How is it possible to implement the world’s largest bot-farm? And what has window-cleaning to do with digital disruption? Answers to questions like these were given to some 700 innovation leaders and technology and marketing experts at Forrester‘s Digital Transformation Europe 2018. At the event held on June 14 and 15 in London’s O2 Arena, everything centered around the trend theme „Putting Digital Transformation to Work“. At its booth and in its keynote address, Another Monday could impressively demonstrate that anybody aiming at successful digitization is well advised to intensively consider robotic process automation (RPA) as a key enabler and catalyst for digitization.
Actively Promoting the Digital Change
Arjen van Berkum was Another Monday‘s keynote speaker. The disruption mastermind impressively pointed out that digital transformation has long become more than just a hype subject and that RPA massively impacts and supports innovation, disruption and digitization. As the first central statement of his address, he said that in five years nobody will do the same job as today as a result of digitization. Van Berkum also stated that new technologies have resulted in an enormous number of opportunities. Related to this, he identified four different types of individuals exemplifying how the continuous flow of new uncertainties can be dealt with. Reactionists just wait and see, while those who focus on regulations try to regulate as much as possible in their fight against uncertainties. People adhering to the readiness principle, in turn, always try to be prepared for upcoming changes, Finally, van Berkum identified a small group of revolutionary individuals promoting the digital change and acting as pioneers. Anybody willing to act in a successful and forward-looking manner should strive to adopt this way of thinking and acting.
RPA as an Integral Element of Digitization
While companies all over the world currently focus on making existing processes more efficient, innovations will be more paramount in the future than they are today. In the third “labs” phase, companies will try to act disruptively by changing entire business models. Companies are intimidated by this phase because it requires large investments without providing an immediate ROI. However, disruption must increasingly be viewed with positive connotations and find increasing adoption. As a starting point, companies should ask themselves where they want to be today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. As an integral element of the digital transformation, RPA can be the first step. Robot-supported process automation enables companies to be strategically agile and to accelerate the digital change. Combined with RPA, innovation and disruption also support the digital transformation.
Streamlining Business Models from the Beginning
Van Berkum provided a specific example to illustrate the difference between innovation and disruption. If a company decides to use new window wipers, it can achieve an efficiency increase of 30 percent with this innovation. However, the employees of the cleaning company still clean the windows by hand. In a disruptive scenario, in turn, the company would use a self-cleaning adhesive film. Due to this fundamental change of its business model, no cleaning contractor is required anymore.
Make Better Use of Human Core Competencies
Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics play a key role in the digital transformation, and there is hardly any field that they cannot map. However, this ignores empathy, an entrepreneurial attitude, creativity, and passion as the four core human competencies. Looking at the human competencies more closely, it turns out that companies traditionally used and still use their employees inappropriately by ignoring their original strengths. Even today, employees are still excessively tied up by administrative tasks. In the era of digital transformation, in turn, the focus should be put on optimally utilizing and consolidating the potential of humans and robots. Based on this insight, Another Monday makes an appeal that also served as the motto of the company’s presence at the London Digital Summit: “Empower people, embrace robotics!“
Summing up, companies should internalize the motto “Think big, act small, start fast” in order to support and strengthen their employees and to fully utilize the potential offered by RPA. To make this a success, repetitive testing and fast piloting are required as core elements of the digital transformation. This is where the benefits of RPA come into play because robotic process automation enables companies to quickly create valuable resources with respect to money and time that can then be used to promote the digital transformation.