Super magical technologies are swiftly operating our businesses seamlessly. Intelligent agents are autonomously performing the workloads of thousands at a fraction of the costs and a fragment of the time. Insights are mined from live operational data streams at a glimpse. And our enterprises' agility is being fuelled and mastered by fast substantial and particular decisions. That's one story.
Widespread doom and dismay. Disruptive levels of change to the workplace. Loss of core business know-how. Security threats. Data loss. Unauthorised robot access and control. Exacerbated operational inefficiencies. And robots taking over. In short, That's another story.
Fact is, if you're keeping up with the latest and greatest in robotic process wizardry, you might as well consider all the above as true and, if not here yet, then just around the corner from where we stand.
The first story is somewhat true. RPA is phenomenal in what it brings to the enterprise. And yes, as with any technology of this substance, RPA ushers benefits to be realised and efficiencies to be achieved. Software robots simply report a level of detail which, at scale, amounts to a live operating data stream. Now, what businesses learn and achieve with this new insight is entirely another story.
The second story is also somewhat true. RPA raises new risks to be mitigated. At the technology level security threats to RPA may include unwarranted access to, change, or enaction of robotized business processes. While robots taking over remains a favourite for some, yet in reality is possibly just far fetched. At the business operating level, the risk of excarberating inefficiencies by automating them is very likely to be taking place just as you read this bit.
Furthermore, considering that RPA brushes upon a traditionally large OPEX (i.e. manual office work) with direct digitisation, it does have the potential of becoming a game changer for the respective industries. We'll have to be patient to see this effect coming to practice.
The State of RPA
Meanwhile, some pioneer adopters have proven their initial concepts. Reaped some early benefits. Developed their RPA strategies. And are progressing towards building their organisational capabilities for robotic process automation. While, other adopters may be running into what can be considered traditional hurdles to adopting Business Process Management (BPM) technologies, or any new phenomenal technologies for that matter. As RPA moves to the Trough, my guess would be that part of a second wave of adopters will somehow delve into a considerable amount of re-inventing the wheel and re-proving the same concepts, before reaching the state of readiness to build their organisational RPA capabilities.