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Making the Office Productivity Step Change
An Introduction to Robotic Process Automation
Mason Alexander, RPA Practice Lead
Published August, 2015
|
Introduction
To overcome short-falls in office
technology automation,
companies have for many years
adopted make-shift
alternatives...
…hard-copy documents that
bridge between departments,
self-authored office applications
and spreadsheets, interns,
low-cost outsourcing agencies…
Why change now?
Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions2
Contents
Consequences
What is the business impact of
failing to automate the long-tail of
office data processing tasks?
• The long-tail efficiency gap
• Cost to business?
• The burden on teams
• What roles are affected?
• The wasteful office
• Risks from shadow data
• Fragmented data sources
• Data integrity issues
• Harnessing data worth
• Options facing managers
Automation
What is Robotic Process
Automation and how does it help?
• Swivel chair applications
• Automation challenges
• Traditional IT solutions
• Why Robotic Process
Automation brings something
new
• Examples of use
• Measuring up
• Solution must-haves
• Summary of benefits
• Next steps
|
1. Introduction
Many things have changed in the world of
business over the last decade…
..but a step change improvement in office
data-processing efficiency isn’t one of
them.
| Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions4
Workers are different these days…
People today blend how they spend their time
like never before… when they work, when they
choose to learn, play …and socialize.
They work on the move, check business emails into
the evenings and on weekends.
But in return they expect to access their social
apps and communities during work time and be
permitted to use their own mobile devices at work
as at home.
| Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions5
Valuations have less to do with the physical
assets a business has and focus more on soft
assets like the size of online communities, the
data assets organizations hold… and the ability of a
business to convert ‘clicks to cash’.
Companies can scale faster, thanks to cloud
computing, and reach larger audiences thanks to
the worldwide-web and mobile computing.
Business is different too…
| Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions6
Strange then - while all these changes have happened,
levels of office automation and productivity haven’t
substantively improved.
Fill in
forms
Create
spreadsheets to
gather, organize,
analyze and report
financial information
Take data from
one system, to
then re-key into
another
Build self-
authored apps
with desktop tools
as a ‘first resort’
when IT has no
time
Aggregate
content on
PowerPoint
slides to share
information
Use paper forms
to bridge
between
organizations,
processes or
systems
*Since the 1980, productivity in the office has improved by 3%
compared to a 75% productivity increase in factories over the same
period.
Workers still have to…
*Source: Vrije Universitet, Amsterdam – Explorative study into Information Logistics
|
Increasing automation is the
second most important strategic
priority for shared services and
global business services (GBS)
leaders.
Process automation is seen to be more
impactful than analytical software and cloud
computing.
While office productivity has failed to improve in
decades, automation remains a top priority for leaders
Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions7 |
Source: The robots are coming
Deloitte Client Survey of Shared Services and GBS clients, February 2016
When exploring ways to improve automation
71% would expect to first try to leverage
their ERP systems, 44% would plan to use
bolt-on tools and 13% so far recognize the
opportunity to use alternative technologies
and methods.
|
2. Consequences
What are the consequences to businesses
(and the people that work for them) of the
continued operation of sub-optimal data
handling and processing tasks in offices?
|
A long-tail of demand exists for technology-led
solutions that displace the myriad of low-level
manual data handling and processing tasks that
employers still call on their workforce to fulfil.
According to research, around 60% of
occupations could have 30% more of
their constituent activities automated
Translated proportionately in time, it means each
member of your team working a 37.5 hour week
could be spending as much as 45-hours a month
on things they don’t really want to be doing
because these tasks take time away from their
primary role – and impact on their quality of life.
Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions9
The long-tail efficiency gap
45
Source: McKinsey & Co., 2016 Report: Four fundamentals of workplace automation; a structured analysis of 200 individual work activities
hours
a month
per
worker
|
Payroll remains the biggest expenditure items for
most businesses.
Independent research by McKinsey & Co
suggests that automation technologies available
today, if adopted as they predict, could make a
huge impact on workforce productivity.
It could save Western economies around $2
trillion in annual wages and impact on over 130
million jobs.
The cost to business?
Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions10 |
Salaries as a percentage of
operating expenses:
• 52% health care services
• 50% for-profit services
• 50% educational services
• 22% durable goods
manufacturing
• 22% Construction/mining
and oil/gas
• 18% retail/wholesale trade
Automation
could save
around $2
trillion in
annual wages.
There are
130 million
clerical jobs
in Western
Europe.
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Source: Eurostat
Source: McKinsey & Co.
|
Failing to automate these light-weight data handling
and processing tasks is not a victimless crime.
Lots of people have to work with data. These
mundane tasks put people under pressure to work
late, eat at their desks, multi-task…
...and they spend less time on the things that really
matter to their employer.
