The need for intelligent automation has never been clearer

The need for intelligent automation has never been clearer

Hans Hasselgren
Hans Hasselgren,

In the beginning of December, Cognizant gathered clients over lunch for a roundtable discussion with speakers from PostNord, Celonis and Cognizant that shared the latest within Intelligent Process Automation (IPA).

Why are IPA solutions good for business? Some of the highlighted advantages, particularly during the pandemic, were that IPA automates time-consuming, routine processes and thereby allows employees to spend more hours on innovation. In turn, this gives organizations gained efficiency, improved productivity, reduces costs and improved customer experience.

Why is Intelligent Process Automation so hot now? 

Sebastian Toro, Head of Intelligent Automation at Cognizant in the Nordics explained “Automation is on the rise and becoming increasingly standardized. Business processes have had a rapid shift as well as the way automation is utilized.” There are four distinct rhythms of the transformation progress: Scaled Automation, Cognitive Processes, Platform Approach and Digital Outcomes. All of them are enabling enterprises to scale automation and drive the organizations of tomorrow. Sebastian introduced Cognizant Neuro - a new platform for IPA that enables businesses to deliver purposeful, seamless experiences faster, with game-changing returns.

Overnight new processes

Euan Davies, Global Leader of the Center of Future, presented the findings from the latest study about intelligent automation in The Work Ahead. “Basically, the past 18 months compressed time like an accordion”, Euan explained. “Overnight, it all changed, from working in the office to be based remotely with solely our laptops. It’s a fact that things will never be the same due to the pandemic.”

Euan described that more than half of respondents (52%) of the study expect flexible and multi-disciplinary teams to emerge as a lasting impact of the pandemic. In this work model, agile processes will be executed by networks of teams, operating in a work culture characterized by flatter management styles and worker autonomy, rather than departmentalized, bureaucratic structures. Rapid learning and fast decision cycles are enabled by a strong IT foundation and a common purpose of co-creating value for stakeholders.

For years, businesses have been aware of the need to streamline and speed processes. In an age when the concept of time became “real-time,” clunky and creaky processes were no longer tenable. But the pandemic revealed how unexpected crises can inundate and ultimately sink businesses that are unprepared. “The need for intelligent automation has never been clearer”. Importantly, intelligent automation involves more than speeding a process “as-is.” Processes need to be rethought and optimized to fit changing business dynamics and unlock exponential business results.

The intelligence behind the automation is as much about reimagining the process for what it could be when digital technologies and mindsets are applied. As we emerge into a post-pandemic world, such a reimagining will be not only refreshing but also vital for businesses going forward.

From KPIs to Satisfaction

The Head of Shared Service Center at PostNord, Kaj Nyman, shared how they have automated processes within their finance and accounting function. Initially they used an SLA-based delivery model with many KPIs, which led to constant discussions about the conditions to be able to fulfill all of them. To improve the situation the decision was taken to instead work with an end-to-end satisfaction-oriented delivery model.

Process mining discover the true processes

Michael Zink, Vice President of Sales & GM Nordic & CIS at Celonis, shared how Celonis process mining can give you deep insights about your business at the same time as you are satisfying your customers. Celonis provides companies with a modern way to run their business processes entirely on data and intelligence.

Process mining can be described as an analytical discipline for discovering, monitoring, and improving processes as they actually are and not as you think they might be.

The benefits of Process mining are:

  • It provides objective, fact-based insights to support audit, analyzing, and improving current business processes.
  • It speeds up the discovery of the process mapping there by also reducing the cost and it gives a more accurate view as it is based on real data from event logs
  • Process mining works on top of your existing systems


“The next trend within process mining can be described as a metaphor of improving the traffic flow between central Stockholm and Arlanda Airport by allowing it to control the traffic lights in real-time to optimize the process flows and prevent bottlenecks effects”, Michael explained.

Challenges with having a common view

Vivid and insightful discussions took place during the lunch about the challenges when different departments within the same enterprise do not share the same views on the processes.  Silos preven the information exchange in the company, as well as various political aspects of the process optimization that could lead to a reduced influence and value in the organization. Business cases for IPA were discussed with a conclusion of that it requires a large number of transactions to make the business case fly.

If you have any challenges within your organization and want to get in touch with an expert, email Sebastian.toro@cognizant.com

Cognizant is planning to host more round tables in 2022 so stay tuned!

Related Publication

Study: The Work Ahead in Intelligent Automation

As businesses navigate the changes the pandemic has wrought, three watchwords stand out: complexity, resiliency and speed. This is where IPA comes in, according to our study with 4,000 executives.