CGI : Start your intelligent automation journey on the right foot with RPA

While not a new concept, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has generated a lot of hype recently as an enabler of business value. Of course, RPA is not about robots in the classic sense, but about software robots that execute processes quickly, reliably and with high quality and customer satisfaction.

Automation / robotics was named as the third largest digital initiative among the nearly 1,500 customer executives we surveyed for CGI Client Global Insights 2020. When asked how their companies are progressing in intelligent automation (from simple automation to artificial intelligence in automation), executives said they completed more RPA implementations and more artificial intelligence (AI) research compared to 2019 to have.

The value of RPA

RPA is widely used as a trailblazer for efficiency, resilience and digital transformation. In response to the pandemic, the demand for RPA has accelerated to improve COVID-19 measures for hospitals. Loan processingfor banks and Savings initiativesfor manufacturers, as examples. RPA also helps organizations:

  • Gain flexibility to scale your virtual workforce according to your needs

  • Free your employees from unrewarded routine tasks to focus on more strategic activities that require human judgment and complex decisions

  • Automate processes faster and less invasively with a low-code / no-code approach (whereDevelopers drag and drop visual blocks of code to design new apps)

  • Reduce costs without sacrificing employees or new business opportunities by streamlining, simplifying and automating time-consuming processes

Also, like my colleague Katharina Dubberke about in her blog Hyper automation, companies are increasingly trying to combine automation with advanced technologies like machine learning and AI to accelerate decision-making.

Key factors for success

The number of providers of intelligent automation technology continues to grow. Each offers quick entry opportunities and the potential for quick gains. But what are the most important steps to ensure a successful automation journey? We believe a first step is to choose a simple process for an RPA Proof-of-Concept (POC). Ask yourself: ‘Which process is a real thorn in our side?’ The answer could be a good RPA candidate.

We also recommend creating a proof of value for your smart automation journey based on the following attributes and answers to key questions:

  • Create a common understanding what RPA means in your company.

    • Key questions: How does RPA relate to intelligent automation, hyper-automation and AI? How does it fit into your corporate vision and digitization strategy?

  • Define common goals in an integrated strategy. Automation initiatives can emerge from silos, making them particularly difficult to scale.

    • Key question: How do you define success?

  • Choose the right pilot: A pilot has to be convincing in order to convince himself of management and employees.

    • Key questions: Which pain should automation alleviate? Which procedures are best? Where does further optimization of the process make sense? How do you recognize the “low hanging fruit”?

  • Onboarding the right stakeholders: The knowledge of operational processes lies with the employees. This knowledge has to be integrated into RPA without creating the impression that a role is being “automated away”. In addition, specialist departments and IT must work together on an equal footing.

    • Key questions: Who do you need to make your project successful? How can you convince these parties? How are tasks and responsibilities best distributed between business and IT?

  • Establish a strategy for scaling: The requirements for scaling a successful RPA pilot should be clear from the start. Early planning is required to move from a pilot project to an “RPA factory” that optimizes process automations with a template-based, repeatable approach.

    • Key questions: How should RPA use cases be collected (bottom-up or top-down)? How would you like to involve your employees? Do you want to build up internal knowledge or rely on an outsourced solution? What does the ongoing operation of software robots require? What should the governance model look like?

Get started with a day of intelligent automation

An Intelligent Automation Day workshop offers a structured opportunity to plan the basis, vision and first steps of your intelligent automation journey. Based on a preliminary analysis of the questionnaires before the workshop, these moderated design thinking sessions often include:

  • A benchmarking of industry trends and technology developments

  • An assessment of the readiness for automation

  • Inspiration and identification of potential pilot projects

  • Definition of the first steps to a successful pilot project

At CGI, we have used workshops like this to help clients in the public and private sectors achieve quick wins in areas such as employee onboarding, auditing and more.

Contact me to learn how we can help you identify and apply the right automation strategies and tools to drive business results. The only requirement is a conscious decision to start the journey.

About this author Sophie Bawin Senior Consultant

Sophie is the lead consultant for CGI based in Munich, where she leads the local practice for intelligent automation. Together with her team, she is dedicated to building and disseminating knowledge about intelligent automation, creating service offers and advising customers on the best approaches.

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CGI Inc. published this content on May 11, 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by public, unedited and unchanged, on May 11, 2021 17:15:07 UTC.

July 22, 2021