As the year is coming to an end – and people are preparing for the Christmas holidays – it is always a good moment reflect on the year and think about the opportunities for the future. What will 2018 bring to the world, and what improvements can we make to ensure that our services are delivered faster, more reliable and more robust. One of the quotes that stuck with me is from Kevin Casey, who wrote:
Automation should be treated as an opportunity, not a boogeyman.
In many organization, service automation is still looked upon as something for that can cause problems, instead of solving them. As the early adopters of service automation noted in previous posts, the turning point towards for large scale service automation will probably come in 2018. Therefore, here is our list of predictions on how service automation will impact the world in 2018.
Organisations that deliver automated services generally outperform their competitors in terms of speed and User Experience. Key condition for achieving this better User Experience is that the service is robust, simple to use and and greatly speeds up a repetitious process. The booking process of services, for example, always provides a superior user experience when compared to ‘traditional’ booking processes. Think about reserving table, ordering taxi’s or booking flights or hotels. Does it even occur to you to pick up the phone and call anyone? Service Automation has proliferated greatly with companies that were able that automated booking processes for a variety of services. Successful examples include Booking.com, Uber, Grab. And the battle for the best User Experience has only just begun.
Organisations that deliver automated services are forced to rethink their service delivery model. Although this pressure sounds as something negative, in practice it can be quite an enlightening experience. Automated services ultimately need to be scripted into workflows and code, which means that the process should be unambiguous and simple to understand. Redesigning the a process into an automated service requires the construction of a Service Automation Blueprint that explains exactly where an service starts and where it ends. It makes a service more simple, and frequently a lot better than the process from complex other providers. Think about the first time you set up a Gmail account… was this a very difficult process? Now think about the process of requesting a new mailbox in your organization. Unless you are one of the lucky few, you will probably see the point why a simple process is frequently a better process.
Nobody – and we mean literally nobody – likes to do monotonous repetitive tasks. Ask around at any service centre which employees enjoy resetting passwords or granting access. Not many hands will rise. People in service delivery roles frequently enjoy helping user or customers out with more complex questions, which will be perceived as valuable by their clients. By automating repetitive tasks, organisations free up more time for employees to deal with complex issues and questions. Not only will this increase the satisfaction of the end user, but also definitely increase the overall happiness of the service provider workforce.
Service Automation is most frequently used in Enterprises to automate low-risk repetitive tasks. Thinks like activating a new employee, booking a meeting rooms or requesting the provisioning of a new server. All the things that would be a waste of time for humans to day, and that computers can do better, faster and with less errors. Organisations that can replace unnecessary labour with service automation have a positive business case within a few months up to a few years. Whereas this topic is exactly the point that most opponents are making, it can also be argued that companies that deliver automated services have a better bottom line and therefore more opportunities to make investments that increase the the number of jobs.