How to Achieve the Full Potential of RPA

By: Stine Høiberg Rasmussen

Independent Consultant and Intelligent Automation Nordics advisory board member, Stine Høiberg Rasmussen, joined us to speak about RPA from her point of view, touching upon its current state, the challenges the tool currently faces and how these challenges can be resolved in the future. Originally educated in the Financial Services Industry, Stine has since been working with IT, business processes and has been trying to improve the ways of working for employees across an array of industries. For the past three years, she has been educating both herself and the companies she works with on leveraging the potentials of tools like RPA.

“When I came across RPA four years ago while working at Accenture, it was like everything I had always been looking for in technology; simple, approachable and able to deliver incremental results very fast. I just had to move into that domain.”
Stine Høiberg Rasmussen

How is RPA impacting classic automation at the moment?

“It’s having a huge impact on classic automation, but we have only seen the tip of the iceberg. There are many discussions about transformation enabled by RPA - but we are failing to see big transformations where it’s more than just a proof of concept, a pilot or the establishment of a robotics team. We need to see more organizations being completely transformed, including changing the way they look at processes, organize themselves and consider new resources within the business.There is a lot more change to come in the future.

What changes do you think we will see in the future?

“A lot of people who have been working with RPA from the beginning are noticing that they don’t necessarily see as much value from RPA tools as they were expecting. My observation is that this might be caused by organizations neglecting to change all other aspects of the business surrounding the robots. In order to see the full benefits of RPA, we’ll have to accept that we also have to change the core of organizations. This is especially important looking into Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and bots in the future. I think we will see this change in the very near future and some of the right steps are already being taken.”

To what extent is RPA in its current form compatible with other IA tools?

“Robotics is 100 percent compatible with tools like Business Process Mapping (BPM) etc. Using RPA enables organizations to do things that they were not able to do beforehand because of cost, resources and other obstacles. Now, organizations can be creative when solving a problem. The magic with these tools happens when you combine them. To solve a problem you need to figure out which tool is the best fit, it may even be a combination. It’s important for organizations to remember that RPA is only one tool out of many in the toolbox.”

“Taking RPA to the next level, organisations need to do more than just start a robotics team - the team can’t solve all the problems on their own.” 
Stine Høiberg Rasmussen

What challenges have you encountered when implementing technologies such as RPA?

“I typically encounter three types of challenges, people, process and technology centered challenges. In the technical sphere these problems have been minimal in relation to RPA and were easily fixed. With process problems, I’ve seen that the process landscape is just not mature enough to be able to do robotics on an as-is process. What some organizations tend to overlook is that there is a lot of optimization work to be done before you can begin automating. This was not something I was aware of when I started working in this field, it’s very important for organizations to see automation and optimization as two different disciplines. The last challenge is the people. Organizations need to ensure they don’t neglect the change process in implementing technologies like RPA. Having people on board is the main reason for success or failure.” 

In what ways is the Nordic region limited when developing more advanced cognitive capabilities?

“We aren’t limited in any particular way that’s related to how things are run in the Nordics. The biggest limitations I see are the issues of governance structure and ability to implement the tools within an organisation. Having the necessary support from management teams is imperative and lacking that support will lead to unfulfilled potentials.”

As both a member of the Advisory Board and speaker at Intelligent Automation Nordics 2019, Stine Høiberg Rasmussen will be furthering her discussions of RPA challenges and how organizations can work to leverage potentials at the event. To learn more about Intelligent Automation Nordics 2019, download the event guide here. 

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