider these key statistics:
- Only 25% of companies say they have met their IT modernization goals.
- Of those companies that have made moves toward automation, the majority are still in the pilot phase.
- 92% of respondents said the pace of investment in automation in AI was increasing in 2019. In 2020, only 52% agreed.
What is the cause of this?
Companies likely went too big on automation projects. They found themselves either stuck dreaming about pie-in-the-sky, silver bullet solutions or lost piloting proof of concept ideas that couldn’t provide a real ROI.
The unfortunate result is that many companies who should have been utilizing AI to support the current crisis are not. And, other organizations who aren’t immediately impacted by the current crisis, but who could benefit from intelligent automation, haven’t implemented solutions yet either.
Fortunately, 54% of employers surveyed said the current crisis is driving their need to find automated solutions. Here are a few simple steps to begin articulating project goals and ensure automation supports your business.
Future-proof your business with an Intelligent Automation solution
- Use COVID-19 as an opportunity to re-evaluate automation tools 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. Use COVID-19 as a jump start to evaluate your existing operations and ensure your company is prepared for unexpected challenges or crises that may arise in the future.
- Don’t focus on how pie-in-the-sky automation will solve future problems.
Find concrete ways intelligent automation can support your business right now. Intelligent Document Processing is a good first step because it generally involves mission-critical back-office functions, can be deployed quickly, and has a high chance of successfully streamlining a time-consuming and resource-intensive business process.
- Examine your processes end-to-end.
If the underlying process you’re trying to automate doesn’t make sense or fit your evolving business needs, then you will just be automating bad processes faster. Re-evaluate your existing processes to determine if there is a more efficient way to handle things or to fix weaknesses that have been exposed by the recent influx of forms and applications. Think about what might be blocking you from achieving a key business goal, such as improving customer acquisition or retention. Slow processing times or denied claims due to data entry errors may have resulted in lost business. This will help you identify which mission-critical processes need to be streamlined first.
- Think beyond pilot to widespread adoption.
Successfully implementing intelligent automation at your organization requires a clear vision of what you’re trying to achieve. You also need the requirements and expectations for achieving that vision. You’re not looking for a series of failed pilots. You want a long-term solution that adapts to your business needs and delivers ongoing value. Make sure leadership is on board with your vision early and often, and that you have the organizational readiness, resources, and operating model to support any new technology long-term.