Does RPA Ownership Lie With Business Or IT?
RPA has been gaining steady prominence as an in-demand technology, and the reasons are essentially clear. RPA streamlines workflows, improves productivity and frees human agents from wasting time on mundane and repetitive tasks; this enables greater human involvement in critical business decisions.
But one of the significant conundrums faced by most organizations lies in deciding whether to consider RPA as solely the purview of business users or as a purely IT function? Opinions differ on the topic as business users consider RPA decisions as part of critical business functions. After all, it is the business users who decide which are the processes that should be brought under the ambit of RPA.
However, as a deeper analysis reveals, RPA can rarely be implemented as a ready-to-use solution for business functions. It is true that advances in RPA software allow most businesses to implement automation without large scale involvement from the IT department. But such seamless integration can only be achieved by proper contribution from the IT team.
So is RPA necessarily an IT project or does the business side of things comes into play as well?
Let’s find out.
RPA As A Business Requirement
The fundamental premise of RPA lies in automating and simplifying business functions. As a result, RPA implementation is largely carried out by the business users who have a clear understanding of the processes that need to be automated. Such a detailed knowledge of the processes allows the business users to set up automation rather quickly. This seems to preclude IT involvement in the setting up of RPA.
So it seems clear that the role of the business department is rather significant when it comes to RPA implementation. However, IT cannot and should not be entirely ruled out of the picture. While business people can contribute to RPA through a detailed knowledge of the processes that require automation, IT department comes with the technical know-how and infrastructural capabilities that are essential for successful accomplishment of any RPA project. And while IT itself remains one of the least automated departments in any organization, their role in ensuring proper RPA setup cannot be denied.
Why IT needs To Play A Bigger Role
Traditionally, IT players have been doubtful regarding the efficacy of RPA, and this very reason may have contributed to the lack of IT participation in most RPA projects. Not having the IT team on board for RPA implementation can lead to significant hurdles. For starters, the IT department has the most intimate knowledge of the organization’s IT setup, and this information must be shared with the business users if they are to successfully complete their RPA execution. Further, RPA implementation is not a one-shot process. The entire system requires careful and continuous testing, evaluation and maintenance, all of which are best carried out by the IT team. Therefore, disregarding the role of IT in RPA completion can become the recipe for disaster.
IT Or Business?
So, to answer the question: is RPA in the realm of IT or business? And the answer is clearly not in the or but the and. For appropriate RPA implementation in any organization, careful collaboration is essential between the business and IT departments. For any RPA implementation to come to fruition it is vital that both these sides work together, maintain close communication and share knowledge to overcome any impediments to RPA realization. Further, such collaboration must continue for the entire lifetime of the RPA project if organizations are to reap the benefits that come with a winning RPA strategy and execution.
By Joris Depoortere, Automation Advisor at FlinQ Automation. Read more: https://flinq-automation.com/blog