RPA, Bringing People Together

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On the face of it, RPA is a simple technology, but it currently serves an important purpose. Linking systems and data together, to complete manual processes in the Enterprise is a pretty valuable skill. You may think this is enough on its own but I’m not sure this is where its value needs to end.

In any business; fostering effective team collaboration is pivotal for driving innovation and productivity. This begins with clear communication where all teams align with the company’s or department’s vision and objectives, and where expectations are transparent. Common goals are discussed and cross-department Teams are truly formed. Ultimately, collaboration in large organizations requires consistent commitment, adaptation, and an understanding of its long-term benefits. Collaboration = bigger, more impactful changes. This got me thinking…

If one of RPA’s strengths is it’s ubiquitous nature, not caring if it’s creating an Automation in Excel for Finance, or pasting some data from a CRM into an email campaign for Sales & Marketing, will it be this technology type more than others that will create widespread collaboration and innovation across the Enterprise? And is this an unknown consequence of using a simple technology (well) across the Enterprise?

Few other technologies can claim to be so wide reaching, and so it’s usage should by rights foster an open conversation and collaboration across most, if not all the Enterprise. RPA isn’t and should not be see as a panacea for all an Enterprises Automation needs as a stand alone technology, but is it laying the collaborative & innovative foundations in our people that will be critical for future transformation; especially as we see the rise of different and “cool” technologies like Generative AI?

When asked recently, if I believe an RPA platform has the ability to be “The Automation Orchestration Platform” across the Enterprise vs a Salesforce, an SAP or even a Microsoft, I pondered and initially didn’t want to answer too quickly. Could a Market leader in RPA compete against the jugaurnants of the IT Systems landscape as it comes to becoming the middle management equivalent of a Business Automation capability over the next 2 to 10 years in the Enterprise??

Thankfully i’d been listening to the UiPath AI Innovations Analyst call earlier, and had already drawn the conclusion that if any tool type was going to be able to connect people together, it was a technology type where people are at the very center of both it’s usage and it’s deployment. I’ll say this again – RPA is not the Technology foundation that you should be an Enterprise upon, but many Enterprises today, already have a foundation in place, and even if for some it may have been creaking for years, the reality is that Transformation is a people business, without people being involved and supportive, change doesn’t happen, so a technology type built for operations, for operational process is in my view at least more likely to succeed in this role than one that’s IT heavy.

Does any of this even matter? I guess it depends. As technology becomes more complex, and the user cases more difficult to understand and comprehend, then who is likely to get it most and be able to deploy with speed (security is a given here) – Those with a track record of deploying automations and gaining marginal improvements across an enterprise or those who have stifled innovation and have yet to embrace the changing dynamics of how work is complete?

In order to look to the future you are often best to look into the past. Don’t expect to be able to deploy futuristic technologies, if you can’t currently get some of the basic ones right.

Time will tell how this whole AI & Automation landscape and adoption will play out. But I for one believe those who have succeeded so far, and put themselves and their people in a much better place to succeed again in the future.

RPA isn’t just integrating systems and data, it’s integrating people and teams across the Enterprise

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