How to achieve RPA at an industrial scale

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How to achieve RPA at an industrial scale

Enterprise value chains hide in complex technology footprints, due to their size and silos. Intelligent automation, created through a combination of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), offers new ways to get around some of the constraints that digital transformation brings about. Due to the silos that came into being along the way of growth it is hard for enterprises to overcome the tunnel vision that prevents them from overseeing the true business issues that need to be solved in this digital era, a prerequisite for scaling automation.

Organisations are more and more looking for approaches that deliver short-term benefits. Since RPA implementation is fairly short compared to building a new IT infrastructure, the benefits can prosper within a few months. Successful results are not necessarily measured by workforce reduction, as opposed to the general range of thought. RPA is about process quality, accuracy and customer value; the benefits will translate into enhanced customer intimacy, product leadership, operational excellence and employee satisfaction.

Consider that at least 50 percent of all processes that contain repetitive tasks are eligible for automation. Such drastic robotic process automation often means maintaining hundreds or even thousands of robots.

According to the HFS research Maturity Index organisations can be divided into four levels of automation, each connected to scope, talents and adoption: the experimenter, the tinkerer, the explorer and the disruptor. RPA at industrial scale is the highest level, which means radically changing the status quo, a radical enterprise-wide transformation.

The key to overall implementation success at scale is a smart analysis and finetuning an impactful pilot process – think before you automate. To do that, it is important to follow a certain path; an RPA journey that starts by defining your objectives and ends with shaping the governance structures. Therefore, properly rolled out bot deployment is a wide-stretched journey that touches every part of an enterprise. A smart and thorough methodology will address all needed elements to achieve the impact that lets RPA truly make a difference.

The crucial steps for scalability success are rooted in the overall approach: defining suitable processes, getting internal buy-in, selecting a capable RPA partner and executing advanced analysis through operational mapping and process mining. Many organisations fail to scale enterprise-wide because they tend to focus on the wrong objectives. It is not about what process you can automate, but about what problem you can solve. It is not about doing an automation project here and there in the organisation to solve some standalone business challenges, but about planning for scale from inception and breaking through silos by building a business case holistically. Also, organisations need to build a team and expect it to grow; the more automation is implemented, the more support it actually requires.

Start with gaining trust

Scaling RPA successfully means getting the buy-in enterprise-wide. Organisations need to get all people on board and establish trust in relation to change; trust that automation will create a much more fulfilling workplace in the end. It has no use to mandate automation. Instead, let the business come up with solutions that would help them achieve business targets to elicit the right focus and providing the business with more meaning when it comes to automation.

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