The growth of RPA is quite amazing. Back in 2020, it hit about $1.5 billion and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32.8% from 2021 to 2028.
However, this growth is not translating into adoption or adaptation by many enterprises. Why? The lack of collaboration across the C-suite to strategically invest in the technology at the right time, coupled with the lack of understanding of the techno-babble, hits the bottom line in ways never imagined. This speaks to the need for strategic thinking and process implementation across all business areas.
To help me unpack these important topics on this “Back @ IT” podcast episode is Wayne Butterfield. He’s an automation expert with over a decade of experience in RPA, bots, process improvement, and more. Currently, he is the Global Head of intelligent automation solutions for ISG Automation.
02:05: The growth of RPA is clear, but it has also caused misconceptions on what is “normal” automation versus “intelligent” automation. Wayne breaks down the definition of real intelligent automation.
06:12: Automation is meant to replace handwork and not headwork. Currently, the “intelligence” that many juxtapose with automation is really pre-built logic compared to ad-hoc decision-making.
09:41: According to Wayne, we have designed a way of working that incorporates the greatest automation technology there this is – the human brain. However, when we try to automate human problem solving or think outside the box, we are left with a very poor process.
13:58: From a technology perspective, we are creating a “digital worker” with RPA. Here, they can look, read, communicate, or do something much as a human worker does with mundane tasks.
17:25: Governance of AI and automation are critical, but every organization has a slightly different approach to their governance models. The important factor is to ensure governance is organization-wide. One small change, such as in invoice layout, can cause a big process fire.
20:41: Many companies are establishing a Center of Excellence to help with overall governance models. But, there is still a struggle with who owns the automation process since it touches so many different areas of the organization.
25:34: Wayne emphasizes that the collaboration between robotic and human workers on the desktop, not necessarily in the factory, is imperative over the next few years, regardless of the department.
30:02: Processes could either be your biggest friend or biggest foe. This leads to a couple of things to always keep in mind: First, never automate a bad process. Second, the future of work is not to replace all people, but to augment them with technology.