Is COVID driving more Automation?

Post by
Scott Francis

It was a surprise to me to see this story covered in VentureBeat - on the subject "How to deploy RPA responsibly in the COVID-19 era"  - but the article is on point, and addressing issues that are very much relevant to the world around us in the business of automation.

While automation initiatives were initially put on hold at the start of COVID, this new world has shone a spotlight on major gaps in existing processes, creating a greater need to optimize resources, accelerate company performance, and improve business resilience. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in April, because of COVID-19 “we have seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”

I would say first: I agree.  We saw evidence of automation initiatives initially put on hold as companies focused on putting their house in order for operating remotely. For some companies that was easy, for some it was very disruptive to their businesses. But, as the dust settled in April and May, inquiries for automation have picked up.  Our clients are more focused than ever on the benefits of automation.

So, now that you're ready to leverage automation in your business, how do you do it right?  A few pointers from the article come after interviewing F500 executives on the subject, and here is our spin on the advice:

  1. don't get stuck in the weeds - focus on the long-term objectives and the process context around what is being automated
  2. don't start with your most complex processes first - but pick highly strategic opportunities to start.  That may sound contradictory, but trust me when I say that you want to only pick things that *matter* to your business - but you don't want to take on more risk (complexity) than you have to.
  3. aligning strategy between executives and the team can be tough - your team will fear being replaced, you have to paint the vision for what enhacned productivity means to your business, and what you're empowering them to do.
  4. don't ignore security - you'll need this addressed properly before RPA runs far and wide in your organization.

Most of the surveyed organizations were working with Automation Anywhere or UiPath, which reflects our own experience in the field as well.

The article hits a lot of good points. But it overlooks something crucial to enhance the value of your automation experts: the combination play. The combination play is when you leverage RPA and AI, or RPA and process. We have found exciting ways to build value with the combination of RPA and AI for our clients, solving problems that were intransigent before.

When you work with BP3, we'll bring a more focus, more foresight, more followup approach to every engagement, and part of that is bringing to the table the benefits of everything we can do for you.


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