Despite widespread RPA adoption, Deloitte highlights that organizations are struggling to scale their RPA initiatives.
The truth is that the majority of companies have just built pilot projects or may have a few bots in production. What’s more, in the rare companies that have deployed hundreds of bots, what we’ve identified is that most of those organizations have barely touched the sides when it comes to the potential of robots within their business.
Think about it, what is the real impact of 300 bots (the kind of number hailed as a huge RPA success) in a business with 50,000 employees? It’s obvious to us that the scale of automation potential goes way beyond what these companies have achieved so far. It’s clear that even the most successful RPA deployments are struggling to scale. The important question is, what is holding them back?
We’re seeing this challenge again and again in the companies that reach out to us about their process automation journeys, so we wanted to share the three key points of advice:
1. Think about the bigger picture. How will scaling up RPA help your organization to adapt and succeed?
The benefits of RPA are plain to see: cost reduction, improved efficiency and productivity to name a few, all focused on reducing the noise and greasing the wheels. But if you’re serious about digital transformation, you will be thinking at a level higher than that. You’ll be thinking about fundamentally redesigning the way your business works in order to compete now and in the future.
That means really thinking about your processes. Documented or not, every business is built on processes, processes that cross functions and include people outside of your business such as suppliers and partners. RPA used in isolation is likely to miss this wider, much more important transformation opportunity. An isolated RPA mindset will really limit the value you can get from RPA and prevent you from scaling up the number of robots you have in your organization.
As Forrester Analyst Craig Le Clair, said in our recent webinar with UiPath, “Process skills and understanding how to transform processes… exist in the Business Process Management world, and that’s the kind of context and understanding you need to make the right decisions about where to apply RPA.”
The point that Craig makes there is that taking a wider process management mindset will help you do two things. Firstly it will help you to identify more opportunities to deploy robots, by achieving clarity and visibility into what each process is today. Further to that, this approach will help you to prioritize where it is in your business that RPA can deliver the most ROI. This helps you to decide where to start, or where to go next.
2. Connect your digital workforce with your human workforce
Now that you are thinking about the bigger picture of what you are trying to achieve and identifying the best opportunities to introduce robots, you’ll quickly run into the practicalities of coordinating a digital workforce.
The challenge that stands out is connecting your digital workforce with your human workforce. Why is this important? Well, if you think about a business operation, a robot is not likely to be completing the entire operation on its own. It’s almost always used to complete tasks within a wider process and you may have multiple bots running alongside each other.
Think of your business operation like a modern manufacturing environment where robots are completing actions as part of a manufacturing process. The robots are just one element, you’ll also have an intelligent conveyor belt, and people completing work alongside the robots. A platform like Bizagi plays the role of an intelligent information conveyor belt that encourages and enables the use of robots, whilst also connecting the work of those bots with the work of the people in your business.
There are very few cases where a robot can do perfect work all the time and it’s the norm to have robots raising errors and exceptions that need to be handled by a human. It’s only when you have a strong connection between your people and your robots that you’ll really be able to scale your RPA initiatives and deliver consistent ROI.
3. Adopt technologies that complement RPA to help you scale up your automation
The most complementary addition to RPA is a platform like Bizagi that enables you to look at the wider process automation and orchestration requirements of your business. Bizagi is the only platform on the market that provides native integration for the three leading RPA vendors: Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, and UiPath.
An agile platform for Digital Process Automation (the modern evolution of BPM) will really help you maximize the ROI of your RPA investment. UiPath’s Dave Marcus described the relationship between these technologies particularly well in his session at our Catalyst event last year:
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