The UK has a productivity problem. We’re lagging well behind our European neighbours and have been for decades. One of the reasons? Advocates of the tired theory of taking the ‘path of least resistance,’ discourage businesses from trying anything new when a tried way of doing something is available.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
When considering Robotic Process Automation (RPA), a lot of adopters have made the strategic call that they want to create their own RPA capability internally. They want a Center of Excellence (CoE). It can be a comprehensive CoE or it could be components that are stitched together with other third parties, for instance. They want analysts that can identify and scout for good processes for automation and change. Or, they have the need for configuration, testing, ongoing monitoring of the automation, as well as maintenance and support.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools are being widely adopted across a wide range of enterprises and industries. By executing narrowly defined, repeatable tasks, RPA bots can drive dramatic productivity increases and significant cost reductions. For as little as $10,000 to $15,000 a year to deploy and maintain, a single bot can perform the routine, administrative tasks of five to ten people.
Towards the end of 2017 and early 2018 we attended the ‘UiPath Forward: The User Summit on RPA at Full Speed,’ in New York, London and Bangalore. The conference offered valuable insights surrounding automation and digital service delivery—here are our key takeaways.
The ‘Automation Odyssey’ is About to Begin
Technology is meant to make our lives easier, and there are countless options in the world geared towards decreasing the time and effort spent on boring tasks. You might have heard about RPA recently and are wondering why you might want to implement RPA for your company. Even so, you might also be wondering what makes RPA a unique choice for companies looking for ways to increase their efficiency and decrease costs?
Centers of Excellence (CoE) within Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are similar in many ways to other centers of excellence you may be running across your business. Essentially, a CoE is a centralized capability that enables you to perform all functions necessary for implementation and the ongoing operation of an RPA set of initiatives.
With the rapid advancement of automation technology, some are worried that new solutions might supersede the process automation that RPA offers. However, it is not a case of new technology superseding, but rather, complementing and working together with existing RPA capabilities.
In 2017, organisations started to get serious about automation. Research from the wider automation industry has revealed a lot about how businesses are developing and controlling their automation programmes. I was recently at the RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) in BFSI (Banking, Financial Services and Insurance) show in London; here’s a snapshot of the top automation concerns amongst the event attendees I spoke to:
You’ve learned the definition of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). You’ve learned about how it works and about the impressive results that can be realized. So, now it’s time to take the next step to explore some lesser known concepts and truths about RPA implementation.
1. RPA is a lot tougher than most people think.
The SAVO methodology speaks to our origin story as process-focused organization. We set out to emphasize the importance of process as the foundation for any stable and meaningful transformation. What SAVO represents are the following steps to digital transformation:
“RPA is more complex than you think”, as said by my wise colleague, David Brain. In fact, not only is the technology itself complex, but the successful deployment is also largely dependent upon extensive planning and collaboration among key stakeholders. That’s why it’s critical that champions and executives prepare the organization for RPA implementation as a first step in the process.
A common question when considering Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is what process would be the most optimal one to automate. When looking for a candidate process, you should be focused on a couple key requirements. First, you will want to identify a process that is rule-based, so it doesn't require any human judgment capabilities in its operation. If you have processes that have human-judgement elements, they may still be suitable for RPA but you'll need to hand out that portion of the work to be done by an individual and then pass back it back to the robot.
Customers embark on an RPA journey for a variety of reasons. For some it's about not being able to grow organically with the traditional models of adding new people into the mix. For others, it can be a desire to achieve greater cost certainty and overcome the challenges of moving work offshore and the uncertainty that it brings into today's political climate. Regardless of the reasons why companies embark on the journey, a common outcome is sought - a high-quality service with a reduced cost of operating.
Using a diverse set of intelligent automation tools together to achieve your business aims isn’t always easy. More often than not, it involves figuring out how to integrate these different tools in what can become a very complex IT project.