Video: Podcast- How organizations can automate at scale using low code?

Podcast- How organizations can automate at scale using low code?

In this podcast, Robin Amlot of IBS Intelligence and Ritesh Varma, thought leader of business automation for Newgen Software, discuss how enterprises can automate at scale by incorporating a low code system. The podcast offers crucial insights on low code process automation, the value it adds to an organization, and how it can help enterprises transform digitally.

The podcast begins with Robin Amlot asking Ritesh Varma what enterprises need to do to automate at scale, to which Ritesh responds

“In an organization, there are multiple processes that need to be automated. And a true enterprise-wide automation or a transformation can happen only when the entire enterprise-wide automation is done. To do that, you need a platform that allows you to-

  • automate at scale,
  • go holistically all-out, and
  • keeps on learning from the automation that you’ve done in the past

And for that, there must be a governance layer or a methodology to take care of the automation at scale within the enterprise. Now, this can be done only with a low code system in place for automation.”

Robin highlighted that traditionally, there were three areas where automation has been employed.  The customer experience (CX), operational excellence (OX), business innovation (BI), but it was not always joined up.

Ritesh explains– “There are multiple examples, especially pre-covid. Organizations undertook some experiments in the name of digital transformation. Some started with the front-end but forgot to integrate it with the back-end. Some started with the back-end but forgot to do it from the front-end perspective. The ones who did it completely from a customer experience and an operational excellence perspective forgot to put in facts to measure it internally and keep improving it. So if you look at it from an overall organizational transformation, especially post covid, what organizations have realized is that all these three aspects need to move in tandem to make things happen, which basically means that customer experience cannot be true if you don’t have well-integrated operational excellence, or probably you are not continuously evolving as an organization by learning from the past of business intelligence and business innovation at the end of the day.”

Robin mentions what Ritesh is talking about is enterprise-wide automation which encompasses the whole operation rather than just one or two parts of it, separately.

Ritesh opines that these cannot be looked at individually. You must look at things at an enterprise-wide level. So not just a single automation instance, but you need to look at the entire exercise of enterprise-wide automation to achieve automation at scale and efficiencies. Now, this basically means that the processes or the automation that you undertake is built for change. It’s not just an individual process as to how it’ll be rolled out quickly, but also it should be built for change. Both these things go hand-in-hand so that you’re able to learn from it and take it to the next level.

Robin wants more details on a few words that Ritesh mentioned earlier like Holistic automation. He asks Ritesh what holistic automation is and what benefits does it offer.

Ritesh responses– “Holistic automation has two aspects to it. One is the process itself- the individual process that you’re attempting has to be holistically automated. What it means is that the customer experience… When I say the customer, it’s to do with vendors, customers, employees, and anyone who touches the process, must be satisfied and their work should be completed. That’s one aspect of things. The other thing is that the customer, to be satisfied, his entire operations layer has to be automated again, which basically means that any exception or an anomaly coming on the front-end has to be managed by the back-end operations team. And eventually, you should keep on learning from these experiences at the customer experience level, operation excellence level, and business innovation level so that you are prescriptive, predictive, and can cross-sell and upsell at an overall level.

Ritesh continues– “So while you undertake one process completely, you can [kind of] now address enterprise-wide by undertaking these process automations at various levels- one running at the marketing level, the second into the finance department, and third into the sales department. This allows you to build a network of things to completely automate the enterprise-wide rollout of the automation journey.

For example, you are attempting to process a loan. So, while a personal loan can be disbursed on the portal itself without exceptions, when it comes to more complicated loans like mortgages or auto loans, the front-end can do the processing of the loan in terms of giving you a soft okay but you still need to develop or submit your collaterals and other things. So, to work holistically at an overall level, a loan is not disbursed till the point the collaterals are collected. Now the front-end portal becomes the customer experience layer, the collection of the collaterals, the underwriting of the loan, and the final disbursement becomes part of the operational excellence layer. And this, when working together, provides a perfect example of a holistic automation. Finally, you can employ analytics and AI to do things like probability of default or early warning system to make your loans more worthwhile or prescriptive for approvals before they’re done.

So, a holistic automation makes the loan process entirely okay. However, in a bank, you have multiple processes. You can attempt a lending process on the front-end side, you can do a trade finance, or you can go about doing an F&A process in parallel. Attempting multiple departments at any point of time helps you do multiple automations together to quickly do an enterprise rollout at a bank level. Similarly, you can do it for a manufacturing organization, oil and gas organization, and more. Automation transcends all verticals without any boundaries globally.”

Listening to the advantages of automation and what businesses and financial institutions can achieve through it, Robin keenly asks how businesses can go about automation and whether they need any tool for it. He also asks Ritesh about the Newgen software and its offerings, to which Ritesh explains-

“What we’ve all realized is that business or business outcomes can change in a jiffy. For example, people during the pandemic realized that anything that was brick and mortar traditionally, say lending, was no longer valid because you could not walk up to a brick-and-mortar organization. You invariably needed to do that through the portal. So, for automation to be rolled out quickly, the natural evolution is the low code systems. So basically, you are doing hyper automations using low code and changing and building them for change. Newgen Software is the most comprehensive platform provider for this technology. It provides you with a comprehensive set of tools to automate at scale using low code and build it up first, change in speed, etc. You can quickly develop and roll-out processes and change them so that you get market agility at an overall level.

Robin opines that low code is more than just transactions. It’s about being agile.

Ritesh seconds that and says- “Low code is the natural evolution of the human error from assembly level to compilation of things so that you’re able to quickly scale or reuse rollout processes or automation. It is the only way in which you can achieve your business agility.” Ritesh mentions a report by Gartner which says that 70% of the applications developed in an organization would be using a low-code technology.

Robin then says- “Well, it puts the power in the hands of the business units. We’ve been talking about lending. If I’m in control of a lending department in the financial institution, I can change, tweak, add features, benefits, and I can do it quickly. It’s not going to be a matter of months but a few weeks or even days to get something new up and available.”

Ritesh explains to Robin that low code is all about engineering rather than coding. It’s about planning first rather than just attempting it and coding it. He also says that it’s about division of labor, through which he meant employing the best people for the job.

Referring to his previous lending example, he says- “The underwriting rules in a lending example to do credit analysis would be best done by the credit analyzer or the underwriters so they can be responsible for doing these rules. What needs to be inputted is very well explained by the business guys. The business guys can be responsible for the data that comes onto the forms. The design of the forms can be handled by the marketing team as to how would they look and feel. And finally, IT gets responsible for the plumbing aspect of things or the integrations to the third parties. So, if you look at it, the entire work gets divided into smaller parts or chunks, which can be handled by various other people at any point of time. Rather than loading everything onto IT, they do something that is least understood by everyone else.

Robin asks Ritesh if this is his Lego approach to creating the solution. Robin responds- “For sure, and I think it’s about assembling reusable components rather than building them again and again to achieve the agility that you’re looking for. The low code components are more about the Lego, putting it all together, disassembling them if no one likes it, and then putting them back again to give you what you require in the minimum possible time.”

Robin thanks Ritesh for an insightful discussion and the podcast ends.