Other parts of this series:
One of the great advantages of RPA is the speed and relatively low cost of implementation. However, while an RPA solution can be implemented in a matter of weeks, a successful solution requires that many different elements are in place. These include:
- An organizational commitment (from the most senior levels downwards) to robust processes, regulatory compliance and appropriate documentation;
- Effective governance, not only in terms of process management but in areas including training, recruitment and change management (a center of excellence model for automation has worked effectively for many insurers);
- A comprehensive approach to standards, identification and development of the RPA elements, rather than small groups automating processes on their own;
- Expert teams with deep knowledge of best practices, along with a willingness to industrialize automation capability to maximize value;
- Buy-in from individuals and groups affected by automation (including the CIO and IT groups), with a thorough understanding of roles, responsibilities and desired outcomes established at the very beginning; and
- Recognized targets and benchmarks, with clear accountability, timetables and metrics in place to track success, identify bottlenecks and shift priorities as needed.
The human factor in RPA is critical and should not be underestimated. Some organizations are reluctant to replace the valuable, hard-won experience of their people with data and software-based solutions. Others do not want to be seen to be targeting headcount reductions. A successful RPA transformation helps humans and machines work together, making it clear that technology will enable and empower the organization’s people rather than replace them.
Insurers need integrated, holistic RPA technologies, but they also need the right RPA strategy and the governance structure to keep it on track. With these elements in place, they can position themselves to realize the full benefits of a dramatic industry transformation.