In the world of the intelligent enterprise, robotic process automation (RPA) is sometimes regarded as a base-level activity. It doesn’t have the same cachet as artificial intelligence or as Big Data analysis.
But it’s often the processes at this level that can make the biggest difference. Think, for instance, of all the high-level functions your smartphone can perform – and then of the things for which you use it the most.
Benefits of reusability
Robotic process automation can deliver significant advantages to any enterprise – and what makes it even more attractive is reusability. Libraries of RPA tools and components can mean organizations can develop and implement apps faster, introduce standardization, benefit from best practice, and achieve better ROI.
Well-known creators of automation libraries are facilitating this trend, with modular ecosystems of open source tools and processes. It means that RPA developers can explore existing solutions and contribute their own; that Center of Excellence leaders can reduce development time with off-the-peg elements; and that organizations in general can adapt and develop solutions that are tailored to the needs of horizontal functions or of their specific vertical sectors.
Those needs are timely, particularly in sector terms. Research conducted last year by the Capgemini Research Institute found that, while automation is being implemented at scale by 25% of organizations in the automotive sector, other industries are faring less well, with retail and utilities, for example, reporting levels of 15% and 14% respectively.
Integrating reusability into a global model
At Capgemini, we’ve been building portfolios of reusable tools for several years now, and we’ve ensured automation is a key element of our Digital Global Enterprise Model (D-GEM). We work closely with our clients to address key questions, including:
- Which tools are best at doing what?
- Are we leveraging the full potential of tools and automation?
- Which technologies should we own, and which should we buy as-a-service?
- How do we future-proof our technology choices?
When we bring together D-GEM best practice with reusable open-source components from leading RPA library creators, we can pool our knowledge and expertise so as to deliver the best possible benefits to organizations, in the fastest possible time, and at considerable scale.
Process flowcharts can be examined and interpreted, and individual task bots can be edited and repurposed. For example, a purchase-to-pay (P2P) bot created by a client organization – or indeed by a third party – can be taken and tweaked for use in different lines of business, or in entirely different operating companies within the enterprise. With these RPA tools re-used across functions, Capgemini methodologies that sit within D-GEM, including our ESOAR approach (Eliminate, Standardize, Optimize, Automate, Robotize) can be applied across the entire process flow, so as to ensure streamlined consistency of performance.
Augmenting the workforce
The result of all this is what is often termed an augmented workforce: it’s as though we have replaced people’s hand-tools with a moving production line, enabling them to stand back from repetitive effort, and to contribute in ways that simply weren’t possible before.
People appreciate the ability to add value in this way. They welcome the benefits automation can bring to themselves, as much as to the business. They feel empowered, not least because new generations of team members have very high expectations about technology in the workplace. It’s worth noting that by 2025, three-quarters of the workforce will be Millennials. These are people who are not only digitally savvy, but digitally demanding. As many as 42% of them say they’re likely to quit a job if the employer has substandard technology. And even among older workers, technology can create the engagement that drives productivity and job satisfaction higher.
That’s why it’s so important to us at Capgemini that we continue to work closely with key RPA developers and providers, and to ensure that the tools they develop are not only integral to the comprehensive enterprise models we create, but that their technologies can be re-used beneficially and at scale.
These automation components are anything but humble. For businesses, team members, and customers alike, they are the bedrock on which the intelligent enterprise is built.
Robert Kennedy will host a panel session at the UiPath Forward event on October 15 entitled “Supercharge Your Augmented Workforce with Popular Go!” which focuses on reusability and automation democratization with UiPath Go!
To learn more about how Capgemini’s Intelligent Process Automation offering can stimulate the erosion of organizational silos around your front, middle and back-office processes, resulting in the emergence of a new, borderless, highly automated client-centric organization, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
 Capgemini Research Institute, Automation Use Case Survey; 2018