Welcome to this new column. Every couple of months I’ll be getting on the proverbial soapbox and sharing my observations and opinions on all things ‘talent’ and how ‘work’ works. Please feel free to agree, disagree and add to the subjects via the comments sections below.
When a business is choosing which company to outsource with, location can often be overlooked in favour of the most appropriate specialist for the project. However, location – and especially proximity - should be a critical part of the decision process. For example, if your company is based in Europe, it will be more difficult to outsource from a provider based in Asia, due to a mixture of time, travel, language, and perhaps cultural differences.
By now everyone knows about outsourcing, the big issue of the 20th century that revolutionized the 21st century. But outsourcing didn’t start in the 20th century. In the 18th and 19th century Europe developed Imperialism, setting up colonies around the world. These colonies provided the language skills and education systems that made offshoring possible.
With the rapid advancement of automation technology, some are worried that new solutions might supersede the process automation that RPA offers. However, it is not a case of new technology superseding, but rather, complementing and working together with existing RPA capabilities.
The managed services market has been an interesting one to watch from a consultant’s point of view. There was a heavy trend towards outsourcing many key areas within IT, only for the pendulum to begin swinging to the other end of the spectrum where clients are now pulling some (or all) of those same services back in-house. Nevertheless, your organization is likely to use some level of managed services within the IT organization given constraints on budget, resources or expertise.
You’ve learned the definition of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). You’ve learned about how it works and about the impressive results that can be realized. So, now it’s time to take the next step to explore some lesser known concepts and truths about RPA implementation.
1. RPA is a lot tougher than most people think.
The SAVO methodology speaks to our origin story as process-focused organization. We set out to emphasize the importance of process as the foundation for any stable and meaningful transformation. What SAVO represents are the following steps to digital transformation:
“RPA is more complex than you think”, as said by my wise colleague, David Brain. In fact, not only is the technology itself complex, but the successful deployment is also largely dependent upon extensive planning and collaboration among key stakeholders. That’s why it’s critical that champions and executives prepare the organization for RPA implementation as a first step in the process.
A common question when considering Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is what process would be the most optimal one to automate. When looking for a candidate process, you should be focused on a couple key requirements. First, you will want to identify a process that is rule-based, so it doesn't require any human judgment capabilities in its operation. If you have processes that have human-judgement elements, they may still be suitable for RPA but you'll need to hand out that portion of the work to be done by an individual and then pass back it back to the robot.
Customers embark on an RPA journey for a variety of reasons. For some it's about not being able to grow organically with the traditional models of adding new people into the mix. For others, it can be a desire to achieve greater cost certainty and overcome the challenges of moving work offshore and the uncertainty that it brings into today's political climate. Regardless of the reasons why companies embark on the journey, a common outcome is sought - a high-quality service with a reduced cost of operating.