The burden on teams
Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions11 |
|
It would be easy to assume that sub-optimal
automation of data processing only impacts low-level
clerical roles but that’s not the case. Whilst these
roles typically perform more data entry and processing
tasks, the impact of automation goes much further.
In fact, analysis by McKinsey & Co. suggests that
even CEOs could release up to 20% of their
capacity through automation.
What roles are affected?
Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions12 |
C-suite
Middle managers
Everyone else
| Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions13
The wasteful office
Use of desktop office applications
and hard-copy documents is both
unproductive and wasteful.
• The average spreadsheet or word-processed document is read
less than 5-times in its life.
• Relying on hard-copy documents to bridge between the weak
points in processes increases paper waste.
• Use of paper increases demands for storage and space – i.e.
filing cabinets, rooms dedicated to archival.
• It places further demands on resources – such as having to
scan hard-copy documents to electronic files.
| Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions14 |
Security of data has become a board-room
issue.
Use of office documents and self-authored applications results
in a proliferation of content in mobile computing devices,
memory sticks, desktop drives and intranet content
management systems.
Recently, this proliferation of so-called shadow data has
worsened with the growth in use of mobile and software-as-a-
service (SaaS) cloud based applications; many of which are
used without the knowledge or consent of IT.
Much of this content is invisible to IT administrators who are
unaware of the applications, files or data held within them.
Cloud security developer Elastica’s vice-president Eric Andrews
says the company’s threat team analyzed 63 million documents
stored by its customers in 2015, looking for shadow data
threats.
Risks from shadow data
|
• 59% say, that as a consequence of poor information
distribution, they miss information that might be
valuable to their jobs almost every day because it
exists somewhere else in the company and they can’t
find it.
• 42% say they accidentally use the wrong information
at least once a week, and 53 percent said that less
than half of the information they receive is valuable.
• 45% say gathering information about what other parts
of their company are doing is a big challenge.
• More than half have to go to numerous sources to
compile information
• 40% say other parts of the company are not willing to
share information, and 36 percent said there is so
much information available that it takes a long time to
actually find the right piece of data.
Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions15
Fragmented data sources fail managers
Middle managers spend
more than a quarter of
their time searching for
information necessary
to their jobs, and when
they do find it, it’s often
wrong.
Source: Accenture web-based survey of 1,009 managers in companies in the United States and United Kingdom with reported annual revenues of more than US$500 million. June 2006
Only half of all managers believe
their companies do a good job in
governing information distribution
or have established adequate
processes to determine what data
each part of an organization
needs.
|
• Moreover, nearly half of the global respondents said
their lack of confidence stems from a lack of information
or easy access to data. The findings are puzzling given
the emergence of big data techniques, the proliferation
of global networks and the sheer processing power
contained even in mobile devices.
• One reason for the disconnect between big data and
decision making, the Harvard researchers found, is that
“silos of data, typically imprisoned in customer, financial,
or production systems, are frequently inaccessible by
individuals outside the functional group.”
• In this regard, 43% of survey respondents said
important external or internal data was missing, 42%
said data was inaccurate or obsolete, and 33% said
they “couldn’t process information fast enough.”
Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions16
Data integrity issues
Corporate decision
makers have major
concerns about access
to, availability of, and
the quality of internal
and outside data
Source: Harvard Business Review survey. Results gathered between August 27 and September 4, 2013
A survey of 442 business
executives around the world found
that corporate decision makers
have major concerns about
access to, availability of, and the
quality of internal and outside
data. The result is reduced
confidence in their decision-
making ability.
|
A study at the end of 2012 by IDC predicted the “digital universe”
will reach 40 zettabytes – that’s around 45 trillion gigabytes – by
2020, a 50-fold growth in a decade. BIG DATA and new data
visualization tools are creating ‘data driven businesses’ – but
organizations may miss-out on the advantages of BIG DATA
because of talent shortages.
Industry *predicts a short-fall in IT and analytical roles as
businesses seek to harness ever more business insights to drive
growth.
New technologies and automation approaches have the potential to
reduce or remove the need for humans in data analytics roles by
automating the harvesting, analysis, report formation and
distribution tasks that are today fulfilled by people power.
17
Harnessing data worth
…Analyze It..
..Act on
What
Matters
Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions
*McKinsey is already forecasting the US will face a
shortage of up to 190,000 data scientists by 2018.
Harvest Data
|
Without automation alternatives,
departmental managers have very
limited options to overcome short-
falls in their teams.
They can:
• Hire more staff - but probably not
• Approach IT - although they’re already busy
• Contract out - but is it practical, affordable?
…and so nothing changes.
Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions18
Options facing managers
|
3. Automation
What automation possibilities and options
exist? What’s changed from a decade
ago?
|
• IT experts suggest that organizations have so far
managed to automate between 25 to 40% of their
workflows today.
• A large proportion of those activities yet to be
automated require a human go-between to fill gaps
between disjointed systems, or interface between
people and systems.
• These ‘swivel chair applications’ call on humans to
work on several systems at the same time to
complete a task (e.g. referencing multiple
application windows on one screen and populating
another).
• Such applications have been out of reach for
automation by IT – considered either too difficult or
too costly to automate using traditional
technologies.
Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions20
The swivel chair applications
|21
Traditional IT solutions
The procurement approaches of
businesses have traditionally
favored tool-kit style technology
platforms able to perform a common
capability across the enterprise.
In the context of process automation, in addition to
the inherent capabilities found in enterprise
resource planning and financial management
systems, Business Process Management (BPM)
tool-kits have emerged in recent years to augment
workflows that span between discrete systems and
silos of operation.
Whilst BPM tools have become relatively easy to
tailor to serve specific use case requirements, they
still require the intervention of IT and demand that
ways of working are adapted to suit the
technologies being introduced.
Rarely do tools offer the dexterity of capabilities to
fully eradicate the role of the human as the ‘data
processor’.
Due to over-pressured and under-resourced IT
teams, many office automation projects – with
dubious Returns on Investments owing to the very
small communities of users - drop to the bottom of
the IT priority list where so many projects
ultimately go to die.
Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions
|
Automation challenges are not solely
about the dexterity of tech-tools. There
are many potential inhibitors to change
that can derail projects:
• Cost of IT and change can exceed the anticipated
return when applications may be used by only a
handful of users (or potentially just one).
• The time and difficulty of capturing and interpreting
use case needs can become an impenetrable barrier
impenetrable barrier to projects moving forward.
Mistakes made at this stage can cause managers to
lose confidence in justifying future projects.
• Building a Return-on-Investment (RoI) argument to
justify investing IT and project resources can be
difficult – if not impossible – when it’s not clear how
much time and resource is needed to build the
solution, or what value stakeholders will eventually
enjoy once the automation is deployed.
Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions22
Automation challenges
|
Robotic Process
Automation describes not
just a new flavor of
technology but a new
approach to addressing
office-centric data
handling and processing
tasks - those that
previously required
manual re-keying,
spreadsheets, hard-copy
documents and swivel
chair workers to perform.
Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions23
Why Robotic Process Automation brings something
new
There are several fundamental
characteristics of this kind of technology-
enabled solution that differ from Business
Process Management (BPM) tooling and
other traditional IT department dependent
solutions:
• The automation does not fundamentally
change the operation of the process.
Instead of a human tapping keys and
building spreadsheets, a computer
software application mimics the same
tasks in a similar way. Stakeholders do
not see a fundamental change to their
operating behaviours. The same
process stages will generally occur.
• Training of robots is generally performed
using code-free software, so it’s quick to do
and easy to adapt.
• IT challenges like implementing complex
APIs are removed by re-keying or robotically
extracting/uploading data to legacy systems.
• Rather than being ‘a technology platform’
purchased and operated by IT – requiring a
big up-front investment and lots of risk,
‘robots’ are a resource that can be
outsourced in the same way as people,
individually selected by departmental
managers and billed monthly – with all the
contractual flexibility that represents.
| Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions24
Robots have different skill-sets, just like humans
• Validation
• Compare
• Calculate
• Key-fill
• Analytics
• Security Trace
• Autonomic deployment and
control
• ERP & Legacy systems APIs
• Formatted Omni-Channel
Communications
• Check
• Capture (multi-sources)
• File
• Share (Email)
• Transform
• Route
• Data Input
• Record
• Artificial Intelligence
learning engine
Autonomics Cognitive
One off
manual tasks
• Non repeatable
Linear tasks
• Standard
• Repeatable
Orchestrated
activities
• Complex
• Standard
• Multi-scripted
Dynamic
processes
• Non-standard
• Contextual
• Inference
Systems
• Predictive
• Self Learning
• Self Healing
AttributesSkills
Orchestration
| Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions25
Examples of use
The global IT robotic automation market was valued at US$
183.1m in 2013 and is forecast to grow at 60.5% CAGR from
2014 to 2020.
Source: Transparency Market Research
|
What does the robot do?
Harvests data from motor dealership back-office
systems to identify sales lead opportunities. It then
publishes the sales leads into the dealerships
(separate) customer relationship management
system; delivering high quality leads, one lead at a
time.
What alternatives were considered?
