How Intelligent Automation can affect the C-Suite

What is the relationship between the top tier of management and intelligent automation, which combines Robotic Process Automation (RPA) with artificial intelligence?

It turns out that the relationship should be close. All members of the C-suite must take an active role in identifying risks and opportunities to maximize the benefits of intelligent automation. They must also understand the implications of intelligent automation on company culture, processes, and people.

Which are the responsibilities of C-suite executives who are IA-affected?

  • The chief executive officers (CEOs) are ultimately responsible for the digital transformation of their businesses. Intelligent automation is all about finding the right balance between virtual and human workers that suits the company’s values and culture.
  • Chief operating officers must understand how intelligent automation will impact daily operations and keep doors open for businesses.
  • Chief financial officers (CFOs) oversee the investment in intelligent automation. They also manage the financial risks.
  • Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) oversee employee education and communication about intelligent automation.
  • Chief information and technology officers play a critical role in intelligent automation adoption. Their domains will provide much of the support, expertise, and security mechanisms.

Change is in the air

Intelligent automation has many impacts on the C-suite. These are the most notable.

  • Changing priorities. Senior executives today aren’t only responsible for human employees. They must manage a mixed workforce that includes intelligent software bots and people. As they seek out and identify ways to augment their workforces using artificial intelligence, they will have different priorities regarding labor.
  • Robots can efficiently handle repetitive manual work and free up workers for more valuable work. What kind of work is it? The executives will need to plan how this shift of duties will affect the direction and performance of all functions.
  • Expanding scopes of responsibility. Intelligent automation is not just the responsibility of IT teams. Intelligent automation affects all departments, teams, and individuals and must be considered a part of every aspect of the business. The C-Suite is now more responsible. They need to be familiar with the technology and capabilities. This does not mean they have to code or program systems. However, they must be able to understand how intelligent automation works and the potential benefits for the company. They won’t be able to navigate the new workforce of human bots and delegate responsibilities and roles without this knowledge.
  • Effectively managing new risks. Businesses have tremendous opportunities to improve efficiency and streamline their processes with intelligent automation. IA allows employees to be freed from monotonous tasks and allows them to use their creativity, intuition, judgment, and other human abilities to seize market opportunities and gain a competitive advantage.

These opportunities may also come with some challenges. Is the technology going to work as planned? Automating a particular process or workflow will have unexpected consequences. Are company executives likely to face resistance from their employees when they adopt the new technology?

Senior leaders need to ensure that any significant organizational change aligns with their values, cultures, and long-term goals. They will need to be able to identify the risks and ways to mitigate them and review intelligent automation installations in other organizations to help them do so. Senior leaders should also be educated about the real-world consequences of using IA in their foundational operations.

Return on Investment

The C-suite deals with strategic issues and don’t always want to get into the details of technology or processes. They only need the bottom line: How much will it cost? Will it work? What’s the ROI? 

C-suite executives need to pay close attention to intelligent automation in order to understand the changes that will occur in their company’s culture, values, and people.

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