Integrated Automation Platform: The Future Of RPA

16 December 2019 in Technology

Integrated Automation Platform: The Future Of RPA

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) introduced in the last decade has helped organizations to reduce their manual workload and improve efficiency. However, RPA has not spurred businesses on to rethink their business processes, and many are running in the same way as in recent decades.

RPA technology enables firms to run faster and more efficiently, but usually, the processes are not unattended. Instead, they involve human and robot interplay, or what is known as robotic desktop automation (RDA). For these reasons, RPA is not leading to any real business transformation.  The problem with the use of RPA is that it should not only be applied to small tasks but as part of an integrated strategy.

In a study of 590 Global 2000 leaders, just 13% of RPA adopters were scaled up and industrialized. Most were using RPA for small-scale projects disjointed from the larger picture. The enterprises that did successfully scale RPA had the two commonalities: a purpose for adopting automation and a change management program for implementing RPA.

Integration Automation is a combination of RPA, AI, and analytics used to solve various business problems. The market is opening to a range of integrated solutions that are currently available.

RPA products, such as WorkFusion, Automation Anywhere, AI Lab, and AntWorks, aim to support AI and data management capabilities. Also, products that use AI and analytics are more open to Robotic Transformation Software, with 1RPA from IPsoft, Xceptor, and Arago. 

The combination of AI, automation, and analytics can now be seen in more products. SAP Leonardo is working with ML, analytics, and blockchain combined. The HFS Triple-A Trifecta is also being utilized across various products through system integrators, such as SynOps from Accenture, Cora from Genpact, or IGNITE from KPMG. 

More than just technology, integrated automation also involves changing processes and people. The technology, organization, leaders, and employees all need to work in unison for the approach to be fully effective. Integrated automation needs to come as a package that includes software, support, and services. For automation to succeed and be transformative, symbiotic relationships between product and service companies are essential.

A large proportion of high-performing companies see culture as a limiting factor in the digital transformation process. It is necessary for change management approaches to be used and digital technologies to be scaled up. Business outcomes in contractual agreements, pricing structures, and performance measures also drive change.   

Integrated automation requires an end-to-end approach rather than a functional one. Less than 12% of enterprises recently surveyed were found to have an enterprise-wide approach, while the majority failed to integrate task level and process level automation. 

Automation initiatives call for a collaboration of IT and business involvement, as IT functions impact business processes. Leadership should, therefore, show a mix of business and IT individuals.  The range of technological approaches and resources currently available has the potential to transform business significantly. However, for this to happen, the conversation will need to be about how to integrate automation in an inclusive approach.