Churchill Consulting

Intelligent Automation: Ready for Take-off in WA’s Mid-tier Market

Intelligent Automation: Ready for Take-off in WA’s Mid-tier Market

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  • Category:Thought Leadership
  • Offering:Solution
  • Industry:Business

Intelligent Automation (IA) technologies are rapidly maturing. Medium to large sized organisations in WA should now take advantage of these technologies to become more flexible and resilient to change.

What is IA?

Intelligent Automation is a set of low cost, low code solutions to automate back, middle and front office processes. It is the layering of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) with intelligent technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Chat Bots, Natural Language Processing (NLP) or Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to speed up processing time, reduce error rates and improve both the customer and employee experience.

IA has emerged in recent years with the maturing of the technologies outlined above and has exploded across industry and functions. It is now the fastest growing technology sector tracked by Gartner and is forecast to grow further in the years to come.

The WA landscape

A small but growing number of organisations in WA have adopted Intelligent Automation solutions. Major players such as Woodside, BHP and FMG have led the way and are now being joined by a cohort of mid-tier organisations such as St John of God, Water Corp, ECU and others. Still, the proportion of organisations that are yet to adopt IA is far greater than that of those that have.

Churchill’s view is that this dynamic is shifting. We believe that the use of Intelligent Automation technologies will become the norm rather than the exception in the coming years.

Three key trends are driving the shift towards automation in WA. Firstly, automation technologies have now come to a point of maturity. With $20B+ invested in the RPA industry since 2015 and a growing competitive landscape of over 80 different vendors, automation technology has matured rapidly. Compared to five years ago, bots are now cheaper, more resilient, and more powerful. In addition, the community of automation professionals has grown with hundreds of thousands of practitioners globally and thousands here in WA. A simple LinkedIn search of ‘process automation’ professionals in WA returns almost 7,000 people at time of writing.

Secondly, WA’s recent economic fluctuations and COVID-19 have shown the value of a flexible workforce. A central benefit of automation is its ability to scale volumes processed with limited additional cost or effort. IA enables organisations to become more agile in taking advantage of market opportunities or reacting to challenges. With several unknowns in relation to the future of the WA economy, we are seeing an increased focus on the need for flexibility in the WA market.

Finally, customers and employee expectations have shifted. Customers are now less likely to accept slow turnaround time and employees are less likely to accept manual, repetitive and boring tasks. As the Perth employment market heats up, we expect companies that offer an enhanced employee experience with minimised repetitive, low value activities and exposure to the latest technologies will win in the increasingly competitive war for talent.

How can we help?

Churchill have joined forces with leading Intelligent Automation advisory firm Mindfields to support Western Australian firms making the shift towards automation.

As a world leading provider of Intelligent Automation services, Mindfields are well-placed to advise WA businesses on the subject. Recently named by IDC as one of the leading RPA service providers in the Asia Pacific, they have also been recognised by Gartner and HFS Research.

Typically, Intelligent Automation solutions are delivered through ‘in-house’ RPA functions within the big four audit firms or global systems and integration firms. Our pioneering partnership with Mindfields brings together deep IA expertise with local consulting experience at a value point and proposition unique in the WA market. 

Mindfields have supported major mining, healthcare and government clients. In FMG, natural language processing (NLP) has helped reduce error count and transform safety processes. In St John of God, intelligent automation solutions have processed more than $1B of invoices and saved 25,000 hours of effort.

“St John of God Health Care continues to evaluate more opportunities for RPA where there is a strong business case for operational efficiency and resulting benefits for patients”.

Steve Goldsworthy, Group Chief Financial Officer of St John of God Hospital Group.
Intelligent Automation
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