Allied Irish Banks adapts to ensure RPA data complies with new EU regulations
Lorraine Duffy, Head of Process Improvement at Allied Irish Banks and key speaker at Robotic Process Automation & AI Week in London November 27-29 explains how the Allied Irish Bank is ensuring that RPA data is compliant with new EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that are coming into force next year.
Could you provide tips for businesses at the start of their RPA journey?
It’s really important to know the processes that you want to automate and why. Research and guidelines will say: Just start small, practice and learn and go. I agree with that. Pick one or two processes and develop, don’t worry too much about your return on investment. Understand what this means and what you’re going to have to do; how different is this from other typical solutions I’ve put in?
I would say, really set your ambition ambitiously. So have a detailed plan and manage or track how fast you’re going because it can move fast.
Always keep looking to where you said you were going to go. Keep looking back and forward at the same time because you can get lost; you can identify a process that you think is absolutely perfect for automation and start your design in your usual stages but then things start to go different to expected. The scope was not as straightforward as you thought and you could waste time. Constantly ask yourself what you’re doing.
When working with robotics, you really need to think about your operating model. What are your center roles and responsibilities going to be? Are you going to be fully centralized? Are you going to be a hybrid? What is the whole model going to look like?
You need detailed roles and responsibilities. You need to really think about structure. Even thought it’s agile, you do need a robust framework around what you’re doing but you don’t need it in place the minute you start. You have to grow this as you mature along the journey.
I think the other thing that surprises me is the skills are not as complicated as I was led to believe when we began this journey. Yes, developer skills are different but they are not dissimilar than your traditional lean and analysis skills. It’s just the methodology that is slightly different. So don’t be afraid go ahead and build it in house. Also, be prepared for people to move because the market is hot.
Given new EU General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that are due to come in to force next year, have you ensured the business is compliant when capturing RPA data?
Allied Irish Banks (AIB) has a GDPR program and I’m familiar with the concept and the rules around the new regulation. If we can orchestrate a service and provide evidence of what we have done and where that service is on its journey, in my opinion we’re complying with GDPR. So anything we do, we are able to track and trace data. If you follow the standard guidelines, I don’t see robotics being a disruptor to that.
What is the next step in the bank’s RPA / AI journey and how are you going to develop what you’ve achieved so far?
I think it’s optimizing what we have achieved. I mentioned looking at it from the customer journey, the service journey, and making sure processes are being done at speed for the right reasons. We’re looking to join logical processes more closely. We’re not just throwing more technology and shiny toys on things. We’re actually looking at it from the eyes of the customer.
My team will also be focusing on the concept of robotic hubs. I’ve created a few automations around the reporting and reconciliation space, now I’m looking at where else I have these scenarios existing in my business? Are they built around products and technology solutions? How can I theme all of those processes together and use robotics and other tools to reuse the capability? There’s a lot of investment in creating test versions of production systems. For me, I want to fast track the investment that I’ve put up front.
So for me, reusing the automations I’ve already created is the solution. So far I’ve had a positive RPA experience. The speed of it and the agility that it provides is wonderful.
What will you be discussing at RPA & AI Week?
I’m going to take the audience on a journey of where we started, who we are and the path we’ve been on over the last three years. I will discuss traditional/transformational type tooling, process, people and technology, how we looked at creating data insights from the customer back through to operations and how, from that data, I was able to create different treatment strategies of activities that were non customer value add. I will also discuss typical RPA model deployments and key lessons learned.
Lorraine Duffy is a key speaker at this year’s Robotic Process Automation & AI Week in London, 27-29 November. Duffy will explain how to use turnkey data models to predict where the business is going and data analytics for proactive decision-making. She will share capabilities for managing strategic change, Business As Usual operations and a complex technology footprint.
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