Reach the RPA summit with a People1st approach
Blog 22/05/2019

New Everest Group whitepaper outlines why a ‘hybrid’ approach can ensure successful automation initiatives

With robotic process automation (RPA) recognised as a key transformational technology, Softomotive’s People1st approach is enabling the people in organisations to identify and activate new automation opportunities. The key questions are: should these people-centric initiatives adopt a top-down approach, or be led ground-up by workers themselves? Or should it be a combination of the two to get the best of both worlds—i.e. a ‘hybrid’ approach?

These fundamental questions are explored in detail in a soon-to-be-published viewpoint from Everest Group and a forthcoming Softomotive webinar featuring Sarah Burnett, Executive Vice President and Distinguished Analyst, Everest Group.

Everest Group recognises that, as global markets become more competitive, organisations who want to adopt RPA often find themselves stuck at base camp, with a mountain to climb. The addition of a ground-up option to deploy RPA instead of, or in addition to, a traditional top-down approach introduces more choice to companies planning their journey. Taking a People1st approach can enable them to scale the RPA peaks, optimising business processes, enhancing quality and improving employee and customer satisfaction.

Planning the ascent

Everest Group pinpoints four phases common to most RPA initiatives: planning, piloting, scaling up and achieving a final steady state. In many cases, organisations race through the planning stage, launch a series of pilots to validate the business case—and then hit a dead end. As its research says, “organisations are still grappling with multiple challenges that are inhibiting them from scaling up RPA at the enterprise level.”

Businesses often fail to establish a robust RPA strategy and roadmap, which results in a lack of pipeline for automation projects. That’s why it is often difficult to take the next step and establish a true enterprise-wide automation culture.

So, what is the best approach?

Deciding which route to take

Everest Group looked at two different strategies for ensuring the success of RPA initiatives:

  • A top-down approach is driven by senior management from a central point of control. This can solve enterprise deployment issues, but the risks are often higher. You will need to invest heavily in skills and technology to set up an RPA Centre of Excellence, for example, and it may be difficult to build a pipeline of practical automation projects if RPA experts are not embedded in the business. Managing change is also much more challenging, with employees concerned about their jobs.
  • A ground-up approach empowers individual employees to drive automation themselves—it’s the effective democratisation of RPA. This approach reduces the need for up-front investment and encourages employee engagement, making change management easier. But it can also be challenging to share or reuse automation resources or assets.

Hybrid delivers ‘best of both worlds’

While both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses, and may be more or less suited to particular types of organisations, Everest Group argues convincingly that a ‘hybrid’ approach—somewhere on the spectrum between top-down and ground-up approaches—is arguably the ultimate RPA operating model.

Of course, the right strategy depends on a number of factors, including an organisation’s corporate structure, culture and technology maturity. But this hybrid model can provide ‘the best of both worlds’. Engaged employees are empowered to identify new automation opportunities and build tools that make their day-to-day tasks easier, while the Centre of Excellence takes responsibility for standardising, operationalising and deploying the best ideas into enterprise-scale production.

In other words, it’s a win-win.

Reach the summit

To find out how your organisation can reach the summit in your RPA initiatives, Softomotive is hosting an exclusive webinar featuring Everest Group on Wednesday, May 29, 2019—click here to book your place or listen to the playback if you can’t join us on the day.

To learn more about how the Softomotive People1st approach can guide you to a successful RPA strategy, download one of our guides today: