For many organizations, the promise-land of automation hasn't delivered the level of cost reduction, efficiency, and quality that was expected. One of the biggest culprits for the underwhelming returns is heavy RPA (robotic process automation) downtime that simply leaves money on the table. When bots need maintenance or break, any gains on efficiency translated to dollars saved comes to a standstill. A big reason enterprises are struggling with RPA downtime is because they haven't established an RPA Center of Excellence (CoE) and, instead, have created islands of automation, setting themselves up for failure.
What are Islands of Automation?
Islands of automation – or automation silos, as they're also known – refer to disconnected, independent automation initiatives within the same organization. A common example is where different lines of business in the same company start and manage their automation initiatives without any form of centralized governance, knowledge sharing, or collaboration.
For example, the Finance department has implemented RPA to automated various finance-related repetitive tasks and processes, but so has Human Resources (HR), who are independently automating their department-specific processes. They don't communicate with each other but instead tackle automation alone with different identification, prioritization, planning, and development strategies – essentially creating two islands of automation in the same body of water.
The Consequences of Islands of Automation?
Islands of Automation produce several damaging business effects. The most impactful is the lack of quality. When you have two mirrored teams working on the same thing, they're not only acquiring the same knowledge at the same rate; they're also making the same mistakes. There's no knowledge sharing to accelerate iterative improvement. There's also no one establishing best practices that work towards and maintain a high level of quality that contributes to RPA uptime.
Without an RPA CoE, islands of automation are also hard to maintain. RPA projects, in general, are struggling to meet their objectives due to rising maintenance costs and RPA downtime. With RPA islands, downtime, maintenance, and errors are needlessly doubled.
Islands of automation are also costly. With multiple teams doing the same thing, you instantly double the cost of those full-time employees (FTEs). Sometimes, there are even two separate automation toolchains with multiple vendors providing the same service. Vendor costs are doubled when they could be consolidated and made more cost-effective.
How do RPA CoEs Eliminate Islands of Automation?
At their core, RPA Centers of Excellence (CoE) serve the basic purpose of harmonizing an organization's automation initiative to continually increase the quality of execution and deliver on the initiative's business objectives. It enables organizations to gather, assess, and manage the fundamental knowledge and capabilities needed to implement and scale RPA, but just as important, improve RPA uptime to maximize bot availability.
By establishing an RPA CoE, one centralized team owns, standardizes, governs, and drives automation across the organization; there are not multiple groups of disparate, disconnected teams that create redundancies and commit the same errors time and time again. Automation knowledge is centralized, best practices are established, and automation is iterative, so continuous improvement is real.
An effective RPA CoE is based on a model that shares ownership between the business and IT. Each function brings their necessary expertise and knowledge to the automation initiative. IT understands the technical limitations of RPA, and the business personas are the process experts, so bot outages from misunderstandings and oversights are mitigated.
How Blueprint Enables RPA CoEs and Removes Islands of Automation
The necessary enterprise infrastructure is key to eliminate islands of automation and adequately set up RPA CoEs for success. RPA CoE members need the right tools that enable enterprise-wide collaboration to scale and evangelize automation across the organization.
Blueprint's Enterprise Automation Suite is the only solution on the market that is purpose-built for RPA CoEs. It brings all stakeholders into one collaborative platform to design, plan, govern, and communicate automation work at an enterprise-scale. Blueprint's Collaboration Hub allows all CoE stakeholders to collaborate on RPA opportunities, optimize them, and package this information in Digital Blueprints. These Digital Blueprints – the new, unique method that radically improves the quality and lifecycle of bots – are delivered to development teams along with all key enterprise context like regulatory requirements and business rules right in the RPA tool you use for development and orchestration.
Blueprint's Enterprise Automation Suite also provides the tools that enable RPA CoEs to manage change and analyze risk in a way unavailable in other tools to maximize bot availability. Using Blueprint's Impact Explorer, RPA CoEs get end-to-end impact and risk analysis with the mechanisms to quickly coordinate the proactive or reactive actions to enable unparalleled RPA change management. The Impact Explorer also allows RPA CoEs to instantly analyze the impact of any change to a regulation, system, or any other dependencies on your processes. You can also quickly coordinate the necessary actions with notifications and alerts to facilitate quick and comprehensive change management.
The outcome of this heightened level of alignment, collaboration, precision, and governance capabilities that Blueprint delivers is a dramatic increase in bot quality that translates to big gains in RPA uptime that will get you to that 100% bot availability needed to deliver on your RPA objectives.
Talk to one of our experts today to see how your RPA CoE can start leveraging Blueprint to get your RPA uptime to 100%.