Every business is on the lookout for the technologies and tactics that will give them an advantage over the competition, and robotic process automation (RPA) offers one way to get this vital edge. The power of RPA rests in increased efficiency and reduced costs, as well as the ability to truly unleash the creativity of employees by freeing them from uninspiring and menial tasks. With its promise of significant savings in staff costs, reduced repetitive work, and fewer errors and rework, robotic process automation is becoming increasingly common in all sorts of organizations.

Of course, if the right foundations aren’t in place, RPA can lead to unexpected difficulties. This is especially clear when we consider that RPA works most effectively to augment human employees, not as a replacement, and sits alongside existing efforts to optimize processes.

Capture processes first, then automate

Before diving into an RPA initiative, it’s vital to capture and analyze your existing processes, using automated process discovery tools and insights from process participants. Only once processes are modeled can you make informed decisions about where automation can best be deployed. Taking the time to capture processes also helps you build a data-backed business case for RPA, going beyond buzzword appeal.

Monitoring and measurement is critical to the continued success of your RPA initiative. A rogue robot can be even more destructive than a rogue employee, so RPA leaders must ensure robots are operating as intended and following the rules they’ve been given. It’s also important to keep close tabs on where RPA has proven successful, so you can scale to other processes with improvement potential.

An enterprise-wide approach

Looking at RPA as an “add-on” to existing systems and processes can yield short-term gains, but this approach isn’t sustainable. Organizations should instead take an enterprise view of RPA to maximize the technology’s impact. The quickest, easiest implementation of the cheapest robots available is unlikely to lead to long-term improvements, but an enterprise approach can fuel a shift in your organization’s mindset towards process improvement. That’s how true transformation occurs.

This enterprise approach represents a better way to take advantage of the power of RPA. Instead of short-term tactical gains, enterprise RPA means concentrating on optimizing processes first, and introducing automation second. In other words, an enterprise approach makes sure you are addressing the right problems, not just doing the wrong things, faster.

Scaling up

Even with a strong understanding of purpose, many RPA solutions remain stuck at the project level, and have yet to make the leap to enterprise-wide operation. The solution is fundamentally the same as introducing RPA at all: Think deeply about where and when to apply RPA best, to gain the greatest reward for your organization. It is also worth considering strategic partnerships, both internal and external, that may smooth the way for greater use of RPA technology.

Helping organizations building an RPA workforce on an enterprise-wide scale lies at the very heart of the Signavio Business Transformation Suite. The Suite serves as the foundation for effective enterprise-level RPA, by helping to:

  • Analyze business processes to identify opportunities for automation
  • Optimize existing processes in preparation for RPA implementation
  • Monitor RPA solutions to ensure they are working as expected

As the necessary precursor to successful enterprise level RPA, the Signavio Business Transformation Suite supports organizations to gain competitive advantage, increase operational efficiency, and improve employee productivity.