Forget predictions. 2019 is going to be the year of scaling RPA or failing at automation. Find out how to actually scale your automation programme to take on the world.
2018 was the year of huge predictions about automation in the future of work. It was also the year businesses started dabbling with Robotic Process Automation (RPA). The proof is in the sheer growth of RPA vendors, such as UiPath (an Enate technology partner).
But predictions have a habit of failing to come to fruition. While 2018 was hailed as the year of RPA adoption, Deloitte’s latest report shows little year-on-year growth from 2017 findings where only three per cent of respondents had achieved substantial scale with RPA projects.
Capgemini’s report ‘Reshaping the future: unlocking automation’s untapped value’ (October 2018) also found only 16% of businesses surveyed had deployed multiple use cases at scale.
Adopting automation technologies has introduced new frustrations for businesses. Our insight from 65 industry leaders this year found some of the top automation challenges faced in 2018 are securing buy-in from staff, training human staff to work alongside the bots and integrating new software into legacy systems.
#1 RPA at scale will continue to be a problem in 2019
More than the cultural shift in introducing automation technologies, moving beyond RPA pilot programmes and out of ‘islands of bots’ scattered across organisations has become a real problem.
HfS Research (HfS Research and KPMG, The State of Intelligent Automation 2018) found: “Barely more than one-in-ten enterprises has reached a place of industrialized scale with RPA […] This struggle to get to a point beyond pilot exercises and project-based experimentation could prove to be a serious point of failure for the whole industry.”
HfS also hail RPA as the “gateway” to other automation and artificial intelligence technologies. Evidently, 2019 is going to be the year of scaling RPA or failing at automation.
#2 Processes and people need unifying before scale is achieved
The value of RPA is in its ability to remove mundane tasks from human jobs. As such, the notion of a job changes as tasks are mapped to skills across a human and robot workforce.
To ensure all the different tasks involved in delivering a process are completed seamlessly, businesses need a way to integrate all the different technologies and gain oversight of all the workers involved. When the process or technology changes, it adds greater complexity and risk. Without overarching governance and workflow, RPA is just helping companies to get to a point where they are delivering sub-processes within a service slightly more efficiently.
Process fragmentation is recognised as a fundamental challenge. Deloitte’s report ‘The robots are waiting: Are you ready to reap the benefits?’ found process fragmentation was a key obstacle to achieving automation at scale (32%): “Respondents to our survey cite process fragmentation, lack of IT readiness and lack of clear vision as their main barriers to achieving scale.”
Other challenges include lack of talent skilled in automation technology (57%), as well as the lack of co-ordination across business units creating an incomplete process view (39%).
Service orchestration solves the challenge of process fragmentation by granting you visibility and common governance over your processes and orchestrating workacross a hybrid workforce of humans and bots. Enate is an open platform that orchestrates work across a human, robot or hybrid workforce for simple end-to-end processes.
Enate controls what your workers are doing where and when, and gives you real-time insight to make key business decisions to improve productivity and identify what to automate next.
Enate also keeps a ‘human in the loop’; if a bot doesn’t complete something,
Enate flips the job back to a human.
#3 Improving customer experience will become core to business growth
Solving process fragmentation achieves more than just RPA at scale. Efficient processes and workflow will improve your customer experience and workflow morale.
Generali deployed Enate to transform operations. As Karl Nolan, Generali Link’s CEO, says, “The mood music on the service floor has completely changed. People are happier coming to work, and we now measure our service in terms of compliments.”
What’s more, a study by Forrester found that customer experience (CX) leaders delivered compound annual revenue growth rates (CAGR) of 17% compared to just 3% for CX laggards in the period of 2010 to 2015 [source: Econsultancy].
Fix process fragmentation and unite your workforces to achieve RPA at scale and increase sales through customer experience. 2019 will be your biggest year.