We’re moving together – whether we like it or not – through unprecedented times, or what many are calling the New Normal. More so than ever before, this new reality is chocked full of potential business interruptions, pivots, and the need to rebound quickly. What can IT do to help navigate this voyage?
Four Success Ideas for IT in the New Normal
Successful IT in the New Normal means a laser focus on sustainability, flexibility and adaptability. In more direct terms, this means cost optimization and cost efficiency, business continuity and disaster recovery. Where do you begin? Well, as you reopen and restart, add “reimagine.” Take the New Normal as an opportunity to look at how you do things. Don’t be afraid to reimagine – and we don’t mean a drastic burn-the-house-down-and-rebuild mega project. We mean reimagining in a way that can make a big difference without starting from scratch. Here are four for you:
(1) Application modernization
Legacy systems just keep getting older. Maintenance, in terms of both manpower and dollars, keeps going up and provider support keeps going down. Maybe they were state of the art at the time, but now they’re becoming a burden. Systems aren’t connected and it seems to take forever to make a change – much too long in terms of pivoting in the New Normal.
Whether moving to the cloud or staying on-prem, application modernization and integration projects reengineer those old systems for speed, efficiency, savings and a better customer experience. You don’t have to do everything at once – work with your internal teams and/or external consultants to identify the “quick win,” most critical, bang-for-the-buck project(s) to get the ball rolling. Success will breed more success – and you’ll be relieved when those legacy systems are retired.
(2) Managed Services
Perhaps you had to let people go during the lockdown and won’t be able to replace them. Maybe you’ve just gone live with a huge project and you’re not sure who’ll manage it day-to-day going forward. In any event, it’s hard to allocate full-time equivalents (FTEs) for maintenance, updating and to just keep things running. You want those precious FTEs to be strategic-minded and doing high-level projects.
One answer is managed services. The managed service provider (MSP) offers the specialized skill set, flexibility and scalability to keep whatever system, platform or infrastructure you want, cloud or on-prem, going strong 24/7, 365. You’ll find that in the long run it’s more cost efficient than having (and holding onto) FTEs with those skills and working those hours. A service agreement means set, known costs that you can budget. And if something does go wrong, the MSP is the single, accountable contact that’s one phone number away. Managed services aren’t 100 percent “set it and forget it,” but they’re close.
(3) Bots, or digital workers
No, you’re not looking to replace the company employees with the Terminator. Bots will help the business run smoother and free up employees to do more productive work. Our recent “What Robot Do You Need?” blog talks about this in great detail – but here’s a summary:
- Robotic process automation (RPA) can run repetitive, mundane tasks 24 hours a day, quickly, with an extremely low error rate. An example would be automating a manual data entry process.
- Intelligent automation (IA) / hyperautomation learns where to get the information needed to make basic decisions and/or help an employee with their job process. Examples would be invoice processing, claims exceptions and auditing, loan approval processing, journal entries, and employee onboarding.
IA Bots are especially valuable when volume is considered. Sometimes workloads can vary widely based on the time of year or if certain events occur. Having a stable workforce while scaling up or down for volume is difficult. Bots can be easily added or removed to scale up or down based on volume.
(4) Process mining
You’ve done the top-down interviews of subject matter experts (SMEs), department heads, function owners, and workers. You’ve done flowcharts and “as-is” models. You’ve talked to stakeholders to chart out and implement the “to-be” model. Yet, you know your operations still aren’t optimized, costs are going through the roof and employees are going out the door. What went wrong? Well, to start, interviews are subjective, with unintentional inaccuracies. Then the modelling and implementation can be incomplete and/or take too long – things move fast in the New Normal.
The new answer for the New Normal is process mining. Process mining is the discovery and visualization of processes based on event data from targeted systems. For example, in a traditional mapping interview the claims manager may sincerely say that a claim takes on average five days to process. But, using process mining, the digital trail of the claims – actual hard data – says seven days. Process mining significantly reduces the time and effort of process discovery while improving its accuracy. It makes process improvement analysis much easier because it can clearly measure the impact from any potential process change.
Prolifics can help.
The “New Normal” is here. You have a vision – don’t let your technology slow you down. Our solutions and experience will get you there. Sit down with us – let’s talk about your challenges, review and reevaluate your plans and get you started where it makes the most sense. Vision to Value. Faster. It’s not just our tagline, it’s what drives us. It’s how we deliver solutions and services. It’s our commitment to you – and it’s needed today more than ever. Visit www.prolifics.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.