A large proportion of retailers are ignoring the threat from cyber attacks; they need to invest in data security to gain customer trust
Innovation builds a strong base over which digital investments in technology and talent enable development and execution of the right customer strategy. Retailers should focus on four key data strategies to propel business growth.
Digital Pinnacle Enterprises™ – the best digitally performing retail organizations – differentiate from the rest in four key areas
Now that we’ve put the finishing touches on our first-of-its kind assessment of enterprise RPA adoption around the globe, we’re seeing a full dismantling of several RPA assumptions and myths.
After surveying enterprises across a wide swath of industries, we have finalized the analysis and are releasing a goldmine of data and insights for enterprises looking to take a confident step forward in their journey toward Pinnacle RPA status. While the full results are laid out in our Enterprise RPA adoption | Pinnacle Model™ Analysis for 2018, I want to provide an overview of some of the findings here that I think you’ll find interesting.
RPA adoption is size- and industry-agnostic across enterprises
Enterprise RPA adoption is not a trend for big organizations in certain industries to pursue while smaller players maintain the status quo. Stagnation is a recipe for complete disaster in the industry’s rotation to digital. In our research, we’ve found that all types and sizes of enterprises are adopting RPA. This includes both top-down adoption across the org to improve overall speed to impact and bottom-up adoption where segments of orgs are adopting RPA to optimize specific processes. Regardless of size and type, enterprises are going all-in and getting results.
So, what happens if you’re not a part of that? Well, you can imagine the way Toys ‘R Us execs felt when they realized they were about to watch the titan enterprise enter into complete oblivion. Part of that is due to a failure to transform the model in the age of digital transformation. Enterprises that are not thinking in the direction of some level of enterprise RPA adoption are in danger of charting a course to that same end. The takeaway here is clear: adopt or be disrupted.
RPA Pinnacle Enterprises™ significantly excel in three impact areas
RPA Pinnacle Enterprises exceed others in the three critical areas of cost impact, operational impact and business impact. Statistically, they have seen a 50% improvement in operational impact alone. Those enterprises not at the Pinnacle level, but who are still adopting RPA, have seen a 30% improvement.
So the news for all enterprises moving along the RPA adoption curve is either good or great – there is really no bad news here. This is a fascinating and important statistic for all enterprises, and warning of what’s to be missed out on for those on the sidelines of adoption.
RPA and massive job loss is a myth
Automation is soon to be a driving factor for sweeping job losses across all industries. While that’s great fodder for headlines, blog titles, and social media clicks, the actual enterprises we’re talking to aren’t singing that song at all. I talk about this more in a recent blog, The Robots are Coming – Should You Fear or Welcome Them, but in essence, enterprises are talking about reskilling, upskilling, and enhanced training; they’re not talking about eradication of the human element.
As you might have heard, in the midst of this rotation to digital across all industries, we’re actually experiencing a labor shortage in the United States and Europe. We’re just not seeing it in the headlines.
Instead of the comparison to Skynet or some other Terminator-related theme, a better comparison for RPA and jobs is one that involves our actual history. When you review what happened in the industrial revolution, you don’t find the entire workforce replaced by machines (Of course, individuals were impacted at various levels). Instead, you find massive reskilling and upskilling so that the new technology can complement and improve human effort – AND by improving productivity, allow our companies to continue to grow even in the face of a labor shortage. That’s much more along the lines of what enterprises are discussing, planning, and doing. Unfortunately, news like that doesn’t make the cut for trending stories.
RPA Pinnacle Enterprise webinar
Many more in-depth details about these enterprise RPA trends are laid out in our Pinnacle Model analyses. Moreover, this research is brimming with data-packed analysis on what is truly differentiating Pinnacle RPA enterprises from the rest of the pack. The kind of analysis that all enterprises are clamoring for as they determine where they are on their journey to Pinnacle, and decide what the next best steps should be. We also hosted a webinar on April 12 that dispels popular myths surrounding RPA using our fact-based analysis from the RPA Pinnacle Model study. Watch the webinar replay.
You might recall, back in December we identified digital agility as a key 2018 initiative. In that blog, we discussed how you can create business value by making things easy, reliable, and fast for your customers. The question I would ask GIC organizations for 2018: In realizing that goal, are you part of the problem? Or are you part of the solution?
