Tips for companies at the start of their RPA journey!!

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PEX Network takes five minutes with Homan Haghighi, artificial intelligence and RPA evangelist at ISG (Information Services Group) to get his insight on how companies should start their RPA journey.

What advice do you give to those at the start of their RPA journey?

                                         SEE ALSO: Homan Haghighi on starting your RPA journey, industry challenges and AI

One of the first things is to understand your business and where you are. It’s a bit like a journey. When you are going on a journey; you want to go from here to somewhere. What do you do? You normally say, okay, where am I starting from? I get the map out and ask myself, where am I going? And then I perhaps draw a route to get there.

It’s a very similar sort of picture; you really need to understand where you are, where you want to get to, and draw that map. And that map, that journey, could be purely RPA or it could be other technologies along the way on the journey to help you get there.

So, understanding where you are, getting sponsorship, senior sponsorship behind you; but you then have that momentum when you get your business case signed off and ready to go, that you have the sponsorship within the organization, and you have the organization behind you to help move you along that journey is some of the key important things to consider.

What are the biggest challenges that the industry is facing with automation?

I think one of the biggest challenges is the unknown. A lot of people have started their RPA journey, or are about to start on the RPA journey but there aren’t that many people who’ve genuinely implemented that scale and by scale, I mean where they’ve got 1000, 1500, 2000 robots at scale, implemented and running. And so, people feel a little bit nervous that they’re stepping into the unknown because no-one else has got that.

We talk about clients who maybe implemented 100, 200, 300 robots, and they’ve got those up and running but no-one is at the thousand scale at all. So, people, especially the large corporates and enterprises are wondering is this actually achievable, how can we get there and what are the challenges? And really, we take them back and say actually the way to look at this; it’s very similar to any change programme.

There are a lot of similarities to a transformation programme that you might have within your organization, so there are certain key things that you’ve got to ensure are happening and are in place when you go along this journey. RPA just happens to be the technology that is the catalyst for making that change but nevertheless, a lot of the fundamentals that you’ve done in previous years, when you’ve transformed yourself from one thing to another over the last five, ten years those things still apply today.

Recently, Guy Kirkwood, chief evangelist at UI PATH, stated that AI is not real; what are your thoughts on this?

                                                           SEE ALSO: Q&A: “AI is not real,” says Guy Kirkwood

What he is saying and I absolutely agree with and I say this all the time; we get a lot of technology companies come to us or when we’re at events for our clients and  they come and present. And, as you’d expect like any other company the marketing hype is way ahead of reality and that’s what I think Guy Kirkwood was talking about.

Everyone talks about AI as if the software is there that replaces and works and thinks and learns like human beings absolutely not true. We are nowhere near there and when we actually talk to the technologies from these companies, they absolutely admit that, not in front of the cameras but behind the cameras, behind the scenes.

I’m 100 per cent with him and I’ve been saying this for years; we constantly keep getting software companies come and talk about how wonderful the hype is but we tend to then get down to the bottom of it, peel of the covers and get down to the bottom of what their product actually does, which is still very useful, very helpful and addresses business cases and thus has a place in helping organizations to transform and move forward but it’s just quite not matching the marketing.

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