The RPA business agility paradox
Implementing a Robotics solution will have more impact on your IT and your ability to adapt to new business requirements than you might expect.
This article will tell you the consequences of implementing an RPA solution that the process consultants and RPA experts are not interested in letting you know.
The thing is this. Robotics is smart. It can let you automate your workflows and processes in new ways. This can save a lot of manual and time-consuming tasks. So there are real financial and business value gains for your business.
However, you also pay a price that might be hitten for many in the short run.
It has to do with an area that might seem boring and abstract to many, but the consequences can be substantial for your business.
The problem is your IT architecture. Implementing Robotics is counterproductive for your business in two core areas. To understand why we must first dig into how RPA works.
When you implement an RPA solution, then you are actually building a new IT layer on top of your existing enterprise system. This layer is what makes the systems talk to each other. It is the intelligence of this layer that is the core of your RPA solution.
But it means that you end up with systems that are connected in ways that were not intended for a design perspective for each of the underlying systems. This has a series of consequences for your it and business:
The integrations make it much more expensive to replace each of your current IT systems because an easy new system must then have new robotics integration build in as part of the implementation process.
This means that you will end up using, for example, your end of lifecycle system long before you replace them. So your business would have to use an old and outdated CRM system longer because it becomes much more expensive to replace it.
Also, your IT system is not a fixed entity of systems and features. Each system gets updates, and such updates might not match with how your robotics system works. So updating your IT systems becomes more troublesome because you have to validate that your Robotics can handle any new IT update; you need to test and develop all changes from an RPA perspective too.
Finally, the use of RPA also means that you have to evaluate new business tools in RPA content. You might have shortlisted tools that you would have chosen that works poorly with your RPA tool. So RPA integration becomes a parameter that can determine with system you choose. And the consequence of this could be that you end up choosing a tool that is not your first choice from a business feature perspective because they integrate well with your RPA solution.
And this is the paradox with Robotics. In a way, it is a new way of making your business more digital; you can do more and faster. On the other side, the consequence is a new set of limitations on your business could be run.