The Next 7-Steps For RPA Software Robots
CTO for Blue Prism EMEA Region Peter Walker: Good RPA practice should be anchored in a no-code … [+]
Automation is the current darling of the tech industry. If you don’t have an automation story to tell besides big data analytics, cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI), then you haven’t earned your stripes and you won’t get anything special from Santa this year.
Apart from the fact that we only refer to automation, we speak in this sense of software automation and in particular of software robots, ie discrete pieces of software code that are entrusted with the execution of certain defined tasks within a company.
Where these tasks are human-centered elements of the work, the term Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has been popularized, extensively discussed and analyzed. Key players in this space include UiPath, Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere, EdgeVerge, Pegasystems and Intellibot.
As we explained here on Forbes, RPA is basically just “screen scraping”, which is the instruction of a software robot to monitor the screen actions of a human user (when filling out a form or when submitting entries to a ) Database or other repeatable, essentially definable task). This has been referred to by some software vendors as instant automation of recordings and deployments. Now that the tech industry is getting used to RPA, more and more are being asked for.
The wizards at technology analyst firm Gartner predict that by 2021, 40% of businesses will have the remorse of an “RPA buyer” due to misalignment, silo, usage and inability to scale.
What are the next 7 steps for software robots?
Step 1 – Flawless Robots
The problem with “simple” out-of-the-box automation of records and deployments is that there is no simple out-of-the-box automation of records and deployments to the success of RPA. These seemingly simple tools are usually fraught with problems that give the developer / programming team a huge debugging job that they then need to clean up. This results in high change management overhead and an RPA project that is unsuccessful. We need ready-made flawless robots if we are to incorporate these new electronic animals into our lives.
Step 2 – mother code without code
According to Peter Walker, CTO for the EMEA Blue Prism region, good RPA practice should be anchored in a no-code philosophy. Walker points out that while RPA may be all the rage right now due to a lack of programming skills, the moment comes when RPA projects need to be queued to get IT department attention. He insists that the proper role of the IT function in RPA is simply to maintain the governance, security and compliance requirements necessary for sustainable business transformation. Because of this, the RPA mother-lode needs to be a sizeable stream of no-code tools that enable automation, so … via no-code automation.
Step 3 – A means to an end
Blue Prism’s Walker insists that RPA is a means to an end, not an end in itself.
“When I say RPA has to be a means to an end, I mean, you don’t stop with basic process automation. The nice thing about RPA is that the user interface can be redefined as a machine interface. This means that unfulfilled service-oriented architecture (SOA) ambitions, previously unrealistic microservices designs, and intangible daydreams are now within reach, ”said Walker.
Step 4 – How to Talk to a Robot
Since we are close to 2020, very few companies will be able to get a 100% employee buy-in for the implementation of RPA software robots in a short period of time. This core truth means knowing your audience is important, meaning business users shouldn’t be expected to take night software engineering courses to get RPA online. We have already highlighted the importance of no-code tools, but more users will also need an intuitive robotic operating system (ROS – not a proper acronym yet, but it could be soon) to train and control them. Business users want to be able to automate processes by drawing process flow diagrams rather than hard coding.
Step 5 – An Ecosystem Approach
As a big fan of open technology, user freedom, and cross-platform integration, Walker at Blue Prism advocates that we approach RPA automation with an appreciation for an entire ecosystem of technologies whose combined forces can come together to form a greater force than the sum Of the parts.
“Every entrepreneur knows that nobody likes supplier loyalty. Technologies such as AI, Optical Character Recognition (OCR), and Natural Language Processing (NLP) are still emerging and emerging. These technologies are evolving so quickly that companies need to hedge their bets. What is needed, therefore, is a balance between in-house, third-party and out-of-the-box technologies – and easy access, both commercially and technically – to proven solutions that are relevant to the industry. I would urge every organization in every industry to choose a vendor that encourages these freedoms, ”said Walker.
Step 6 – try a drop of the hard material
A good RPA only takes place when companies have defined a governance mode and anticipate challenges. The idea of a Robotic Operating Model (ROM) is not new these days. Others have walked this path before and have been generous enough to share their insights. Those who haven’t heard about it have more homework to do.
Step 7 – Robot Life Cycles
Bringing software robots into our lives will require the advances, guard guards, and reservations suggested in all of these steps and in a few more steps. But what robots need above all for life is a place in the so-called software development life cycle. This is because agile, scale transformation can only ever be achieved through a centralized effort. Implementing RPA therefore means that the company must insist on building a culture of collaboration
“For process automation projects and the software robots that run them to achieve significant large-scale success – and any semblance of sustainability or maintainability – it is imperative that an RPA platform allow users to access a central repository of ‘published’ processes to work together. In this way, the entire company can manage, share, improve and reuse these functions to unite people and machines anytime, anywhere as a single, highly productive workforce, ”concluded Walker of Blue Prism.
The robots come, but they are (mostly) friendly and we are in control of where they live, who has access to them, how they are built and who communicates with them on a given day for a specific human workflow task and maybe most importantly … when they are retired.
The human touch.