Analytics and Automation are two vital cogs that drive digital transformation.
These technologies, when democratized and adopted across an organization, can drive huge efficiencies and create a culture of data-driven decision-making.
Digital transformation has changed every aspect of the way businesses are operating today – operating model, business processes, customer interactions, IT infrastructure and landscape. For a decade and more we have seen mammoth advancements in technology - Cloud, Big Data & Analytics, Automation Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Internet of Things - enabling businesses to accelerate their digital transformation. In addition, the lockdowns and restricted movements enforced by the governments across the globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to go digital.
But old habits die hard
While organizations go digital, they should ensure that employees adapt to the new ways of running the business and do not slip into old ways of working or worse, not leverage the power available at the tip of their fingerprints.
For a long time, I never used the 5th gear of my stick shift sedan. Why? For the simple reason, that when I learnt driving at 18, my then car had 4 gears only 😊. I ignored the 5th gear when it was introduced in my subsequent cars. For me, a car is a means to get from place A to B without any hassles. There did not seem any need to learn a new feature and waste my brain cycles and time for a feature that I thought I would rarely use in Bengaluru traffic.
One day, a friend could no longer stand it and insisted on teaching me to use the 5th gear of my car. That’s when I realized that at times when traffic permitted, I could drive faster and smoother and of course the fuel efficiency has been very beneficial for my car, the planet and my wallet.
Organizations will benefit by realizing how to use that 5th gear, when technology is leveraged to its fullest and used in the right manner by everyone in the organization. Digital transformation involves a myriad of technologies – some seamlessly integrated in the business (Cloud, Mobile), some that stare at you often (Analytics, Automation) and some that pop up on and off.
So, how can Analytics and Automation be democratized across your organization?
There are a couple of different steps can you need to take to get your organization fully democratized.
Establishing a Center of Excellence
Most new technologies are incubated via a Center of Excellence (CoE) within an organization. A CoE is a shared organization that provides leadership, best practices and support for a focus area and helps the organization scale in that particular area. A CoE is a cornerstone in an organization’s transformation journey.
Any transformation is successful when it is driven from the top down. The executive leadership team needs to be aligned and committed to the transformation goals and objectives. Without this, it is very difficult for an organization to succeed. The goal of creating an efficient data driven organization relying heavily on automation must be propelled by everyone in the organization. Analytics and Automation First should be the mantra for every initiative in the company.
The once the much-needed executive focus is established, the next step in the democratization of Analytics and Automation is Education. The CoE should conduct roadshows and webinars to create awareness on the art of the possible and potential for the usage of technology across business units. This will allow employees to expand their horizon and explore innovative ideas of doing business.
Federating the CoE is key to organization wide adoption of analytics and automation. Having the capability centralized could lead to scaling challenges that can compromise business agility. Moreover, federating a capability means including the business experts and leveraging their knowledge and expertise to solve challenges.
Providing employees with self service capabilities for analytics and automation provides a big impetus to democratization of these technologies. CoE’s should empower employees with self-service tools and platforms that allow them to intuitively build their automations or analytical models with zero coding and minimal training.
Ready to go
With an automatic car, the driver does not have to worry about having to switch gears. In a similar manner, end users should be provided the necessary infrastructure and data via self-service tools to conduct their analysis, design automations and embed the necessary changes in the business processes.
When have humans resisted a challenge or a competition? Never! Add in some gamification and you will have your business units in a race to outdo each other in the adoption and democratization of analytics and automation.