Changepond – April 30, 2019

Are RPA results that Cool?


Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has been the buzzword for some time now but does it deserve the attention that it’s gaining around the globe? For non-IT users, RPA is nothing but mimicking human actions on a computer by performing repeatable or mundane tasks. Since the work is done by a Bot it can process large volume of data in a short period time and productivity benefits can be multiplied using the power of the cloud. Automation always existed in various forms starting from macros, scripting, etc. then what’s this fuss about RPA?
What RPA has done is, it has provided a technology to automate anything starting from reading emails, scraping information from PDF, decoding an image, interpreting sentences, and updating information into almost any destination, etc. delivered at a single place without much scripting. There are a lot of pre-built activities which the RPA tools provide out of the box that makes automation easy.
Customers have started adopting RPA in a big way but with the hype surrounding RPA, most of the customers are jumping to automate visible & tedious tasks and tending to continue down this path. Due to this approach, they lose perspective of the big picture, and often the RPA initiative starts losing steam and fails to convert into an Enterprise Automation drive. While the best practice is to start automating a simple process and then move towards complex automation that includes machine learning and other technologies to make the automation smarter or more cognitive. Most of the organizations are unable to articulate the digital transformation vision, clearly identify the multi-tier automation objectives, and get CXOs & sponsors to agree to invest in a long-term vision-based plan.
As long as we are not clear on both the Big and Small Why’s, initiatives get muddled up between RPA, AI, iBPMS and, API & Integration projects and end up as experiments with siloed success. To make RPA cool and deliver across the enterprise one needs to think about shifting the business towards digital processes using Digital Workforce and AI to achieve “Transformation” which is aligned to the business’s aspirational goals and provides specific benefits at all points of the journey. Often this journey can be Hybrid as well, i.e. different paths for different parts of the business.
An RPA forays if combined with process mining and journey mapping exercises and swiftly moving into cognitive services and AI implementations can be immensely more effective for buying in the business’s confidence. This will enable organizations to successfully set up Enterprise level automation layer as the backbone for Digital Transformation. Robotic Process Automation has certainly started reshaping the way organizations deal with Digital. By consciously moving the needle from task automation to process discovery to process orchestration to eventually to AI-Ops, the business can be certain to reap the high-value transformation benefits.
Fundamentally, transformation through RPA is not about reducing cost but about improving team member satisfaction, compliance, and accuracy and above all to providing superior customer service and experience. By adopting this philosophy you can future proof your RPA journey and experience true Digital Transformation.
One shouldn’t get too carried away with all the loose buzzwords, however, pursuing the Automation Vision using RPA and a combination of appropriate technologies would certainly make your Business Outcomes Very Cool…
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