• Generate a one-off monthly report (this was trialed
but, when faced with a long list of unqualified leads,
sales people would not act on the information)
• Do nothing
• Pay an intern or administrator to manually capture
the data and upload it
Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions26
Automotive Sales Assistant
Benefits:
• Data accuracy
• Centrally managed
• Resources were not available in-house to support
this process
• The legacy system used meant generating
reports required lots of manual data aggregation
and cleansing before leads could be forwarded.
• Leads needed to be manually entered into the
CRM system.
• Information relating to the sales opportunity
useful to the salesperson could not be harvested
from one system, so the usefulness of leads
generated with a robot would be of little use for
salespeople.
Example
Use Case
|
What does the robot do?
To validate requests to perform road works, a robot
will harvest data from multiple sources and map
assets to build up a complete picture of the context of
the road work to be undertaken compared to other
local traffic planning events.
What alternatives were considered?
• Do nothing and continue to use an administrator,
although the traffic manager knew that growth in
requests meant the team would be short-handed.
• Purchase a new works planning system, but the
budget and intrusiveness of a new system was not
desirable.
Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions27
Road Works Admin. Assistant
Benefits:
• Systematic; rules are applied consistently
• This was an automated a swivel chair application
that removes the need to recruit and train
additional member(s) of staff
• Removes resource planning challenges within
department (covering lunch-breaks etc.)
• Lower investment requirement
• As the user organization is governmental, easier
to justify expenditure as ‘best value’ approach
• Easily and quickly scalable
• Easily repeatable
Example
Use Case
|
Robotic process automation is best suited to mundane
clerical data handling, re-purposing, re-keying or re-
publishing activities that:
• Can be mimicked by technologies that are script-
based, use if-then conditional logic or employ
artificial intelligence
• Tasks that involve small numbers of users
(potentially just one) that would be uneconomic to
automate with traditional IT
• Tasks that do not vary every time they occur
Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions28
Measuring up
|
• Doesn’t require coding or developers to ‘train’ – which might
result in a need for testing, tuning, de-bugging etc.
• Adopt de facto industry standards to minimize/remove
information security risks, scaling and performance tuning
overheads etc.
• Is scalable and flexible
• Can harvest and use data from multiple sources at the same
time (multi-threaded, multi-sourcing) and potentially in real-
time – including sensors, CCTV image or video feeds, DLLs,
web portals, GPS and web apps
Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions29
Solution must-haves
Applications design is a wasteful process. The
article ‘Why Your IT Project May Be Riskier
Than You Think’ by HBR (Nov 2011) followed a
survey of 1,471 IT projects with an average spend
of $167m and found:
• The average overrun was 27%
• One in six of the projects studied was a ‘black
swan’, with a cost over-run of 200%.
• Almost 70% of black swan projects also over-
ran their schedules.
Robotic Process Automation removes project
over-run risk and delivers best-fit solutions.
|
1. Releases time to key workers - Performs mundane
clerical tasks so key talent can focus on those
activities that bring value to customers and
stakeholders.
2. Stays in-tune with business tempo – Much faster
to build and deploy than traditional solutions thanks
to its light touch codeless approach (measured in
days and weeks rather than months) all but
displacing development and IT skills.
3. Keeps working 24/7 – Robots can work day and
night on their designated tasks to maximize the ROI
available.
4. Truly agile - Solutions can be re-trained as needed
must be adaptable to a variety of business needs
and scalable to enterprise size. In addition, solutions
must be compliance-ready and secure, storing
nothing locally.
Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions30
Summary of benefits
5. Eliminates Human Errors – Automation with
RPA eliminates human error; fulfilling processes
predictably every time.
6. Scalable – Most robotic process automation
platforms are designed for enterprise scale
deployment and are typically cloud based
permitting truly massive scaling at very low cost.
7. Self-serving – Advanced solutions offer user
organizations the added benefit of being able to
train their own robots!
8. Easily integrated - Complementing, rather than
replacing, existing systems RPA solutions can
painlessly access data from multiple, disparate
sources without needing APIs or coding.
|
• Robotic Process Automation is
not for everyone. Some
organizations have re-designed
their business models to
completely eradicate data
handling and processing.
• But, if you find people are
spending too much time re-
keying data, printing or using
spreadsheets, then the best
thing you can do is to arrange
an RPA consultant to run a
diagnostic audit across your
process flows.
31
Next steps
Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions
Top tip:
To consider if RPA is
right for your
organization, find out
what people use
paper forms and
office apps for and go
from there.
|
We’ve been delivering automation
solutions since 2003, helping
organisations to overcome their
challenges and grow faster.
Our experiences and industry know-how
blend with unique software technologies
developed in-house to deliver unrivalled
outcomes for our clients.
Contact us to find out how we can help.
