12 August 2019

Automation Anywhere – the Digitally Enabled Workplace

Digital Transformation is one of the top corporate goals, but until comparatively recently it was very much a top-down phenomenon – with enabling automation technologies deployed centrally and permeating downwards to departmental and employee level.

Automation Anywhere is different – an RPA platform so intuitive and easy to use, that for the first time Digital Transformation can start at the employee level, its bottom-up deployment model creating a Digitally Enabled Workplace.

Download our Digitally Enabled Workplace White Paper here

The Vision

With Automation Anywhere, employees leverage automation technology themselves, divesting the repetitious rules-based elements of their work by creating digital co-workers in the form of software bots.

Thus they make their work more human, and are allowed to concentrate on tasks requiring essentially human attributes and skills like judgement, collaboration and decision-making.

The benefits are immediate - huge gains in employee productivity, satisfaction and efficiency, and huge reductions in human error and employee churn.

And who better to automate their tasks than those who know them best? But historically user autonomy has come with attendant drawbacks, which makes some companies understandably reluctant to embrace this deployment model.

The Barriers

Conventional wisdom, based on experience, has it that user autonomy sacrifices necessary central governance and control – with potentially catastrophic variance from corporate best practice, standards and quality control and the rise of unsupported/maintained, corrupt or malicious code.

On the other hand, experience has also shown that central control - while deemed comfortingly less risky – comes at the price of slower delivery and a greater potential mismatch between what’s eventually delivered and what the users wanted.

In addition, Digital Enablement impacts on multiple constituencies inside the company, typically including:

  • The Employees themselves
  • The Chief Control Officer – or other C level with accountability for managing risk
  • The Process Owners
  • The Application Owners

…and each of them has their own set of requirements, some of them conflicting…

Employees want more productivity, personal development and stimulation and less repetitious drudgery.

The Chief Control Officer very simply wants less operational risk by eliminating the automation of inefficient or incorrect processes.

The Process Owners want to reduce the cost of process automation and thus improve their processes / services / products for less investment.

The Application Owners want transparency – seeing which employee bots use which of their applications and when and how, plus keeping the apps patched, bug-free, up to date and available.

Digital Enablement Checklist

Putting all these collective needs together creates a list of requirements – a checklist which a solution must satisfy to be a true, viable means of Digital Enablement:

  • End-user autonomy without loss of control
  • Control without slow, inaccurate automation delivery
  • Increased employee productivity, development and satisfaction
  • No incremental operational risk
  • Reduced cost of process automation
  • Transparency and freedom to update apps as needed

The Checklist Delivered

The intuitive functionality of the Automation Anywhere platform gives the employees the autonomy they need. Delivering this in the context of the correct deployment methodology delivers the requirements of the other constituents.

We first assist the customer to identify their strategic candidate processes for automation. Then, using our Process Optimization methodology we help triage these processes into those suitable for immediate automation and those requiring improvement using tools like Lean Sigma.

Employees are trained in the use of Automation Anywhere, and if necessary, in the associated use of Lean Sigma, with the goal of allowing them to automate what should be automated and improve what should be improved.

Employees are also encouraged to be creative, identifying valuable potential new processes which have hitherto been impractical – for example too intensive of manual labour – but which become viable courtesy of Automation Anywhere.

By this means the Chief Control Officer’s requirements for preventing automation of inefficient or incorrect processes are met.

Autonomy with control is a function of the Center of Excellence (CoE) – a critical deliverable and building block of the Extra Technology deployment methodology. The goal is business-led but technology-guided, with the CoE creating and enforcing best practice guidelines inside which the employees must work when developing their digital co-workers, and a filter through which all bots must pass before becoming operational.

The CoE does not have to be a dedicated fulltime team; in smaller organisations we find it is often better to make it part time or outsourced partially or wholly to Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) like ourselves.

The CoE gives autonomy with control, reduced cost of automation (by enabling end-user automation), and transparency and freedom for the application owners.

Summary – the vision made reality

Digital Transformation in the form of the Digitally Enabled Workplace delivers immediate benefits, allowing organizations to innovate and reinvent themselves more rapidly by making beneficial change happen more swiftly and accurately. It also reduces employee churn by increasing employee job satisfaction and personal development.

Automation Anywhere is a tool that can empower every employee to automate their repetitive rules-based work within a globally sustainable and governed system.

However, as wonderful a tool as Automation Anywhere is, it’s the knowledge of how best to employ it which lifts it to its greatest beneficial potential.

By delivering Automation Anywhere with the right deployment methodology, adding the process improvement power of Lean Sigma and providing the guidance and governance of the right CoE, a self-sustaining Digital Ecosystem is created, one with virtually unlimited capabilities.

Go be Greater!

Mark Mannion

Mark Mannion is Extra Technology’s CEO and a recognised expert in the field of Intelligent Automation, including Robotic Process Automation, Workload Automation and Advanced Analytics. Mark advocates a pragmatic approach to Automation, encouraging a policy of using ‘the best tool for the job’.

Prior to co-founding Extra Technology, Mark worked in Senior Automation roles, architecting and delivering robust, scalable solutions for many of the world’s biggest banks and working with leading Automation vendors. He developed his first automated solution in 1992 and has continued to deliver robust, scalable and sophisticated Automation ever since.

Mark is a regular guest speaker and panellist at Automation seminars, conferences and user group events.

Adrian Woffendon

Adrian Woffendon is one of our Chief Architects and an RPA Practice Manager.

Adrian is an Automation technology veteran with a history of delivering sophisticated solutions in the Energy, Pharmaceutical, Biotech and Banking Sectors.

Adrian has extensive experience with Robotic Processing Automation and is certified to the highest level in Automation Anywhere Enterprise RPA. This means he is often the consultant architect working alongside customers to craft their Automation Anywhere implementation strategy.

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