The need to embrace technology to facilitate new ways of working and make businesses more resilient is a common theme and it’s true; the changes we have witnessed have forced many organisations to rethink their strategy and approach. At the same time, many large projects have, understandably, been put on hold whilst companies cut costs, assess their position and redefine plans.

Which leaves the question: What can leaders realistically do to gain advantage whilst not breaking budgets that have been squeezed dry?

We had already reported on the trend that businesses increasingly recognise the value and contribution that technology brings whilst at the same time reducing investment year on year (…and this was before the impact of Covid-19). Reasons noted for this contradiction were the shift to SaaS solutions moving the allocation of spend from capital expenditure to operational expenditure, possible technical debt; where a lack of investment meant that higher spend would materialise in future (a difficult position to be in now), or the possibility that having invested heavily in new CRM and case management solutions firms were focussing on smaller more nuanced projects that optimised efficiency and customer service.

It is this final point that provides us with an opportunity to gain an advantage even in the current situation. At a time when budgets have been cut, there is a need to make what you already have work harder – to make it more efficient. Firms looking to maximise their return on existing large-scale software solutions can further improve efficiencies by adopting automation and more nuanced technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Using digitisation combined with automated workflows and technologies such as RPA can significantly reduce handling times around your existing CRM, CMS, ERP and finance applications. This allows your teams to work far more efficiently, greatly increasing your capacity to do more with limited resources and delivering much-needed cost reduction.

Focussing on the areas of greatest potential gain, these smaller, more-affordable projects can provide a high return whilst making your processes more effective for your teams and customers.

Digitisation and automation remove the need for the transfer and handling of paper documents and the data they hold, removing the problems associated with paper handling (lost & misplaced documents, duplicates, non-compliant processes), increasing efficiency, facilitating teams to work remotely and enabling client self-service through digital applications. Technologies such as RPA can be used to remove the need for routine, manual tasks, in particular those that bridge the gap between disparate systems and processes. Hence, these technologies can bring greater efficiency to existing deployments, creating seamless processes, unique to your business that enable your team to work as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Moreover, these technologies allow you to scale and increase processing volumes without increasing headcount, allowing technology to look after routine tasks and your people to focus on tasks that employ their skills most effectively. Conversely when processing demand falls, as it has for many companies during this crisis, businesses don’t need to reduce headcount to the same extent. Systems and staff are less vulnerable to market changes.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that companies cannot just ‘sit this out’ and that they need to keep adapting for the future and plan for a strong return and growth. There is an opportunity to bring automation to your business, even in difficult times, by making smaller, well-thought out changes that create robust and stable processes for a leaner future.


If you want to achieve more from the technology you have and are interested in working with a partner who can develop a plan individually tailored to your business goals, current circumstances and budget, please contact us.  We’re happy to have an informal conversation and to answer any questions you may have.

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