SCOTT McGLINCHEY says digital transformation can be costly and disruptive, but there is an increasingly popular solution
Spending on business-led robotic process automation (RPA) increased during the Covid-19 global pandemic, following a prolonged period of commercial uncertainty that has seen an overall reduction in spend in the marketplace.
RPA offers significant benefits across the board to everyday work processes such as accounting, invoicing and order processing.
All round it saves vital time-based resources whilst generating significant operational savings. Such automation is integral to what represents a major shift in how organisations and their IT teams view the future.
From now on the focus must be based on operational efficiency, where businesses rapidly adapt their workflows, services and business models as organisations look for ways to streamline and improve process quality, speed and productivity. In turn, this will help them to optimise costs and extend the life of their legacy systems.
They now have their answer, backed up by some pretty powerful statistics. Gartner global analysts report the RPA market is expected to grow at double-digit rates, predicting that by 2023 organisations will be able to run 25% more tasks autonomously.
Bridging the Gap to Legacy Modernisation
Digital Transformation can be costly and disruptive, particularly when it involves legacy data and systems.
This is one of the reasons RPA is an attractive option, allowing organisations to reap the benefits of legacy modernisation without having to replace the system.
RPA may sound, at times, like some sort of out-of-reach hi-tech, but by automating processes associated with those everyday systems highlighted above, you are able save time, resource and generate significant operational savings.
Many organisations are looking to RPA as a more economical, shorter term, solution to generate business value while they look to replace their legacy systems in the future.
Not only can RPA help augment legacy solutions, it ensures data is kept up-to-date, systems remain connected and information is readily accessible at any time. Bringing organisations closer to a real-time response to customer needs.
Integration is Key
We are also seeing the growth of hyperautomation, where technologies like artificial Intelligence and machine learning are applied to processes like RPA, increasing the power and the value of such delivery.
While automation presents a wealth of opportunities for operational efficiency and cost optimisation, it only delivers maximum value when properly integrated within business operations.
Completely automating a process is complex, for example, as an insurance claim will depend not only on the RPA tools but also internal and external data services.
When technology is not properly embedded in business processes, the value it generates will always be restricted. The operating model must, of course, be driven from the top.
Close collaboration of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) with business leaders to understand priorities helps ensure that the most beneficial application of automation technology is undertaken.
Ultimately, the most common pitfall in automation projects is lack of strategy, governance, and planning. Organisations must, therefore, set a clear vision, governance, and performance objectives.
It is vital initiatives are business-led and have multiple stakeholder involvement. With a well thought out strategy in place, automation is a powerful tool that can generate significant business value and help to keep operational costs down.
Scott McGlinchey is CEO of Exception a digital services and solutions provider dedicated to helping organisations unlock value and create opportunity through the power of technology.