In this blog series we have been looking at Getting Started with Robotic Process Automation (RPA).  It’s written mostly for those BPOs who have heard about process automation software, maybe even seen a demo or presentation that caught their imagination, but are struggling at finding the best way to introduce RPA into their organization.

If you missed part one of the series, Robotic Process Automation: BPO Game Changer or Latest Shiny Object?, it considers the potential impact for back office automation through the eyes of outsourcing experts such as NelsonHall, K&L Gates, and KPMG/HfS.

In our second post, Identifying the Best BPO Processes for Robotic Automation, we take a close look at the HfS Research report, Framing a Constitution for Robotistan, by Charles Sutherland, SVP of BPO Strategies, specifically section four: Applicability to Horizontal Processes.

This last post in the series looks at section six of that same report, specifically the Service Provider recommendations.  One point Charles makes throughout this document is that the trend towards digital labor and back office process automation has tremendous implications for the entire outsourcing marketplace, including clients/buyers, advisors and service providers.  For those committing to get in front of the curve, following are the robotic process automation success principles specific to the outsourcers.

1. Be open to the full spectrum of possible applications for this technology, not just looking at it as low-cost labor replacement.  Robotic automation can improve the workload and value of your “higher-end” roles as well.

2. Engage IT and client teams early.  Robotic automation may require they adapt their mindsets to see this as value creation and not a threat.

3. Have a robotic automation investment strategy that encourages pilots and invests in training the teams necessary to build, deploy and support the solutions.

4. Educate everyone internally who will be impacted by robotic automation on both your approach and how you see it differentiating your organization.

5. Be critical in where you chose to deploy robotic automation based on where you believe it can generate the most value.  Look at new opportunities, existing contracts, re-competes.

6. Expect that you may soon experience more client demand for robotic automation pilots than you can serve while trained resources in this technology remain in short supply.

7. Set robotic automation expectations for your solution architects as they view new opportunities but also make sure they are pragmatic while early in the organization’s learning curve.

8. Data sets from robotic automation deployments should be included in your data models supporting your analytical capabilities.

9. Work with HR to plan for different adoption scenarios of robotic automation and their impact on current and future headcount.  Make sure you have the ability to manage the increased availability of certain skill sets as the benefits of robotic automation take effect.

10. Realize widespread adoption of robotic automation could significantly change the culture of your organization.  Automating the mundane means you must decide where you want your people to excel in a future world and what implications that has on your client’s retained organization.BPOs will be wise to recognize that even if they chose to ignore RPA, the market likely will not.