The second wave of COVID-19 is here, and we can’t deny it. The world economy is collapsing, but smart companies are standing tall and resilient to the pandemic’s impact. What’s their secret? Expert teams or full-on business automation? Well, both of them, speaking from our experience. All the while, the lockdown erases the familiar physical reality amping the pressure on information technology executives. 

Having helped hundreds of industry leaders with their business resilience planning and skillful crisis management during 2020, we acknowledge how hard executives work for their companies’ survival. They’re pushed to their limits to ensure corporate stability by creating invincible digital business transformation strategies (DT) and using robust automation tools (RPA).  

But what does resilience mean in business? How RPA contributes to your company’s continuity and productivity? TEAM explores how CIOs should navigate modern reality to deliver resiliency and minimize the risk of failure. 

What is business resilience? 

Regardless of pandemics, cataclysms, or recessions, there is always some degree of volatility in the money world. Business resilience is the company’s ability to rapidly adjust its operational models and adapt to any disruptions while maintaining operations continuity, saving core employee base, assets, and equity. Enterprises prepared for resilient delivery can withstand even the most impactful crises. 

The demand for resilient strategic business models has never been so high as now when we have no idea what our future will look like after the pandemic. In March, industry leaders were overcoming shock and trying to save as many staff members as possible. Now, most organizations are fighting back the coronavirus impact, trying to recover and proceed with enterprise growth.  

Business leaders worldwide are securing their companies’ profitability by quickly transforming their production systems into digital units able to operate regardless of the disruption when customers spend less and demand the purchasing process’s safety. To meet these goals, most of them had to cut operating expenses while increasing their digital capabilities. It’s what means showing systematic resilience in business. And it’s critical for corporate survival now and beyond. 

This city needs a new hero: frontliners of enterprise automation  

The burden of digital emergency measures and critical processes’ automation falls on chief information officers’ shoulders. CIOs are the key players who create digital transformation strategies to keep their companies afloat. They plan ahead with the most critical aspects of modern business in mind: remote work communication, employees’ safety, security of virtual assets, and automation of everything possible in the long term. 

The CIOs’ priorities are to reduce costs carefully but promptly while enabling the company’s success through innovations. They have to ensure financial resilience and keep all crucial operations up and running. Almost 98,000 businesses have permanently shut down because of the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s the skillful chief information officers who are preventing other companies from closing by making them tech-savvy. IT departments contribute to cost savings by overall business performance optimization through RPA and AI tools. 

To give you a quick introduction of what RPA is and how you can benefit from it, we’ve made an insightful infographic

Six strategic blocks for CIOs: Resilient business automation framework 

Here is a six-step approach that has worked well for our clients who needed to create a business resilience plan within a short time. 

1. Design a long-term digital transformation roadmap   

Prioritize investment areas, outline what you already have and can start enhancing, check how much redevelopment your infrastructure needs in general. Assess the resources, capabilities, processes, and talents you have to deliver the results. 

2. Automate business processes 

Analyze what you’re going to automate and define the means you’ll use: robotics, AI, ML, IoT, PaaS, or intelligent business process management suites. Utilize hyperautomation to optimize everything you can and make your company location independent, ready for resilient delivery. Select the right technologies and assign the implementation teams of highly skilled engineers. Scale your processes gradually, with no rush. Integrate apps and systems that will help your consumers and suppliers shift to online infrastructure seamlessly. 

3. Move to flexible, low intrusive cloud services 

Virtual architecture and intelligent platforms will significantly reduce operating costs, quicken response time, and increase your ecosystem’s resilience and scalability. Cloud technology doesn’t require large initial investments, you can start small and scale capacities along with your business needs. What’s more, automation tools for cloud management will allow you to lower expenses on unused virtual machines and applications.  

4. Establish cybersecurity measures 

Outline all your system’s possible vulnerabilities and enforce appropriate measures to secure your remote networks and data. Design a procedure for discovering security abnormalities. Set up necessary protection and monitoring software and educate your executives, employees, suppliers, and consumers on security policies. 

5. Align business and IT strategies  

Fuse business and digitalization targets right from the start to know your strengths, weaknesses, and bottlenecks that may halt the automation. This way, you’ll focus on core customer needs, business outcomes, and performance goals essential to your company’s success. Bear in mind that both strategies have to be flexible to pivot in the new direction if changes in initiatives are needed.  

6. Review your progress frequently  

Once you’ve launched the automation processes, keep checking how your operations and employees get along with new technologies. Resilience can’t be built in one day, so you should track your progress at every step of the mentioned roadmap (within specific metrics and timeframes). Software solutions evolve with time — your company must be up-to-date with the tools you have chosen to have the highest data accuracy. You also need to ensure regular and transparent communication between the automation teams and stakeholders for successful enterprise-wide digitalization. 

CIOs are the ones who guide a company through the whole cycle of a digital transformation and speed up intelligent automation. The major thing to keep in mind is that digitalization walks side by side with data-driven risk mitigation and well-thought-out cybersecurity strategies. In the meantime, to stay resilient, your company will need to become more agile and embrace change-friendly leadership.  

COVID-19: A map of the business automation where’s  

Our new reality greatly restrains many companies’ operating systems forcing them to rely on technologies instead of human touch. However, it doesn’t stop progressive enterprises from aligning their business models with current customer expectations. Even those who weren’t ready for an overnight massive digitalization came to the point of total acceptance that the pandemic accelerated demand for automation.   

Here is where forward-looking CIOs from various industries cost-efficiently utilize AI and RPA to grow business resilience, turn weaknesses into strengths, and increase their employees’ job satisfaction. 

business resilience - industry automation use cases

These are just a handful of examples. Entertainment, education, banking, travel, hospitality, and other industries also use automation. Artificial intelligence has even infiltrated edge computing. Australia’s New South Wales state uses drones powered by AI and machine vision algorithms to monitor the coastline. They analyze their video feeds and highlight alarming situations regardless of the internet connection, using neural computer chips designed for in-built deep learning calculations. Plus, the iPhone X operates on the A11 Bionic chip that also runs AI tasks like facial recognition locally. 

Building business resilience through automation: A chessboard of how’s  

Fighting for your system’s resilience is like a chess game — everything is at stake. However, if you do automation right, the opportunities for new revenue streams are practically limitless. 

With a combination of AI, ML, and Big Data, CIOs can: 

  • Improve customer journey 
  • Build trustworthy relationships with vendors 
  • Gain valuable business insights 
  • Optimize staff capabilities 
  • Increase situational awareness 
  • Discover new ways for recovery 

Winning the battle against the crisis  

Automation and resiliency are ongoing processes. Maximizing performance while enforcing cost reduction is hard, so CIOs are under immense pressure to build enterprise resilience. They have their hands full with selecting the right toolkits, keeping the workforce connected, safe and productive, and the operational field secured.  

As bad as it is, this pandemic still lets CIOs create next-generation DT strategies based on AI and RPA technologies. In a way so that they will mitigate disruptions for their businesses in the long run and ensure continuity of operations amid any crisis.  

If you need assistance in navigating the recovery framework, send us an email to get a free consultation. Our RPA experts will help you implement the best business process automation solutions to fulfill your company’s needs.