RPA & The CIO: From ‘Enabler of Process’ to ‘Agent of Change’

The Status Woe
The IT department is often known for instructing internal customers what they can’t do, what they shouldn’t do and about the difficulties of accommodating any request that is not for routine  service or an existing application enhancement. The predictable responses of “It’s too expensive/not in our budget” and “That won’t work with our existing systems” are contributing to a growing feeling of antipathy towards the CIO’s department.  One fueled by the empowering nature of as-a-service software that is easily purchased by the Business team with little more vetting than a credit card approval.

In all fairness, the reason a CIO doesn’t jump up and down and say “Yeah, let’s do this!” to new initiatives from the F&A or Marketing department is that they understand the myriad IT challenges most new projects necessitate.

While enterprises are looking for and expecting more nimble behavior, traditional IT is struggling to keep up. CIOs steer big, often unwieldy, ships. The tools at their disposal are large, complex and time-consuming. Entire careers can be predicated on the ERP system and the way that it is structured with all the back office legacy systems.

In short, CIOs and their teams make the best decisions possible to capitalize on the sizable investments made over the decades with the infrastructure they already have in place. It can be, unfortunately, seen as a “keep-the-lights-on” approach to operations. The side effect has been that technology thought-leadership and discussions around innovation have been shifting away from IT and moving into the hands of the CDO, CFO and CMO.

Enter RPA
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a tool that the CIO can leverage to go from an enabler of everyday process, to an agent of change, increasing their influence amongst the C-suite and rejuvenating their role as a visionary with a focus on business outcomes.

When the IT department has access to an automation capability, whether it’s in-house or from an external provider, it allows IT to rapidly innovate in ways that aren’t tied to traditional long-term ERP roadmap structures. RPA effectively “supercharges” the technology they already have, quickly and more affordably by freeing up an organization from manual hands-on work and streamlining processes. As the Institute for Robotic Automation has noted, it can “radically simplify parts of the CIO’s province: customer analytics, data mining, social media analysis and the warehousing of Big Data assets.”

From more rapid prototyping to iteration and deployment, RPA enables CIOs to get on with experimenting with new services or products. They can shift from a “keep the lights on” approach to one in which they are the drivers of transformation and innovation. RPA provides a foundation for agility that enables IT teams to support new strategic initiatives, helping to sustain organizational competitiveness.

Our RPA Solution
Sutherland is a pioneer in the field of RPA. Our Innovation Lab is devoted to BPO innovations, giving us unique insights into the latest industry developments, and empowering us to offer our clients the very best in available resources and technologies.

With our ongoing partnership with key partners, as well as our internal support center of RPA excellence, we are ideally positioned to help companies transform their businesses. In fact, over the next year, we will have gone live with several major RPA deployments across multiple sectors. To learn how RPA can help you, schedule an appointment today.

For ongoing updates on F&A automation, including RPA, follow our LinkedIn page.

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Ian Barkin (5 Posts)

Ian Barkin is the Global Head of Innovation at Sutherland Innovation Labs. Responsible for managing the innovation process inside Sutherland in order to identify business opportunities and new technologies/services, and then to develop and commercialize these into capabilities for the benefit of our clients. Doggedly focused on value creation, inspired collaboration and development of industry altering capabilities and services. Twitter: @IBarkin


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About Ian Barkin

Ian Barkin is the Global Head of Innovation at Sutherland Innovation Labs. Responsible for managing the innovation process inside Sutherland in order to identify business opportunities and new technologies/services, and then to develop and commercialize these into capabilities for the benefit of our clients. Doggedly focused on value creation, inspired collaboration and development of industry altering capabilities and services. Twitter: @IBarkin

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