The Time is Now to Look at Robotic Process Automation


Robotic process automation (RPA) isn’t just hype. It has the potential to translate into significant value for companies across a wide range of industries. In fact, organizations that haven’t deployed RPA may already be at risk of falling behind the innovation curve.

Competitive advantage today depends on operating at peak performance. Companies need to be more flexible, offer better support to business units and reduce costs. The latter is perhaps one of the highest goals of service delivery model changes that include RPA. And this is why it has become such a major focus for the C-suite.

Building RPA into your processes can bring an array of benefits, but—like in the allocation of all resources—the degree to which the benefits are felt throughout the organization will depend on how companies source and deploy RPA. Today, there are three main deployment options for RPA: 1) hiring a service provider to build software bots for you as part of an outsourcing arrangement, 2) hiring an RPA specialty firm to build them for you, or 3) licensing an RPA toolset and building the robots yourself.

Deciding which deployment approach is best for an organization isn’t always an obvious choice. Companies need to evaluate their capability to build and deploy RPA. They need to identify confidentiality issues that may arise if they engage a third-party provider. And they need to determine if their subject matter experts have the bandwidth required to design robots to work specifically in their environment. Of course, the costs vary depending on whether the processes are outsourced or not and whether deployment of RPA will be a finite activity or a longer journey.

I will be at the Warwick Hotel in Chicago on July 25-26 for the 2nd Annual RPA: Robotic Process Automation Summit 2016, where I will lead a discussion comparing in-house versus outsourced RPA. During this session, I will look at how to ensure program integrity with or without outside RPA providers, how to effectively manage those relationships, and how to leverage BPO arrangements to achieve continued process improvement.

Join me in Chicago, or contact me directly. I’d like to discuss how ISG can help you think through your RPA options.

About the author

Mr. Furlong is a Partner at ISG and has over 25 years of experience in assisting companies transform their general and administrative functions including finance and accounting, human resources, and procurement. He has expertise in formulating strategies and designing alternative service delivery models (Global Business Services, shared services and outsourcing), transforming processes, driving organizational change, and implementing emerging technologies such as advanced analytics, mobile solutions, cognitive computing and cloud based solutions.  Mr. Furlong leads ISG’s Business Advisory Services practice and serves on the Americas Leadership team.