Our research, Digital Maturity in GICs | Pinnacle Model™ Assessment 2018, seeks to answer those questions.
Most GICs started small and expanded over time as they proved their value. Now that most GICs have realized the fundamental benefits of labor savings, quality and process improvement, and – in some cases – business outcome improvement, it’s time for them to look to their next act.
Our central thesis is that a GIC can be a critical driver in building and running new digital competencies. But we want to hear from you about the functions and processes that are getting the most attention and investment. Which digital technologies are you focusing their efforts on? And what capabilities did you deploy to build out these capabilities?
There are plenty of digital surveys that you can participate in, so – why Everest Group’s? Because we take a different approach that results in more meaningful, useful outputs. Our Pinnacle Model™ approach asks questions about what the very best GICs are doing in terms of real impact and then correlate the capabilities required to achieve those results. And we go beyond the online survey, talking with some respondents to understand their journeys – what worked and what didn’t.
With that information in hand, we identify a set of Pinnacle Practices™ that you can consider deploying in your GIC.
Yes, there is a ton of hype around digital; let’s get beyond the headlines and talk outcomes and practices in your GIC.
Everest Group’s recent Enterprise Digital Adoption | Pinnacle Model™ Assessment suggests that the organizations that are having the greatest success in achieving outcomes from their initiatives have a focus on a set of success metrics the extend well beyond cost savings. They include a focus on things that are relatively easy to quantify such as reduction in process cycle times. However, they also include an emphasis of more nebulous goals such as improving customer experience, introducing innovative offering, and engaging in disruptive behavior in the market.
Measuring this latter set of goals is a far departure from the familiar service level agreements (SLAs) and key performance indicators (KPIs) that IT organizations and their internal business customers are accustomed to using to determine success. Not only are SLAs and KPIs insufficient to measure the strategic impact of digital efforts, they also fail to capture the real essence of what business customers desire. While every SLA and KPI can be met, enterprises on digital transformation journeys tend to find those metrics unsatisfactory.
Five steps enterprises need to take to establish a meaningful set of digital performance metrics
1. Ensure a clear set of business objectives have been established – an objective to improve customer experience is not a clear enough metric to guide a focused set of activities and investments in a digital effort.
Within the customer experience realm, an enterprise could focus on increasing the level of consistency of the experience. In this case, the digital effort may be around automating a set of processes to reduce the variability in results and decrease the dependence upon the knowledge and experience of individuals.
If the desired improvement is to create a personalized experience, the enterprise may be more focused on ways to leverage analytics to consolidate the customer’s activity with the enterprise, make recommendations based upon the behaviors of similar customers, and predict the likelihood of purchasing.
In addition to defining the objectives, a business value should be attached to each. What is the anticipated benefit to the business, in terms of dollars and cents, were the objectives to be met.
2. Develop a quantifiable baseline for the business objective – even with a goal as vague as improving an experience, enterprises who want to ensure their activities are leading to results will find a way to quantify them. For example, if you are trying to improve customer experience through consistency, you may want to measure and set improvement targets for the level of variability in the time to serve a customer or whether the customer experience is similar regardless of the channel through which the customer engages.
3. Track the progress of adoption – while getting a technology solution implemented or a new process defined is clearly the first step, enterprises that get results from their efforts also focus on the level of adoption. These enterprises understand that without behavioral changes to use the technology and follow the new procedures the value potential of the digital efforts cannot be realized.
4. Track the achievement of the quantifiable results – once it is clear that there is a high level of adoption of the technology and redefined business processes, enterprises can begin to track the achievement of the quantifiable objectives identified in step two. Until adoption is achieved, tracking these results is futile.
5. Determine whether the desired business impact is being achieved – a critical and oft overlooked step is to ensure the achievement of the quantifiable results is delivering the desired business impact. In the age of digital transformation, the level of certainty in effectively achieving outcomes is much lower than in times past. Additionally, the pace of change is greater, meaning that an approach that worked last month might begin to lose its effectiveness this month. Enterprises that want to achieve business results are wise to continuously monitor the impact of their efforts on their desired business results and make the necessary adjustments to both technology and business process to sustain the desired business impact.
Even in the digital era, the adage that what gets measured gets done remains solid advice for enterprises interested in not merely engaging in digital transformation activities but in achieving business results.