"The Road Not Taken" in the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Journey

May 23, 2017 / By Naveenkumar Ramasamy

Businesses are constantly putting pressure to reduce cost and improve performance. Among several levers, technology often adds lot of value but many times it is not efficiently leveraged by not focusing on people and process in tandem. This creates poor ROI and requires a complete overhaul within a short time frame.

With the advancement of social, mobile, analytics, cloud, security and IoT, the landscape of automation technologies is rapidly maturing. Among this arena, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an another buzz word in recent days for businesses that involve high-volume, rule-based and repetitive manual transactions.

As the high competition in the market squeezes the profitability, businesses are forced to choose RPA as a short-term quick fix to enhance control and reduce costs within the operations. This often wired up for disaster as not every RPA software will suit the existing infrastructure. Customers usually hurry up the proof-of-concept as they realize the wonders of RPA in a simulated environment and assume the same will work for them. However, this is not the case realized later as only simple opportunities are RPA'ed and many other opportunities are left as exceptions. Hence, a holistic view and approach is required in addressing the following areas.

  1. Constitute a synergetic team that involves process optimization experts, SMEs and automation specialists.
  2. Allow the process optimization experts to review end-to-end process and mature / standardize / benchmark wherever required.
  3. Choose a internal SME and external SME so that best practices can be captured and re-engineered before RPA'ed.
  4. Make sure automation specialists to handle the scripts & data appropriately and all the steps stages should be audited for traceability.
  5. Embed analytic trends / dashboards in the program so that there will be continuous measurement and improvement in the journey.
  6. Importantly set realistic expectation and consider the fact that no one solution fits all.

Keeping the above points in mind, the business need to partner with right stakeholders in the eco-system to succeed in choosing "Road Less Travelled".

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