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Intelligent Automation

5 Key Steps to Adapt Your Business in Unprecedented Times

COVID-19 will have an indelible impact on the future of business. Social distancing and stay at home orders have sparked an unprecedented surge in remote workers, creating an unexpected catalyst for greater digital technology adoption.

McKinsey recently identified five stages in the war against the coronavirus:

  • Resolve: Address the immediate issues impacting your employees, customers and partners.
  • Resilience: Tackle near-term cash management problems and larger resiliency issues during the shutdown period.
  • Return: Create a plan to return to scale quickly when restrictions are lifted.
  • Reimagination: Think about what the new normal might look like.
  • Reform: Consider how regulations and markets may change.

At Kofax, we’re of a similar mindset, believing in the importance of dealing with the present challenges while also positioning our company for success in the future. We believe one of the key ingredients is digital technology. Businesses that leverage their investments in digital technology, including intelligent automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, by applying it to new use cases will mitigate many of the potentially devastating impacts of the pandemic and keep their operations running now and well into the future “normal.”

Working with Forrester Consulting, the 2020 Kofax Intelligent Automation Benchmark Report suggests the current state of automation across enterprises globally is impressive but clearly shows significant opportunities for broader adoption to help mitigate some of the challenges organizations face as they cope with reduced and highly distributed workforces and operational constraints.

Kofax recommends a five-pronged approach to adapt your business in these unprecedented times:

1. Put people first

Recognize the effect COVID-19 is having on your employees, customers and partners. The shift to remote working can be challenging and everyone will need to rethink how to remain productive. That’s why it’s critical for businesses to expand their virtual capabilities. Access to technology that better supports virtual workers, providing the necessary communication, collaboration and productivity tools and while automating repetitive tasks, will keep your teams focused and working while improving morale. Gartner recommends CIOs prioritize the security of remote working technology and expand access to collaboration apps and document sharing. It’s also an opportune time to deploy digital workers to automate those low value repetitive tasks that can nonetheless consume substantial time and energy. With more time to focus on high value work requiring human judgment and thought, employees will be more engaged and efficient.

2. Tackle operational disruptions

Many businesses find it challenging to maintain operational efficiencies with fewer people in the same physical location processing paper documents. Use cognitive capture and intelligent automation to digitize and orchestrate the processing of all that paper. Many, if not all, back-office processes are ideal candidates – including new customer, vendor and partner onboarding, invoice processing and accounts payable automation and many others.

3. Prepare for the new “normal”

Today – and going forward – employees and customers, vendors, partners and other constituents are likely to often prefer to engage with your business in a virtual and digital manner. As people become more comfortable and businesses realize the efficiencies of these approaches, they’re likely to continue leveraging these capabilities. Businesses that expand their use of digital technologies and intelligent automation now will be better prepared for the long term new “normal.”

4. Build in resiliency

Assess how prepared your organization is for potential future disruptions. A primary benefit of a digital workforce is that it’s resilient to disruption. Kofax believes that companies most likely to thrive in the post-COVID-19 world will be the ones able to seamlessly integrate human and digital workforces and effectively manage both at scale. The latest intelligent automation technology will ensure seamless collaboration while orchestrating, managing and scaling both.

5. Work with partners

Partnering with technology solution providers and advisers can ease the digital transformation transition and amplify results. At Kofax, we’re doing everything in our power to support our customers around the world. Our software is critical to patient intake and care processes in healthcare and citizen benefit enrollments in government – and therefore more important than ever in addressing this pandemic. These sectors now face unprecedented increases in usage. In response, we’ve offered prioritized around-the-clock technical support services at no additional cost to our healthcare and government customers for the remainder of 2020.

We’re also working with partners focused on the healthcare industry to jointly provide temporary software licenses on a no-charge basis to their hospital customers. These institutions face surging hospital admissions and our solutions enable them to quickly digitize patient information to accelerate their treatment and care. Kofax is open for business, and our employees, customers and partners feel confident we’re doing everything we can to help their businesses navigate the pandemic while positioning themselves for long-term success.

Read more about the current state of automation in the 2020 Kofax Intelligent Automation Benchmark Study.

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This article originally appeared in Blogging Community World, May 7, 2020