Mason Alexander is Robotic Process Automation
Practice Lead at NDMC Consulting located in
Oxfordshire, England. Contact him on +44 (0) 1865
596151 or email mason@ndmc.uk.com
About NDMC
IoT
Big
Data
Robotic
Process
Automation
Cloud
Computing
www.ndmc.uk.com t. +44 (0)1865 596151

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  • 1. Making the Office Productivity Step Change An Introduction to Robotic Process Automation Mason Alexander, RPA Practice Lead Published August, 2015
  • 2. | Introduction To overcome short-falls in office technology automation, companies have for many years adopted make-shift alternatives... …hard-copy documents that bridge between departments, self-authored office applications and spreadsheets, interns, low-cost outsourcing agencies… Why change now? Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions2 Contents Consequences What is the business impact of failing to automate the long-tail of office data processing tasks? • The long-tail efficiency gap • Cost to business? • The burden on teams • What roles are affected? • The wasteful office • Risks from shadow data • Fragmented data sources • Data integrity issues • Harnessing data worth • Options facing managers Automation What is Robotic Process Automation and how does it help? • Swivel chair applications • Automation challenges • Traditional IT solutions • Why Robotic Process Automation brings something new • Examples of use • Measuring up • Solution must-haves • Summary of benefits • Next steps
  • 3. | 1. Introduction Many things have changed in the world of business over the last decade… ..but a step change improvement in office data-processing efficiency isn’t one of them.
  • 4. | Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions4 Workers are different these days… People today blend how they spend their time like never before… when they work, when they choose to learn, play …and socialize. They work on the move, check business emails into the evenings and on weekends. But in return they expect to access their social apps and communities during work time and be permitted to use their own mobile devices at work as at home.
  • 5. | Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions5 Valuations have less to do with the physical assets a business has and focus more on soft assets like the size of online communities, the data assets organizations hold… and the ability of a business to convert ‘clicks to cash’. Companies can scale faster, thanks to cloud computing, and reach larger audiences thanks to the worldwide-web and mobile computing. Business is different too…
  • 6. | Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions6 Strange then - while all these changes have happened, levels of office automation and productivity haven’t substantively improved. Fill in forms Create spreadsheets to gather, organize, analyze and report financial information Take data from one system, to then re-key into another Build self- authored apps with desktop tools as a ‘first resort’ when IT has no time Aggregate content on PowerPoint slides to share information Use paper forms to bridge between organizations, processes or systems *Since the 1980, productivity in the office has improved by 3% compared to a 75% productivity increase in factories over the same period. Workers still have to… *Source: Vrije Universitet, Amsterdam – Explorative study into Information Logistics
  • 7. | Increasing automation is the second most important strategic priority for shared services and global business services (GBS) leaders. Process automation is seen to be more impactful than analytical software and cloud computing. While office productivity has failed to improve in decades, automation remains a top priority for leaders Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions7 | Source: The robots are coming Deloitte Client Survey of Shared Services and GBS clients, February 2016 When exploring ways to improve automation 71% would expect to first try to leverage their ERP systems, 44% would plan to use bolt-on tools and 13% so far recognize the opportunity to use alternative technologies and methods.
  • 8. | 2. Consequences What are the consequences to businesses (and the people that work for them) of the continued operation of sub-optimal data handling and processing tasks in offices?
  • 9. | A long-tail of demand exists for technology-led solutions that displace the myriad of low-level manual data handling and processing tasks that employers still call on their workforce to fulfil. According to research, around 60% of occupations could have 30% more of their constituent activities automated Translated proportionately in time, it means each member of your team working a 37.5 hour week could be spending as much as 45-hours a month on things they don’t really want to be doing because these tasks take time away from their primary role – and impact on their quality of life. Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions9 The long-tail efficiency gap 45 Source: McKinsey & Co., 2016 Report: Four fundamentals of workplace automation; a structured analysis of 200 individual work activities hours a month per worker
  • 10. | Payroll remains the biggest expenditure items for most businesses. Independent research by McKinsey & Co suggests that automation technologies available today, if adopted as they predict, could make a huge impact on workforce productivity. It could save Western economies around $2 trillion in annual wages and impact on over 130 million jobs. The cost to business? Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions10 | Salaries as a percentage of operating expenses: • 52% health care services • 50% for-profit services • 50% educational services • 22% durable goods manufacturing • 22% Construction/mining and oil/gas • 18% retail/wholesale trade Automation could save around $2 trillion in annual wages. There are 130 million clerical jobs in Western Europe. Source: U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Source: Eurostat Source: McKinsey & Co.
