RPA – Are you asking the right questions?

RPA and cognitive robotics are no longer buzzwords. They are real-life game-changers that are either being actively deployed in your organisation to strip cost and improve efficiency, or they are moving your competition ahead.

If you are a CEO / CIO, here are 4 questions you should be asking.

How does RPA impact our people policy? In the new world of work many roles in your organisation will be played by bots rather than living breathing people. Not only does that mean a 24x7x365 workforce that never needs to take a break, it also means you will recruit, train, manage and dismiss workers differently. Do you have a handle on the roles that will move to bots, and the type of humans who will be needed to drive a successful RPA play?….and is your HR positioned to deal with the people impact of that transition?

Are IT and HR working closely together enough as their worlds collide? When your workforce is largely electronic who is accountable for hiring, and then managing Digital Workers? Are you equipping your current managers to become future fit or, at the very least…not to be future fearful? What steps are you taking to migrate your workers between these two worlds? The next wave of creative destruction[1] is upon us and you need to understand the roles that will emerge as Digital Workers take over much of what people are currently doing.

How will this affect the business model and asset sheet? In the future your business will be less about bricks and mortar and more about digital infrastructure. Your channels to market will extend to chatbots and robo-advisors, already capable of opening a new account in under 3 minutes for banks.

Instead of mining gold or oil we now need to understand how to mine our data. The ease of integrating different sources of data as well as systems will open up new avenues of opportunity  including extending the life of some legacy systems.

The nature of spend on people, process and platforms is about to change dramatically with investment in IT scaled up as the salary bill shrinks.

How can AI/RPA tangibly differentiate our business? Over and above simple cost reduction, where are the opportunities to deploy Digital Workers to your advantage? Bots are well positioned to improve customer retention, constantly scanning social media to detect complaints and enable immediate response. There may be entirely new value propositions that emerge from breaking the constraints associated with human workers – like the need for shifts, or holidays….or transport.

Robo-workers open up Innovative sales channels, as salespeople who can identify prospective clients and then sell and onboard end-end : No more fights between your Front and Back end teams!

RPA is about to rock your world.

Are you ready?

[1] Schumpeter describes creative destruction as the “process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.”