AUTHORS

Stefano Bighini
RPA Practice leader
@Bip xTech

Francesco Peducci
RPA senior Expert
@Bip xTech

Massimiliano Guerini
RPA senior Expert
@Bip xTech

Elena Cito
RPA senior Expert
@Bip xTech

Introduction

It has been several years since Robotic Process Automation took its first steps. The technology has evolved and its possible applications are constantly growing with the adoption of new Artificial Intelligence models, with the application of Natural Language Processing and Document Understanding.

A new name was needed to describe this new expanded technological universe. Thus was born Hyperautomation or Intelligence Process Automation.

Of course, this rapid growth needs to be guided and requires to set new challenges every day to improve the results already achieved.

The Hyperautomation challenge

The great processes called “Quick win”, which bring great benefits with a small expense, have been addressed, solved and automated.

However, despite everything that has already been done, by talking with our clients and analyzing the way they work, we are still surrounded by fantastic automation possibilities, even if some of them are less immediate or less performing, but still can lead to great benefits even in the short term, by adopting an overall vision and an effective strategy.

On the other hand, some technologies necessary for automation require longer adoption times and higher costs, to give benefits. Artificial intelligence and language recognition algorithms cannot be improvised.

And all this is not created out of thin air or by osmosis, but must be structured, you need to set up and follow a roadmap , aware that you need to equip yourself with skills and tools with increasing complexity over time, to achieve a 360 degrees automation.

Now more than ever, achieving excellence requires understanding Hyperautomation in terms of pure technology and its possible applications, as well as understanding how to integrate it within the work groups.”

What are the success factors of Hyperautomation?

The introduction of Hyperautomation or simply of Robotic Process Automation within a company may seem simple, but it can present some challenges which, if not properly addressed, can lead to a total or partial failure of the initiative.

The main success factors are:

  • Find a sponsor and interact with all the Business Units of the company
    • RPA must be proposed to all divisions
    • RPA must bring potential benefits to as many departments as possible
    • All needs must be taken into consideration
  • Involvement of the IT department
    • The IT department should be aware of the RPA process and supervise the related technical aspects
    • Compliance with security, scalability, business continuity, auditing criteria must be guaranteed and verified, in accordance with company standards
  • Solid governance of the project
    • Every initiative should be guided
    • The guidelines should be clear and shared
    • The assessment process should be standardized and uncritical

Not all of these factors are easy to achieve, which is why the creation of a specialized Center of Excellence (CoE) that is familiar with the company’s business and is integrated with all its departments is recommended.

The creation of a Center of Excellence must be guided, analyzed and implemented in the context in which it is located. Each organization is unique and the peculiarities should not only be managed, but even enhanced.

The first step is to identify the CoE model that best fits the company’s size and its organizational structure.

The CoE models

There are different models of CoE and identifying the right one for a specific organization is the first step towards a successful path. Among the possible scenarios there can be completely centralized models, or situations in which the CoE delegates activities to the individual company departments or business units, where the guidelines are defined centrally, up to federated models where each business unit has its own CoE.

The initial choice can also be revised over time, and the adoption of a model, while initially proving to be correct, can evolve according to the maturity acquired and the objectives set.

Whatever its shape and size, the CoE is involved in the entire operational chain of Hyperautomation projects.

The activities of the COE

Whatever the size and structure that we will have given to our Center of Excellence, it will find itself governing and operating on the entire operational chain in the Hyperautomation field, supporting the company organization. To give an example, providing their tools, monitoring methods and maintenance to the IT functions, typically responsible for these tasks, so that they can guarantee the correct functioning of all infrastructures.

The foundation activity of the CoE is of a strategic nature: the definition of models and guidelines, that is the basis for all the subsequent activities. If the adoption of the Center of Excellence occurs at an advanced stage of the process of introducing Hyperautomation, these guidelines will trace and consolidate the activities already carried out, including the lessons learned.

