During the last several weeks, one of the key technological-organizational changes on the job market over the past few years has taken place. Most people who use computers as their work tool (but not only) were both witnesses and participants of this event.

Digital transformation – benefit or threat?

On the web, apart from false information, speculations and new experts-epidemiologists, there also have appeared very good jokes such as this one:

Who conducted the digital transformation in your organization?

  • CEO
  • CTO
  • COVID-19

The thing, of course, is about promoting remote work.

In addition, after approximately 3 months since the time provisions concerning the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 virus spread were inserted, the percentage of people willing to come back to their office work has ranged between 10% and 20%, depending on a given organization. Why is this happening just now? After all the technology, which enables remote work, has been with us for years! Would the problem concern our habits, unwillingness to accept changes, or simply laziness?

Without a doubt, it was people’s attitude, not the lack of technology that was the problem – we also observe this tendency during the projects run by Craftware. Our experiences show that such behavioral instincts may be characteristic for people who take part in various initiatives concerning digital transformation, where the goal is to improve effectiveness in the organization. Employees, who think that the change threatens their jobs, may sabotage activities connected with new technology implementation in the company. Superiors, on the other hand, may be afraid of losing control. In addition, they fall into the trap of measuring the work time schedule rather than focusing on work effects.

Obviously, a lot depends on the organizational culture and communication flow with employees. At Craftware, we value open communication with the team. We care to create a friendly workplace that fosters the development, and we strive to provide advisory services for our customer in the same vein. When they ask us to present arguments supporting the implementation of a specific system or technology in the organization (for example Robotic Process Automation), we do not just show obvious benefits resulting from the effectiveness improvement of business processes realization. We also emphasize that automation opens for employees new possibilities of gaining new competences concerning this particular area.

 

 RPA – solution that is within the reach

Gartner predicts that till 2021, 25% of people using computers as their work tools, will also benefit from the virtual assistant. Meanwhile, the latest UiPath (2020.04) platform version is already implementing technical and license improvements to help users be self-reliant in creating robots (assistants), and also to share them with other people in the organization.

One of the challenges that BPM (business process management) systems faced was to enable companies an effective optimization of simple business processes, which consume half of the employees’ work time. What processes to focus on when choosing automation is described in the article entitled “How to choose initial automation processes in RPA?” These solutions served their purpose – from the start, they made processes’ modeling and business decisions simple. However, it required programming competences (or additional overlays) for user interface service.

It has been changing for a few years now and recently the change has been more intense, and the aforementioned UiPath platform is its best example. The entry threshold in building solutions based on leading RPA platforms is significantly lower. What is more, their producers share free of charge trainings. UiPath went one step further and created, for its business users, Studio X available under Citizen Developer license. It allows for building slightly simpler automations.

So we are much closer to solving the problem of optimizing a long line of simple processes, which have not been taken into consideration in IT initiatives. It regards operational and administrative processes such as: submitting a request (for a leave, delegation), marking off absence in the systems used in the company, preparing a purchase form, acquiring information about the customer, etc.

 

RPA’s future – digital assistant for everyone?

The question arises, whether companies will be more willing to use increasingly accessible solutions? How many managers will decide to provide their employees with personal digital assistants? This is a very brave vision but didn’t we think the same way 45 years ago when Bill Gates and Paul Allen set up Microsoft and wanted a personal computer to be present in every household? Undoubtedly, organizations, which want to be effective in facing digital transformation, need a strong and involved in this process leadership.

Showing new possibilities by RPA platforms does not mean that processes’ automation is supported by holy grail of digital transformation. There are numerous challenges set forth before organizations such as the ones connected with customer’s experiences. Robots may support his/her interactions with the company but to design effective planning of these interactions one needs to understand customers’ behaviors and habits. That is why it is crucial to implement advanced techniques of collecting data and its analysis. It may also turn out that modern CRM solutions already support the optimization of these interactions and there is no sense to copy the functionality with the use of robots (if CRM system already works in the organization).

Digital transformation is not just about using the latest technology. The true challenge companies face is building new, better business models supported by technology.

We place regular articles about RPA as one of digital transformation elements on our blog. We started our series from the article entitled “Robotic Process Automation – what is all this buzz about?” We encourage you to follow our subsequent entries!

Author

  • Adam Drzewososki
  • RPA Consultant
  • A manager with over 15 years of experience in software and technology consulting. A graduate of the Warsaw University of Technology and the Warsaw School of Economics experienced in managing big teams (over 50 FTE) in international programs and projects. He has cooperated with clients from the financial, manufacturing, and telecommunication industries in Europe and the Middle East. At Craftware, he is responsible for consulting and development of RPA services.

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