  • 11. | Failing to automate these light-weight data handling and processing tasks is not a victimless crime. Lots of people have to work with data. These mundane tasks put people under pressure to work late, eat at their desks, multi-task… ...and they spend less time on the things that really matter to their employer. The burden on teams Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions11 |
  • 12. | It would be easy to assume that sub-optimal automation of data processing only impacts low-level clerical roles but that’s not the case. Whilst these roles typically perform more data entry and processing tasks, the impact of automation goes much further. In fact, analysis by McKinsey & Co. suggests that even CEOs could release up to 20% of their capacity through automation. What roles are affected? Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions12 | C-suite Middle managers Everyone else
  • 13. | Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions13 The wasteful office Use of desktop office applications and hard-copy documents is both unproductive and wasteful. • The average spreadsheet or word-processed document is read less than 5-times in its life. • Relying on hard-copy documents to bridge between the weak points in processes increases paper waste. • Use of paper increases demands for storage and space – i.e. filing cabinets, rooms dedicated to archival. • It places further demands on resources – such as having to scan hard-copy documents to electronic files.
  • 14. | Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions14 | Security of data has become a board-room issue. Use of office documents and self-authored applications results in a proliferation of content in mobile computing devices, memory sticks, desktop drives and intranet content management systems. Recently, this proliferation of so-called shadow data has worsened with the growth in use of mobile and software-as-a- service (SaaS) cloud based applications; many of which are used without the knowledge or consent of IT. Much of this content is invisible to IT administrators who are unaware of the applications, files or data held within them. Cloud security developer Elastica’s vice-president Eric Andrews says the company’s threat team analyzed 63 million documents stored by its customers in 2015, looking for shadow data threats. Risks from shadow data
  • 15. | • 59% say, that as a consequence of poor information distribution, they miss information that might be valuable to their jobs almost every day because it exists somewhere else in the company and they can’t find it. • 42% say they accidentally use the wrong information at least once a week, and 53 percent said that less than half of the information they receive is valuable. • 45% say gathering information about what other parts of their company are doing is a big challenge. • More than half have to go to numerous sources to compile information • 40% say other parts of the company are not willing to share information, and 36 percent said there is so much information available that it takes a long time to actually find the right piece of data. Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions15 Fragmented data sources fail managers Middle managers spend more than a quarter of their time searching for information necessary to their jobs, and when they do find it, it’s often wrong. Source: Accenture web-based survey of 1,009 managers in companies in the United States and United Kingdom with reported annual revenues of more than US$500 million. June 2006 Only half of all managers believe their companies do a good job in governing information distribution or have established adequate processes to determine what data each part of an organization needs.
  • 16. | • Moreover, nearly half of the global respondents said their lack of confidence stems from a lack of information or easy access to data. The findings are puzzling given the emergence of big data techniques, the proliferation of global networks and the sheer processing power contained even in mobile devices. • One reason for the disconnect between big data and decision making, the Harvard researchers found, is that “silos of data, typically imprisoned in customer, financial, or production systems, are frequently inaccessible by individuals outside the functional group.” • In this regard, 43% of survey respondents said important external or internal data was missing, 42% said data was inaccurate or obsolete, and 33% said they “couldn’t process information fast enough.” Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions16 Data integrity issues Corporate decision makers have major concerns about access to, availability of, and the quality of internal and outside data Source: Harvard Business Review survey. Results gathered between August 27 and September 4, 2013 A survey of 442 business executives around the world found that corporate decision makers have major concerns about access to, availability of, and the quality of internal and outside data. The result is reduced confidence in their decision- making ability.
  • 17. | A study at the end of 2012 by IDC predicted the “digital universe” will reach 40 zettabytes – that’s around 45 trillion gigabytes – by 2020, a 50-fold growth in a decade. BIG DATA and new data visualization tools are creating ‘data driven businesses’ – but organizations may miss-out on the advantages of BIG DATA because of talent shortages. Industry *predicts a short-fall in IT and analytical roles as businesses seek to harness ever more business insights to drive growth. New technologies and automation approaches have the potential to reduce or remove the need for humans in data analytics roles by automating the harvesting, analysis, report formation and distribution tasks that are today fulfilled by people power. 17 Harnessing data worth …Analyze It.. ..Act on What Matters Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions *McKinsey is already forecasting the US will face a shortage of up to 190,000 data scientists by 2018. Harvest Data
  • 18. | Without automation alternatives, departmental managers have very limited options to overcome short- falls in their teams. They can: • Hire more staff - but probably not • Approach IT - although they’re already busy • Contract out - but is it practical, affordable? …and so nothing changes. Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions18 Options facing managers
  • 19. | 3. Automation What automation possibilities and options exist? What’s changed from a decade ago?