The role of the CoE covers the following activities:

  • definition of the strategy for the adoption of the IPA or RPA
  • define the research model for new opportunities
  • define the performance calculation model
  • select and define the tools to be adopted and their configuration
  • support the selection and research of automation needs
  • define and harmonize the adoption roadmap
  • monitor the benefits obtained on a continuous basis

To do this, it is very important to set up an internal discussion not only on the technical aspects but also on the organizational aspects of human resource management and corporate strategies.

Furthermore, the presence of a CoE allows to operate what we will define continuous process improvement and selection, a virtuous circle which, by operating both on existing processes and updating and integrating the requests of the various divisions, leads to a continuous increase in company efficiency.

Even if well planned, the success of a Hyperautomation program cannot be separated from the results and the quality of the delivery.

The detailed analysis and development of processes can reside within the CoE or be delegated to third parties. In any case, the role of the Center of Excellence remains central and allows to ensure the success of the projects, coordinating both the business elements and the company technical elements to pursue the shared goal. During the analysis and implementation phase, the final users of the process must always be included and it will be the task of the CoE to ensure that the adoption is as effective as possible but that it integrates and harmonizes with the other solutions and / or with the guidelines defined. The introduction of “complex” and not thoroughly evaluated solutions, even if functionally valid, can lead to difficulties in managing the process with consequent unforeseen costs of maintenance and support.

At an operational level, the monitoring and verification of the results make it possible to show the advantages obtained from the interventions and investments made. This entails to plan in advance, during the design phase, the adoption of tools and above all the definition of the values and KPIs to be measured. The analysis of the results also makes it possible to identify what further evolutions there could be on the carried-out processes  and to optimize the overall hardware and licensing costs.

The Bip approach for the creation of the CoE

In recent years we have seen how RPA technology and its expansion to Hyperautomation has reached such a level of maturity as to take it outside the scope of tactical processes to become itself an object of strategic adoption.

This evolution must therefore be governed and by virtue of the advantages this brings, more and more companies are undertaking the construction of an internal Center of Excellence, turning to Bip to help them throughout the adoption process.

For this purpose, in Bip we have identified a path, divided into 4 phases:

  • Inception
  • Model Definition
  • Process Automation
  • People Management

Inception

In this phase it is essential to identify all the company stakeholders, analyze the status of any projects already implemented, of the technologies present in the company in order to define the key roles and responsibilities within the IPA Center of Excellence (also in coordination with other CoEs). In this phase, the evaluation criteria to be used to determine the performance of the solutions are also defined.

Thanks to the Bip support it is possible to adopt and adapt experiences already gained in the same functional areas; moreover, the availability of highly skilled resources allows the CoE to be fully operational in extremely short times.

Model Definition

In this phase, together with the actors of the CoE, it is essential to define the demand management models, the methods of discovery and evaluation of the new processes. The adoption of the framework and the deployment model resulting from the best practices and experience of Bip allows you to start with a solid and already tested foundation. This base will be adapted so that it fits perfectly with the needs and organization.

Process Automation

The objective of Bip in this phase is to support the contact persons in the application of the operating model in Hyperautomation projects and support in monitoring through the adoption of a model that allows the control of each design phase.

People management

The management and training of the technical figures takes place throughout the definition of the CoE. This phase also supports the offices in charge (typically the organization and HR) for the correct dissemination of the path that is being undertaken which does not aim at reducing resources but at improving processes and growing people.

Conclusions

To effectively adopt a Hyperautomation path, or even just Robotic Process Automation, the best technology is not enough, but well-calibrated governance and strategy are needed, which may differ from those already used in other areas. The size of the CoE is usually directly proportional to the number of projects and the size of the company.

Introducing a Center of Excellence can be complicated, but with the help of the right partner it can become a success story. We are the right partner for you!

Bip xTech Center of Excellence is one of the largest data and automation experts in Europe, with hundreds of projects each year in the industry.

We merge expertise in Robotic Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Computing and Natural Language Processing, Process Mining, Data Strategy in a single reality: we can follow our customers in the end-to-end path with a single and integrated team.


To request further information on our end-to-end offer or have a conversation with one of our experts, simply send an email to [email protected] with the subject “CoE Hyperautomation”, and you will be contacted immediately.

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