C – (part 2) is for Customer | Cognitive RPA | Centre of Expertise | Cost | CISO | Citizen Developer(s) | Culture | Customer Experience (CX) |

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C - (part 2) is for Customer | Cognitive RPA | Centre of Expertise | Cost | CISO | Citizen Developer(s) | Culture | Customer Experience (CX) |

C – (part 2) is for Customer | Cognitive RPA | Centre of Expertise | Cost | CISO | Citizen Developer(s) | Culture | Customer Experience (CX) |

Welcome to the third in the series of 26 separate articles on the A – Z of Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Intelligent Automation (IA) and Digital Transformation (DT). Having looked at the letters A and B, today’s letter is the letter C (part 2). This follows part 1.

This article highlights all things relating to intelligent automation and digital transformation beginning with the letter ‘C’.

Customer Support and Success champions. Few RPA | IA vendors promote road-maps that extend beyond initial licence sales. Consequently, organisations who have bought both the licences and the digital transformation dream have struggled to go much further as they simply don’t know how. It is imperative to align with a vendor who thinks beyond licence sales and is dedicated to supporting your organisation scale forward. Having access to dedicated customer support and success champions who have a vested and intimate interest in your digital transformation program succeeding is essential to your programs success.

“The market is already getting disrupted and authentic cloud solution providers, who have refactored their studio & orchestrators, as well as, new cloud solutions have emerged on the scene. Customer Experience, not lip service about it, is the key differentiator in the market.”

Shail Khiyara – Digital Transformation, RPA & Intelligent Automation Executive

Always remember to ask a potential vendor to describe the ‘national and international support services offered, in what time zone, over how many hours per day (per geography) and what are the SLAs associated with that service? How much does each service offering cost?

As you grow your robot numbers and spread RPA into multiple, follow the sun, geographies your need for 24/7 vendor query or bug fix support will grow (vendors note these are called ‘bug fixes’ not ‘feature updates’ in the real world!).

“Do you get your own customer success manager? If not, why not? That tells me that the vendor just wants to sell me a piece of software, not that they have any plan or buy-in as to how successful I am with it. I’m ambitious – I want my vendor to match that ambition and have a plan in place on how they’re going to push me to 100, 200 or 500 bots!”

Edward Halsey, RPA Enterprise Account Manager

Change Management. In addition, to taxes and death one thing that is certain is that change will happen. RPA | IA programs need excellent change management programs in place as; software upgrades; network changes; people changes; market changes and lots more changes are continuing to happen at an accelerating pace. Building a transformation program that can cope with product, people, market, organisational and customer changing demands necessitates an agile way of working, a operational; backbone that offer strength and a componentised digital platform that offers flexibility.

“Change is going to happen, so you have to be ready for it. We asked our members for their attitude towards innovation and 90 per cent said that it was a business essential. So don’t expect business as usual. How many said innovation was important if you’re already a market leader? Zero – so change and innovation are issues for every business, big, small and mid-sized.”

Ian Hawkins, Editor, PEX Network

Components. Designing and building a digital operational backbone requires leaders to think in the long-term and invest in reusable components. Unless businesses think in terms of reusable components then they run the risk of waking up some day with none of the lesson’s learned from the past i.e. they will have created a new legacy platform built to meet their immediate needs, not the long term needs of the business.

The pace of change from traditional to digital businesses requires businesses to introduce and adopt new digital products rapidly. Therefore, organisations need to adopt new systems and processes that will accelerate their delivery capabilities. Consequently, organisations always need to ‘think forward‘ and consistently design reusable code, business processes, data and infrastructure components (and adopt agile ways of working) to compete effectively in a digital age.

Cost of maintaining the solution. Buying and configuring an RPA | IA platform represents only a small proportion of the costs your organisation will bear. There are many up front costs (e.g. licences, staff hiring and training, consultancy, cloud costs, etc.) and many ongoing costs that need built into your business case (e.g. annual maintenance and upgrade costs, staff wages and emoluments, code maintenance costs, etc.).

“Many sell cheap to get you on-board and rely on the price ramping up through costly upgrades and extras. Make sure you know where your aspirations lie and what that will look like in terms of cost in 3-5 years time.”

Edward Halsey, RPA Enterprise Account Manager

RPA | IA can support deliver a great deal of monetary and non-monetary business returns but make sure you account for all costs in your business case before you begin your RPA journey (e.g. improved CSAT or NPS scores).

“Understand exactly where your organisation’s aspirations lie. Then decide what that will look like in terms of cost in 3 plus years time. Investing in an enterprise RPA platform takes time and money; but implemented and executed correctly will see your organisation get its money back many times over.”

Gourav Datta, RPA and Intelligent Automation Delivery Lead

Consistency. RPA is a marathon and not a sprint. Consistent, agreed, global standards are very important. This includes rigorous control over your code standards, approach, compliance, governance methodology, communications, processes and environments.

“Although consistency of standards, approach, governance and compliance and all very important. Environment consistency is a must. Many organisations will insist that they Development, User Acceptance testing and production environments are exactly the same in terms of configuration and software versions. In reality this is not always the case, which can lead to sever difficulties when deploying your BOT to production. RPA is very exacting, a different version of environment, operating systems, software and security levels will stop your deployment in it’s tracks.”

Dermot Carroll, RPA Consultant

Champion(s). An intelligent automation or digital transformation program needs a champion, or better still champions. She or he is needed to evangelise and sell the benefits of RPA | IA within your organisations. Organisation that possess a lead who is able to articulate the benefits of RPA and intelligent automation to every layer of an organisation are worth their weight in gold.

Collaboration. Collaboration with the business is essential for gaining support, program awareness and demand. SMEs, business leaders, IT, CISO, Risk and Compliance teams must all be communicated throughput the life cycle of you RPA | IA transformation. Communicate early, communicate often and keep communicating.

“Be proactive in building the relationships, and in many cases any suspicion or reluctance to engage can and does diminish or disappear altogether. IT themselves can benefit from RPA – perhaps they have a time consuming password reset process. These are easily automated, cost little and deliver good perception, and possibly grease the wheels for further cooperation. No-one is being replaced by RPA, this is a powerful tool to leverage efficiencies and remove humdrum, boring, monotonous activities from the organisation.

Dermot Carroll, RPA Consultant

RPA | IA programs are not a silver bullet for digital transformation, but they can be powerful automation tools when employed in combination over the long term.

What C’s do you consider to be the most important for an RPA | IA program?

 If you like this article then you may find these useful too.

  1. C – (part 1) is for Customer Experience (CX) | Cognitive RPA | Cloud | COE | Cost | CISO |Citizen Developer | Culture | Change Mgt | Cost |
  2. 8 questions to ask before you implement RPA.
  3. 14 rules for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation (AI) success
  4. Behaviours of an Agile Developer
  5. Behavioural traits of an Agile Developer
  6. If you are not willing to go all in, then don’t put on your RPA swimsuit.
  7. The biggest lie told to RPA customers – 50 robots equals success
  8. 40 essential selection criteria to choose an RPA platform
  9. The A-Z of RPA, AI and Digital Transformation
  10. 9 Key Roles in your Robotic Process Automation Centre of Expertise

Free to share! If you think this article would be beneficial to others please feel free to share it. If you want to post this article on your LinkedIn page then please feel free to do so. The more information we share within the RPA community the more likely businesses are to succeed with this excellent technology.

Further Help: If I can help you in any way please do reach out.

Note: The views expressed above are my views and the views of the contributors. They are not those of my employer or the contributors employers.

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