  • 20. | • IT experts suggest that organizations have so far managed to automate between 25 to 40% of their workflows today. • A large proportion of those activities yet to be automated require a human go-between to fill gaps between disjointed systems, or interface between people and systems. • These ‘swivel chair applications’ call on humans to work on several systems at the same time to complete a task (e.g. referencing multiple application windows on one screen and populating another). • Such applications have been out of reach for automation by IT – considered either too difficult or too costly to automate using traditional technologies. Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions20 The swivel chair applications
  • 21. |21 Traditional IT solutions The procurement approaches of businesses have traditionally favored tool-kit style technology platforms able to perform a common capability across the enterprise. In the context of process automation, in addition to the inherent capabilities found in enterprise resource planning and financial management systems, Business Process Management (BPM) tool-kits have emerged in recent years to augment workflows that span between discrete systems and silos of operation. Whilst BPM tools have become relatively easy to tailor to serve specific use case requirements, they still require the intervention of IT and demand that ways of working are adapted to suit the technologies being introduced. Rarely do tools offer the dexterity of capabilities to fully eradicate the role of the human as the ‘data processor’. Due to over-pressured and under-resourced IT teams, many office automation projects – with dubious Returns on Investments owing to the very small communities of users - drop to the bottom of the IT priority list where so many projects ultimately go to die. Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions
  • 22. | Automation challenges are not solely about the dexterity of tech-tools. There are many potential inhibitors to change that can derail projects: • Cost of IT and change can exceed the anticipated return when applications may be used by only a handful of users (or potentially just one). • The time and difficulty of capturing and interpreting use case needs can become an impenetrable barrier impenetrable barrier to projects moving forward. Mistakes made at this stage can cause managers to lose confidence in justifying future projects. • Building a Return-on-Investment (RoI) argument to justify investing IT and project resources can be difficult – if not impossible – when it’s not clear how much time and resource is needed to build the solution, or what value stakeholders will eventually enjoy once the automation is deployed. Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions22 Automation challenges
  • 23. | Robotic Process Automation describes not just a new flavor of technology but a new approach to addressing office-centric data handling and processing tasks - those that previously required manual re-keying, spreadsheets, hard-copy documents and swivel chair workers to perform. Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions23 Why Robotic Process Automation brings something new There are several fundamental characteristics of this kind of technology- enabled solution that differ from Business Process Management (BPM) tooling and other traditional IT department dependent solutions: • The automation does not fundamentally change the operation of the process. Instead of a human tapping keys and building spreadsheets, a computer software application mimics the same tasks in a similar way. Stakeholders do not see a fundamental change to their operating behaviours. The same process stages will generally occur. • Training of robots is generally performed using code-free software, so it’s quick to do and easy to adapt. • IT challenges like implementing complex APIs are removed by re-keying or robotically extracting/uploading data to legacy systems. • Rather than being ‘a technology platform’ purchased and operated by IT – requiring a big up-front investment and lots of risk, ‘robots’ are a resource that can be outsourced in the same way as people, individually selected by departmental managers and billed monthly – with all the contractual flexibility that represents.
  • 24. | Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions24 Robots have different skill-sets, just like humans • Validation • Compare • Calculate • Key-fill • Analytics • Security Trace • Autonomic deployment and control • ERP & Legacy systems APIs • Formatted Omni-Channel Communications • Check • Capture (multi-sources) • File • Share (Email) • Transform • Route • Data Input • Record • Artificial Intelligence learning engine Autonomics Cognitive One off manual tasks • Non repeatable Linear tasks • Standard • Repeatable Orchestrated activities • Complex • Standard • Multi-scripted Dynamic processes • Non-standard • Contextual • Inference Systems • Predictive • Self Learning • Self Healing AttributesSkills Orchestration
  • 25. | Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions25 Examples of use The global IT robotic automation market was valued at US$ 183.1m in 2013 and is forecast to grow at 60.5% CAGR from 2014 to 2020. Source: Transparency Market Research
  • 26. | What does the robot do? Harvests data from motor dealership back-office systems to identify sales lead opportunities. It then publishes the sales leads into the dealerships (separate) customer relationship management system; delivering high quality leads, one lead at a time. What alternatives were considered? • Generate a one-off monthly report (this was trialed but, when faced with a long list of unqualified leads, sales people would not act on the information) • Do nothing • Pay an intern or administrator to manually capture the data and upload it Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions26 Automotive Sales Assistant Benefits: • Data accuracy • Centrally managed • Resources were not available in-house to support this process • The legacy system used meant generating reports required lots of manual data aggregation and cleansing before leads could be forwarded. • Leads needed to be manually entered into the CRM system. • Information relating to the sales opportunity useful to the salesperson could not be harvested from one system, so the usefulness of leads generated with a robot would be of little use for salespeople. Example Use Case
