The growth of RPA is impressive and it happens with ever-growing velocity. The numbers in a recent CMSWire article support this statement: the RPA market, while only $250 million in 2016, is expected to grow more than ten times in five years, reaching $2.9 billion in 2021.
Why is this the case? Because large scale automation is a mandatory ingredient in the vortex of digital transformation. This is called for by the stringent need to manage the growing complexity of business processes, to reduce costs and improve operational efficiency, and to free valuable employees from the burden of repetitive tasks.
The next level of automation, intelligent automation, promises an upgrade from the incipient focus on routine tasks. You can view intelligent automation as RPA augmented with the ability to learn judgmental activities from observations of human processing requests.
In fact, according to the 2016 Global Industry 4.0 Survey, 68% of organisations in the Asia Pacific region expect to increase efficiency by more than 20% over the next five years by means of joint deployment of RPA and adjacent AI technologies. Combining these instruments is thought to be the most feasible solution for enhanced business productivity.
The reason for this is rather simple: scaling is necessary for leveraging the full-fledged benefits of automation. In order to scale your RPA deployment, you need to ensure coherent usage of “smart automation” platform capabilities, like process orchestration, cognitive capture, intelligent optical character recognition, etc.
This opens the door to end-to-end intelligent automation, which is applicable of more complex processes then the basic, rule-based ones.
Intelligent automation strategies for scaling your RPA deployment
In what follows, we will list some strategies which are meant to help you scale your RPA deployment to enterprise level, thus enhancing the likelihood that you do make the most out of the automation journey.
1. Support the development of a transformational mindset with respect to RPA across your company
Make sure that the automation project has the requisite, enterprise-wide support from the people who work for your company. Establishing a Centre of Excellence (CoE) is the focal means to this end because, on the one hand, it centralises governance and decision making, and consequently it can provide the enterprise-wide buy-in that you need. The CoE enables a coherent, tactical journey towards at-scale deployment of intelligent automation.
Additionally, the Centre can offer a collaborative platform for the IT and business departments of your company to work together towards shared goals. As we discussed in an article about scaling enterprise RPA, you should keep in mind that longer term scaling makes IT involvement even more necessary, to ensure technical flexibility as well as cyber security along the way.
The CoE is also a helpful tool for increasing the effectiveness of your compliance programs and security standards. Last but certainly not least, a CoE helps to build and maintain consensus regarding future directions for the automation journey.
Consider, for instance, the effect of presenting successful demonstrations of proofs of concepts to the employees. In a nutshell, the CoE ensures contagious enthusiasm with respect to the development of digital transformation in your company.
2. Make automation the default, preferred solution for repetitive jobs.
The essence of this recommended strategy is setting the objective to reach the “a robot for every person” stage of RPA utilization in your organisation. Once you know what you’re aiming for, you need to build an action plan for getting there. Education can be considered the main route towards goal attainment.
To begin with, you should train your employees to spot the marginal processes in their everyday work which are most susceptible to automation, and even to set up attended robots with no help required from the IT unit. Throughout the training process, you should keep your eyes open looking for those who seem more technologically inclined, and assign them the more complex tasks.