Published on in Reshaping BusinessInnovation

This blog is authored by Guy Kirkwood, Chief Evangelist at UiPath

Scaling automation in your business isn’t automatic.

The benefits of automation are clear, but adoption is daunting. Automation promises to free employees from manual, repetitive labour, so that their work can focus on creativity and problem-solving. Businesses who can deliver on this promise get more value-added work, happier employees, and much more efficiency.

Different kinds of inertia pose problems: institutional inertia makes it hard to change processes; psychological inertia makes it hard to change responsibilities; technological inertia makes it hard to integrate new tools.

UiPath and Fujitsu have formed a partnership that can help you beat this inertia and make Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and other artificial intelligence (AI) technologies more accessible and scalable. With Fujitsu’s Industrialised Automation Operating model and the UiPath Platform, it’s easier to adopt, deploy, and scale RPA.

Automation first is human first

We’re entering the “automation first” era. This new era means we need to work out ways to use robots to prioritise humans.

UiPath and Fujitsu envision a world of work in which the needs of humans are prioritised by making use of the abilities of robots. Before automation, humans faced processes and tasks alone. A multitude of digital tools enabled knowledge work, and made it faster and more effective, but we could only go to other humans for real help.

In the automation first era, humans can start each task by planning how best a robot can help or even take over. Humans will think beyond simply repeating tasks — they’ll think first about how they can do tasks better.

If every person has a robot, every process becomes susceptible to a degree of automation.

When you start breaking processes into their component tasks, you’ll find many involve repetitive, rule-based actions. With automation, an employee’s first thought upon facing a problem will be: “How can my robot help?” In some cases, this will mean passing repetitive tasks to the robot to finish; in other cases, it will mean robots taking over entire processes and restructuring workflows around now-absent manual labour.

Prioritising humans doesn’t end with employees.

The combination of human and robot workers puts customers at the centre. With robots and humans in roles that best suit their capabilities, customer requests and needs go to the workers that can fulfill them the most quickly. Before automation, customer service was limited by the abilities of employees to serve but with robot augmentation, employees can go beyond human limits to serve their customers.

With the support of RPA, employees and customers can have better experiences. To achieve that full potential, organisations need to collaborate.

Making a Robot for Every Person possible

UiPath and Fujitsu believe that every person will eventually have a robot that will help free them from mundane tasks. If “a Robot for Every Person” seems like a distant dream, think about how quickly the computers on your desk and in your pocket appeared.

The UiPath vision of a robot for every person inherits some of its ambition from Bill Gates, who similarly pronounced that every person should, and would, have a personal computer. Automation is the next step in freeing and enabling human workers.

The key to taking this next step is using the right operating model.

Advancements in automation demand equal advancements in operations, which Fujitsu is well-positioned to supply. Fujitsu’s industrialised automation model emphasizes continuous improvement, rapid deployment, and cost-effective maintenance—all guided by the goal to ensure the realisation of business benefits.

Investing in operations and change management pays off. Good procedures that centre on transparency and collaboration can pull employees and organisations through the inertia that so often slows down automation.

When you’re deploying RPA robots and adjusting workflows and processes, employee satisfaction is your ultimate aim. Keeping your employees engaged, happy, and optimistic is the best foundation for making them feel capable of taking full advantage of RPA.

Partnerships beat RPA challenges

Many organisations see the potential of having a robot for every person but don’t know how to get there.

In a Forrester study, 93% of respondents said they don’t understand all of the deployment options they have available. So it’s no wonder people struggle to scale—they don’t know all the ways to address the challenges that come up.

Luckily, a shifting paradigm creates shared problems, and shared problems mean that we can share strategies to face them.

Getting started with RPA can be intimidating. Partnerships between companies like UiPath and Fujitsu are important, because they can help you work out where to start and how to scale.

Common problems range from process discovery to management. At the outset, it’s difficult to figure out which processes best suit automation. Should you target a process that might produce the best ROI? Or should you target one that involves the most repetitive labour?

Once you’ve settled on the process, it can be difficult to measure out metrics and goals. How do you negotiate the balance between ambition and realism?

These challenges can stop RPA in its tracks. Fujitsu found that only 1% of enterprises were able to scale to over 50 robots in the past year. The operational savings RPA offers increase with scale, so the speed of adoption is important. The smaller the scale, the less return you’ll get from your RPA investment.

Collaboration is the best way to deploy automation. Each business is an expert in its own field, in its own needs and processes — but not necessarily in automating those processes.

The partnership between UiPath and Fujitsu is a perfect example of a collaboration that makes it easier to achieve the benefits your business wants. Fujitsu makes RPA more accessible and UiPath provides a platform that increases the scope of automation.

Solving business needs beyond automaton

The automation first era doesn’t herald the final stage of business or technology evolution.

Companies will continue on long after they embrace and realise digital transformation. Once organisations rethink their operations by applying the automation first mindset, they’ll be ready to adapt to ever-more advanced ways to identify and solve business needs.

RPA is the next step, but it isn’t the last.

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