  • 27. | What does the robot do? To validate requests to perform road works, a robot will harvest data from multiple sources and map assets to build up a complete picture of the context of the road work to be undertaken compared to other local traffic planning events. What alternatives were considered? • Do nothing and continue to use an administrator, although the traffic manager knew that growth in requests meant the team would be short-handed. • Purchase a new works planning system, but the budget and intrusiveness of a new system was not desirable. Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions27 Road Works Admin. Assistant Benefits: • Systematic; rules are applied consistently • This was an automated a swivel chair application that removes the need to recruit and train additional member(s) of staff • Removes resource planning challenges within department (covering lunch-breaks etc.) • Lower investment requirement • As the user organization is governmental, easier to justify expenditure as ‘best value’ approach • Easily and quickly scalable • Easily repeatable Example Use Case
  • 28. | Robotic process automation is best suited to mundane clerical data handling, re-purposing, re-keying or re- publishing activities that: • Can be mimicked by technologies that are script- based, use if-then conditional logic or employ artificial intelligence • Tasks that involve small numbers of users (potentially just one) that would be uneconomic to automate with traditional IT • Tasks that do not vary every time they occur Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions28 Measuring up
  • 29. | • Doesn’t require coding or developers to ‘train’ – which might result in a need for testing, tuning, de-bugging etc. • Adopt de facto industry standards to minimize/remove information security risks, scaling and performance tuning overheads etc. • Is scalable and flexible • Can harvest and use data from multiple sources at the same time (multi-threaded, multi-sourcing) and potentially in real- time – including sensors, CCTV image or video feeds, DLLs, web portals, GPS and web apps Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions29 Solution must-haves Applications design is a wasteful process. The article ‘Why Your IT Project May Be Riskier Than You Think’ by HBR (Nov 2011) followed a survey of 1,471 IT projects with an average spend of $167m and found: • The average overrun was 27% • One in six of the projects studied was a ‘black swan’, with a cost over-run of 200%. • Almost 70% of black swan projects also over- ran their schedules. Robotic Process Automation removes project over-run risk and delivers best-fit solutions.
  • 30. | 1. Releases time to key workers - Performs mundane clerical tasks so key talent can focus on those activities that bring value to customers and stakeholders. 2. Stays in-tune with business tempo – Much faster to build and deploy than traditional solutions thanks to its light touch codeless approach (measured in days and weeks rather than months) all but displacing development and IT skills. 3. Keeps working 24/7 – Robots can work day and night on their designated tasks to maximize the ROI available. 4. Truly agile - Solutions can be re-trained as needed must be adaptable to a variety of business needs and scalable to enterprise size. In addition, solutions must be compliance-ready and secure, storing nothing locally. Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions30 Summary of benefits 5. Eliminates Human Errors – Automation with RPA eliminates human error; fulfilling processes predictably every time. 6. Scalable – Most robotic process automation platforms are designed for enterprise scale deployment and are typically cloud based permitting truly massive scaling at very low cost. 7. Self-serving – Advanced solutions offer user organizations the added benefit of being able to train their own robots! 8. Easily integrated - Complementing, rather than replacing, existing systems RPA solutions can painlessly access data from multiple, disparate sources without needing APIs or coding.
  • 31. | • Robotic Process Automation is not for everyone. Some organizations have re-designed their business models to completely eradicate data handling and processing. • But, if you find people are spending too much time re- keying data, printing or using spreadsheets, then the best thing you can do is to arrange an RPA consultant to run a diagnostic audit across your process flows. 31 Next steps Making the Office Productivity Step Change with Robotic Process Automation Solutions Top tip: To consider if RPA is right for your organization, find out what people use paper forms and office apps for and go from there.
  • 32. | We’ve been delivering automation solutions since 2003, helping organisations to overcome their challenges and grow faster. Our experiences and industry know-how blend with unique software technologies developed in-house to deliver unrivalled outcomes for our clients. Contact us to find out how we can help. Mason Alexander is Robotic Process Automation Practice Lead at NDMC Consulting located in Oxfordshire, England. Contact him on +44 (0) 1865 596151 or email mason@ndmc.uk.com About NDMC IoT Big Data Robotic Process Automation Cloud Computing www.ndmc.uk.com t. +44 (0)1865 596151

Editor's Notes

  1. Impact of big data “53% of the enterprises surveyed have cited the lack of talent to be one of the key challenges in the deployment of Big Data. Mckinsey estimates that India will need 200,000 data scientists in the coming years.” “90% of businesses saw benefit in the implementation of big data analytics into their current business model. However, 45% of businesses looking to upgrade their data analytics workforce foresaw problems in sourcing enough sufficiently skilled worker. To fill this gap, there will have to be a staggering 243% increase in the number of big data technicians in the UK.”