Do We Really Want to Automate the Junk Too?

By Joe Labbe on September 18, 2019

One of the most appealing parts of our RPA pitch is how RPA can be used to automate processes “as they currently exist.” Meaning that RPA can automate any process without requiring modifications to the process itself, changes to the participating applications, or involvement of the applications’ vendors. The bottom line is that RPA is an unobtrusive collection of technologies that can automate virtually any existing process, warts and all.

However, this does not mean that organizations should automate a process, warts and all. Sure, there are some cases where, for whatever reason, a process cannot be changed. But we believe that most customers should use the implementation of an RPA solution as an opportunity to weed out process inefficiencies—not paper over them.

If RPA bots can perform your organization’s tasks more quickly and accurately, does it matter if the processes are a bit inefficient? Maybe not. But we won’t know how costly those inefficiencies are until we know what they are and why they’re there. In other words, to understand these trade-offs, it’s important to take time to understand the process within the business context.

As a software company, it would be easy for us to skimp on that part of the process and get to the fun part—otherwise known as creating the automations. Sure, projects would come to a close faster if we just did what the customer asks instead of finding out what they really need. But would we be serving our customers best by giving them that way out? Although we are first and foremost a content management solution provider and not a process improvement consultant, we’re exposed to many organizations across varying industries. We serve our customers best by bringing that unique experience to the project along with RPA’s automation capabilities.

So, while RPA’s unobtrusive nature remains a central part of the RPA pitch, it’s important for us to emphasize the opportunities that implementing an RPA solution presents: opportunities to re-examine the business process within context, question all existing assumptions, and minimize automating the junk.

About KnowledgeLake:

KnowledgeLake provides content management solutions that help busy organizations intelligently automate their most important document processes. Since 1999, we've created award-winning, Microsoft-centric solutions that have helped thousands of companies around the world focus on their mission rather than their mission-critical documents.

 

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