It’s very clear that robotics process automation (RPA) and cognitive computing have tremendous capacity to digitize our workforce and reduce the number of back-office FTEs. Leading companies are looking at doing this in a big way, looking to automate thousands of jobs that have been performed by FTEs. But they consistently run into a problem.
The tools to automate a process exist. Admittedly, no tools come ready for use out of the box; they have to be adjusted and implemented. But the technology clearly exists to drive an advanced level of digitization or automation.
The problem is when organizations try to automate jobs, they achieve only very modest results. They stand up a team of 10 to 40 robotic engineers, for example, but run out of steam very quickly. If the plan is to automate 2,000 jobs, the first five — the low-hanging fruit — go very quickly. And then the process bogs down.