RPA Q&A with Chris Huff, Chief Strategy Officer, Kofax
What are the main benefits of RPA?
Organisations and individuals adopt RPA for a range of reasons and see varying degrees of success based on how and where they apply the solution. When approaching RPA as a task automation tool within a broader Intelligent Automation platform approach, typically they see value in terms of capacity through the creation of Digital Workers that can transform rules-based repetitive work, operating in stable environments. This capacity can serve as a lever to optimise costs, drive efficiency and generate new revenue. From an individual employee perspective, the value really resides in the increased purpose they feel as a result of the additional space and time RPA frees up to enable them to focus on higher value work, such as providing personalised customer service and crafting strategies to improve their work.
Do you think the COVID-19 pandemic will accelerate or slow the rollout of RPA technology?
As of October 2020, we have several studies from investment banks to industry analysts that have confirmed that a Digital Awakening is occurring. For decades we’ve discussed Digital Transformation, but only few invested in this thesis as a way to drive competitive advantage. Those industries, such as Financial Services that did invest in automation platforms are very clearly doing well in this environment and have no problems digitally connecting and servicing their customers. Industries such as Retail that did not invest in Digital Transformation are facing significant challenges as they attempt to play catch up. IDC cites that over $7 trillion will be spent on Digital Transformation between 2020-2025. This represents a 55% Compound Annual Growth Rate and will serve as a significant tailwind to the adoption of Intelligent Automation platform solutions.
What are the main challenges preventing companies making better use of automation?
There are three primary challenges preventing companies from realising maximum value and returns from their Automation and AI investments. First, Boards and C-level executives need to create a Digital-first culture, and this begins with tone from the top. Second, a federated model should be considered for maximum speed and risk mitigation. A federated model centralises strategy and governance while decentralising operations. This balance creates guardrails for security and network stability while enabling the lines of business to become citizen developers capable of using intuitive ‘drag and drop’ intelligent automation software to rapidly build solutions for their immediate business problems. Third, smart investments need to be made in Platform and Ecosystem software providers that aim to ‘connect your enterprise’ vs ‘become just another IT stack or tool’. Gartner calls this Hyper Automation, which is a platform of automation technologies, such as RPA, Cognitive Capture and Workflow that provide the flexibility to address simple and complex use cases while creating digital workflows to connect disparate systems, people and data.