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Partnering with IT to Set RPA/AI Priorities and Improve Outcomes

Introduction

Is your IT Group helping or “getting in the way” when it comes to considering, and then exploiting, new technologies that can be implemented with little or no involvement or help from IT?  If your pilot shows promise, how do you set priorities for the hundreds of possible uses from Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?  While most RPA implementations will include external support to assist with getting started, quickly tapping into the wealth of the “more than just coding” skills of your IT Group can increase the likelihood of success and result in a faster transition from expensive external experts to a highly skilled RPA Center of Excellence, that likely includes both process and technology focused resources.

Company Experience

During a recent Peeriosity PeercastTM, a global company with $25B in annual revenue discussed their approach to partner with IT to set priorities and improve outcomes for RPA projects.  The company created a new position, Director of Automation, and staffed the position with a senior IT professional with deep knowledge of the underlying work processes.   

During the RPA Initiation and Planning phases, IT was involved:

  • Aligning priorities and establishing a budget
  • Identifying and selecting a Project Manager
  • Engaging internal partners early in the process (from IT, Change Enablement, etc.)
  • Include all relevant IT functions (Networking, End-User Computing, Infrastructure & Architecture, Identity and Access, IT Security)

With continued involvement during the Execution and Deployment phase:

  • Defining and communicating roles and responsibilities
  • Developing ongoing communications
  • Creating an IT project (with funding and resources assigned) to account for system requirements
  • Providing adequate time for testing

The company currently has 10 robots in production, with plans to ramp up and expand what has been viewed as a successful implementation.

iPollingTM Results Review

The results of a supporting Peeriosity poll created using the iPollingTM technology provides additional insight by considering the structure of RPA/AI implementation leadership for Shared Services related processes.  For member companies who have implemented, 56% report that RPA projects are led by the function (Finance, HR, etc.), with support from IT subject matter experts (SMEs), and an additional 27% report that RPA projects are led by the function with limited IT involvement.  At 11% of member companies who have implemented, the projects were IT led with support from functional SMEs, and the remaining 6% report that the projects were primarily led by external resources.  Here are the details:

The next important consideration is the makeup of project resources for RPA/AI implementations.  Just 6% report that only internal resources are used, with an additional 18% indicating that primarily internal resources are utilized.  Most companies, at 76%, indicate that resources used come from a mix of internal and external sources.

Here are a couple of the comments from Peeriosity members:

  • For Robotic Process Automation, IT supports and takes care of the infrastructure, and the functional areas are responsible for everything else.
  • RPA is led by the Shared Service organization, with IT strongly supporting on the technical side. External support is currently being used, but will be faded out after ramp up and training of our internal Center of Excellence (by the end of 2017).

Closing Summary

RPA and Artificial Intelligence solutions represent the latest advance for cost effective, easy to implement solutions that are quickly changing the landscape for how repetitive administrative work gets done.  While the best implementations are likely to have significant leadership from process experts, there remains an important role that IT can play in the design and implementation of these new tools and solutions.  The companies who get the greatest benefit will create ways to successfully partner with IT to include their insights and skills during all project phases.

Where is your company with regards to implementing RPA and Artificial Intelligence technologies?  What is your approach to including external resources to help you get started, or to expand?  How effectively have you included the talents of your IT organization to ensure optimal outcomes? 

Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?

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“PeercastsTM” are private, professionally facilitated webcasts that feature leading member company experiences on specific topics as a catalyst for broader discussion.  Access is available exclusively to Peeriosity member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from attending or accessing discussion content.  Members can see who is registered to attend in advance, with discussion recordings, supporting polls, and presentation materials online and available whenever convenient for the member.  Using Peeriosity’s integrated email system, Peer MailTM, attendees can easily communicate at any time with other attending peers by selecting them from the list of registered attendees. 

“iPollingTM” is available exclusively to Peeriosity member company employees, with consultants or vendors prohibited from participating or accessing content. Members have full visibility to all respondents and their comments. Using Peeriosity’s integrated email system, Peer MailTM, members can easily communicate at any time with others who participated in iPolling.

Peeriosity members are invited to log into www.peeriosity.com to join the discussion and connect with Peers.   Membership is for practitioners only, with no consultants or vendors permitted.  To learn more about Peeriosity, click here



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