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The Raw Truth About RPA Needs to Meet the Functional Reality of RSO

If you haven’t read it already, check out Tom Reuner’s The Raw Truth About RPA, which delivers a much needed reality check amongst the multitude of survey findings we’re fed daily that claim that RPA is the Holy Grail.

While enthusiasm for automation in service delivery as part of digital transformation programmes continues to gain momentum, it’s safe to say that when experts actually listen to what companies invested in RPA have to say, the feedback doesn’t live up to the early days aspiration surrounding automation.

His article features some compelling statistics, not least of all the measly 3% of companies who answered ‘Our expectations were fully achieved when asked ‘Buyers, how satisfied are you with your RPA projects?’ and the buyer who admitted You don't buy RPA, AI or Blockchain, you buy an outcome, yet providers’ organisational issues are pulling us back to technology.’

Or lastly, and most importantly, the buyer who said it best: 'AI is nothing you take off the shelf, it is a disparate set of capabilities, it is about orchestration, ecosystem, data.’ 

You see, most of the problems cited throughout the findings can be directly routed back to lack of orchestration. Buyers claimed ‘we didn’t anticipate the impact on adjacent processes and workflows,’ or simply ‘we bought the wrong product – both strong statements about how a lack of service orchestration can negatively impact a project.

But RPA needn’t be tagged ‘buyer beware.’ Smart businesses are turning to Robotic Service Orchestration (RSO) as an answer to its many complexities. It is a new technology specifically designed to address the challenges of automation at scale.

Robotic Service Orchestration (RSO) platforms are helping businesses to understand where their complexities lie, as well as the exact scale of those complexities. By visibly breaking down processes ‘brick by brick,’ RSO platforms are helping companies to understand exactly what will be involved in a proposed automation initiative, and whether it will deliver more value than the total sum of its working parts.

In addition, because RSO gives you an end-to-end view of how your human and digital workforces interact within your IT landscape, you can run staging tests to see how new technologies will affect service delivery as they are introduced. It’s about giving you the confidence to move past what is actually possible to what is not only immediately achievable, but also extremely valuable for your business in the long term.

Interestingly, RSO aligns perfectly with much of the sentiment surrounding RPA deployments that were identified at the HfS’ Summit in Chicago, specially:

I wish: We could get agiler. That is experiment faster, leverage bot libraries; furthermore, that we had reusable business knowledge, central business rules engines

If a business-critical service level is being missed, RSO makes it easy to investigate the processes that go into making up that service. Using RSO, a service manager can gradually change the blend of human and digital resources dedicated to the service to assess whether this improves the situation over time, switching humans for bots, or vice versa.

Reuner sums it up with what we feel is a very valid point: Bottom-line: RPA needs to support outcomes through orchestration of disparate sets of technology and data.

We couldn’t agree more. In the race to realise value from automation, many companies are turning to RSO to act as the foundation for their digital journeys, allowing them to line up robotics, service excellence and IT organisations with a single information stream and toolset.

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Kit Cox, Enate CEO