The Future Workplace: How to Automate Intelligently Summary (Ernst and Young)

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What is Automating Intelligently?

Ernst and Young conducted an in-depth study regarding the potential for automation across 16 different industry sectors. The goal was to identify which sectors had the greatest potential for automation, and the results showed a surprising level of variation.

Five areas of impact were identified:

  • Fewer workers
  • Scaled capabilities
  • Greater speed
  • Higher quality
  • New capabilities
Earnest and Young automation graph
Image: Earnest and Young. The research indicates a widely varying range of potential across more than a dozen sectors. Finance is highly rules-based, and measured an 80% potential for automation.


What does automation software look like? Find out here.

Organizational Culture: What do we need and where do we need it?

The researchers found that business goals must be identified by leaders and implemented at the strategic level, to satisfy cross-organizational functionality. Strategic implementation creates employee buy-in and a sense of purpose.

“The reason organizational purpose is powerful is because it shifts an individual’s focus from the tasks they perform to how all of the work done by a unit contributes toward a larger goal.”

Knowing what you can and cannot accomplish is critical, and based largely on the available resources and talent pool. Ernst and Young recommends a total organizational review to answer questions regarding capabilities, and can aid in defining the culture.

To Build, Buy, or Partner?

Once business goals and skill gaps have been identified, it is time to decide how best to acquire the needed talent and technology.

  • Build: Recruiting and retaining the necessary technical skill can prove difficult. Some organizations have opted to invest in their current talent by developing their capabilities, allowing certain components of their work force to handle new responsibilities.
  • Buy: While a popular strategy, purchasing the needed automation talent carries the risk of frequent turnover. However, this can be mitigated with a powerful organizational culture. The same entrepreneurial drive that sees talent leave once a contract has expired can easily bring in the new wave of workers.
  • Partner: When buying and building from within are simply not viable options, companies find themselves aligning with other organizations to fill talent and technology gaps.

Read the full article “The Future Workplace: How to Automate Intelligently” here.