Can organizations implement RPA without having a digital transformation strategy – what would you have said?
At last weeks Udacity + #UiPath‘s RPA Insiders Virtual Conference I was asked a question ‘Can organizations implement RPA without having a digital transformation strategy/plan?‘ I gave a pretty quick answer, then a stat, then some further comments which are outlined below.
What would you have said in 30 seconds or less?
- Can they? Yes.
- Should they? No
EY several years ago talked about 50% of RPA programs failing to deliver on promise. I personally believe this figure to be higher as people simply did not want to admit their programs failed. They are a large many reasons why RPA programs fail i.e. the RPA program simply did not get the ROI expected e.g. programs were halted by risk, compliance, audit or security teams as RPA teams neglected to inform them; teams did not talk to IT and engage in change management so automations broke; a tool was bought and then problems sought but the tool did not work; processes were not suitable or ready for automation; or quite often the program was not aligned to business strategy and had limited purpose in the eye of the exec or leadership teams; and…and…and
- You should not introduce RPA and then go look for business problems to solve. Understand the business problem then find a tool or tools to solve for that. Not every tool will worth with every organisations IT, so test the tooling too.
- Organisations need to have a business strategy (i.e. a game plan of where they want to play and earn a return) AND that must be communicated to the business. Some executive teams forget to do a good enough job on the communication part and wonder why their teams confused.
- Doing digital or automation is not a strategy.
- Organisations must have an actual automation | digital strategy (lots don’t) and that must be clearly aligned to their business strategy.
- Before buying any RPA platform organisations must build a business case, one a CFO will sign off on, and ensure a business team is willing to realise the benefits in the P&L.
- So always, always ‘business plan first, tooling and automation strategy second’.
What would you have said if you had those same 30 seconds?
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