By Neil Kinson, Chief of Staff, Redwood Software
Everyone has that one colleague who they can turn to in their time of need. The person who makes their life that little bit easier, shares workloads and helps relieve the pressures of the 9-5. But while most people’s work support partner is usually their desk buddy or team member, CIOs have found a different kind of support – robotics.
From smart homes to autonomous vehicles, we have already seen how technology has grown to influence and shape every aspect of our lives. And our employment is no exception. As technology continues on its path of innovation, organizations will be looking for advice and guidance on exactly what they should be deploying, and how, in order to best drive success. To find the answers, people at every level of the business will be turning to CIOs.
That’s where robotics comes in, solving a number of issues and delivering results across the enterprise – when deployed and managed correctly.
Change is hard
For many of us, change is not always welcome. That’s especially the case for the IT department, which often has a number of legacy systems in place, not to mention complex data-handling and storing processes that underpin the whole organization. And then there’s the need to be seen to be more adaptive and responsive to a dynamic business environment.
Modifying existing processes and technology understandably takes up a lot of time and requires a number of resources. Plus, if it is not done correctly, things can get complicated very quickly and have serious consequences for the business. Therefore, it is only natural that the IT department is reluctant to wave goodbye to the existing systems that have served it well up until now, and risk implementing new technologies.
However, it’s essential that automation is driven by the IT department. Automating without IT’s involvement will lead to silos and a disconnect between business units – which will cause more harm than good.
If the benefits of robotics are to be realized, the first step is to ensure that CIOs and their department are fully behind the technology. Once this buy-in has been achieved, the next stage is choosing the right robotic tools for your organization.
Finding the perfect match
Choosing the right robotic process automation (RPA) tool is not an easy decision, especially given the variety of offerings out there. Traditional RPA tools do not scale well, as they are based solely on integration at the user-interface level.
The deployment of these systems can become incredibly complex and costly very quickly. If a business-wide RPA deployment will be complicated and create more problems than solutions, it’s easy to see why IT might resist.
Luckily, there are robotic solutions that take a holistic and process-based approach. These don’t rely solely on user-interface integration and so are much simpler to install and manage.
Choose a solution with pre-built robotic services that are designed to deliver fully unattended operations – and that don’t require the typical development and maintenance resources of the classic desktop RPA tools. This means the IT team won’t be the only employees who can use the tools. Instead, other members of staff without technical skills will be able to configure and create robotic processes.
Whichever tool is opted for, the most important element to consider is scalability. What might look like an optimum solution in a small pilot does not expose the real costs and complexity as these pilots go into full-scale production or expand beyond their initial remit. The business landscape is increasingly cutthroat, and those businesses that are able to scale at ease are the ones that will survive and strive.
A friend for all
The head of any organization ultimately wants employees – especially the indispensable CIO and the IT department – to be happy. By deploying robotics to automate repetitive, low-level business processes, employees can focus on the tasks that bring real value to a business, giving them a more fulfilling working life.
Robots can truly become the best friend of any CIO and the IT department. By fully embracing digital transformation, CIOs can also highlight the benefits this technology can bring to the wider organization, helping the workforce with their day-to-day roles and truly becoming that ‘one colleague’ they can turn to.
Categories: Automation Robotics Robotic Process Automation
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