By Lauren Abraham Mahoney
Like most America, I was watching the Super Bowl earlier this month which was hosted in my home city of Atlanta. Truthfully, I’m not a huge sports fan, but I always love to see the Super Bowl commercials. I’m impressed with the timeliness and creativity of the spots and how they weave in cultural references, pop trends, and new technologies. This year there were quite a few ads that featured robots, which ties into one of the key trends I’ve been focused on at work – Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
RPA is pervasive in conversations with clients, whether they are looking to create cost efficiencies, become more scalable, or execute a digital transformation. RPA is an effective way to automate manual, repetitive, rule-based processes. Bots don’t take sick days, they don’t get tired, and they don’t make careless errors. But they also cannot replicate true human interaction and the Turbo Tax Robo-child commercial was a humorous way of reminding us of that fact.
The Amazon Echo ad hilariously showed us some examples of technology applications that were failed experiments like the Alexa-enabled toothbrush, dog collar, and hot tub. Rethinking how we execute and build our processes to be supported by technology, and in some cases replacing the need for human efforts with bots, is an important shift to helping companies reach their goals but, “not everything makes the cut.” Some processes are a better fit for RPA than others. Engage leaders in technology and business to collaborate to help determine the best use-cases. Take a holistic approach and be creative to find incremental or transformative opportunities and evaluate each opportunity individually and within the context of your RPA strategy.
If you’re thinking RPA might be right for you, don’t forget the ancillary benefits. Implementing RPA will create more time for your human workers to focus on the things that humans are good at – interacting with customers, managing exceptions, and dealing with complex situations that require judgement. When building your business case for RPA keep in mind the new “heads up time” that will be gained and what that can mean for improving employee engagement, customer experience, and raising capabilities across the organization.
Having the appropriate governance in place helps align conflicting priorities across different organizations, otherwise you could end up like the man for the Alexa-enabled dog collar – with a truck full of dog food. Woof.
To read more about Jabian’s approach to RPA, click HERE.