Blog | Apr 9, 2019

Insights from Blue Prism World London 2019


Connected-RPA is delivering the goods. Cost cutting and a quick ROI are just scratching the surface. Our software is boosting productivity and fueling digital innovation to help organisations compete with agile disruptors. It is becoming the life blood for many of the 1,300 organizations we work with.

The key ethical challenge going forward, will be ensuring that technology is created responsibly, so it’s always a force for good. These were the key messages from Blue Prism World in London – the world’s largest, most prestigious RPA event that looked beyond intelligent automation – showcasing innovation, compelling insights and best practices from industry experts and big brand end-users.

Embrace Your Digital Co-Worker

Blue Prism CEO, Alastair Bathgate set the scene for the event with his opening address, where he discussed the future of the workforce and the role of connected-RPA in achieving a digital future. He believes that planning for the future will involve creating an automated strategy that enables organizations to adapt easily to accelerated change. Teams of human talent, backed by data-driven, thinking digital workers will make us smarter, more efficient, and possibly healthier. In the short term, he asserted that technologies like connected RPA will help address skills shortages and boost much needed productivity - especially across the UK.

He issued a warning though - that market incumbents need a strong digital core to repel insurgent start-ups; “The graveyard of business past is haunted by the ghosts of companies that were eaten alive by digital competitors. Future businesses will depend on the strength of their digital strategy that’s implemented now – so they compete with more agile start-ups. Humans driving collaborative innovation and imagination - and working in tandem with Digital Workers - will be the key success factor to thriving in the digital age.”

The future of work theme was explored further by a panel of experts from EY and Fidelity International. Silvia Hernandez, Partner Human Capital EY, made three key points: we need to be excited about tech as it’s changing our workforce and leadership, trust is required to drive success across the future enterprise, and we must consider how organizations will look like in the future – to avoid destabilizing our society. She believes automation has potential to release capacity for innovation – not just productivity, so humans remain in the equation – and we ultimately avoid creating an ‘unworking class’.

Shailendra Saxena, Service Delivery and Transformation Leader for ES at EY, explained that his company uses over 300 digital workers across the business to do more with less, while accelerating delivery speed and liberating 600 FTEs. He also revealed that automation is changing how people are managed – “it’s recalibrating how we recruit and reward our people.”

Charles Mulinder, Head of Intelligent Automation and Change for Fidelity International, believes that Digital is accelerating broader change across sectors. He said, “reskilling will soak up our liberated capacity so we focus more on human orientated tasks.”

Building a More Sustainable Future

Martha Lane-Fox, one of the UK’s first digital entrepreneurs, introduced a deeply personal, ethical theme when she spoke to us - sharing her insight on the significance of digital inclusion, and the need for a fairer, more human kind of internet. She asserted that there are strong moral, economic and businesses reasons to challenge diversity in the technology sector.

However, she believes that the future’s bright if responsibility is built into new tech and there’s a clear understanding of what problem it’s solving, so it becomes a force for good and ensures that unintended consequences are avoided. She concluded, “digitalization of the UK is only beginning, so we must ensure that people inventing the future are making it more sustainable.”

Gartner Weighs In

Derek Miers, Transformational Change Strategist at Gartner, shared his expertise and insights into digital transformation and the impact of business architecture on automation strategy. He believes with multiple industries being disrupted, competitive advantage shifts from the traditional, large corporations - to agile and nimble enterprises. Those companies that can harness the power of collaborative thinking and the ideas of their developers and innovators, to capture and harvest compelling opportunities – will ultimately excel.

He issued a collective call to action, “The future is automated, if you don’t automate, someone will come along and eat your lunch. Every organization must reinvent itself and work out what they’re going to innovate. It’s a question of what you’re going to exploit, what you’re going to create. You’re chaining yourself to the past if you don’t start thinking about this - you have to be an inherently agile organization. If it can be automated, then, as a rule of thumb, it should be automated. Otherwise, some upstart will come along and do it for you. Look to optimize today and design for the future. Think differently about how you deliver value to everything.”

Award Winning Customers

I’m pleased to say that nearly 100 customers entered our Excellence in Enterprise RPA Awards and they are using our connected-RPA platform as a catalyst to not only transform business operations, but to reinvent themselves and become leaders in the markets they serve. The winners of the following categories were announced at the event - they included:

  • Innovation Excellence: Arla Foods
  • Value Driver Excellence: Lloyds Banking Group
  • Long-Standing Innovation: Nokia
  • ROM® Excellence: Lloyds Banking Group
  • Rookie of the Year: The University of Sydney
  • People’s Choice: Jaguar Land Rover

Crossing the Chasm Fast

Dave Moss, CTO and co-founder of Blue Prism, announced new product capabilities and enhancements to keep delivering on our connected-RPA vision as an AI business. The most notable of these is Blue Prism Decipher, an AI-powered document processing product that sits within the platform - allowing users to make sense and gain meaning from unstructured data.

He also highlighted one the key drivers of connected-RPA, “many large organizations

spend most of their IT budget on maintaining and updating processes and systems, rather than focusing on new initiatives — creating a digital entrepreneur gap. This ‘gap’ leaves organizations vulnerable to more agile competitors who can innovate faster. Connected-RPA is enabling organizations to plug this gap by creating a connected enterprise. This is where the combined creativity of digitally savvy business users - who really understand their business, are liberated to access and exploit leading-edge cloud, AI, cognitive and other capabilities — so they can innovate and swiftly develop new, compelling, offerings.”

Final Thoughts

What’s clearly been demonstrated during this amazing, two-day event is that connected-RPA is increasingly providing the platform to involve a wider range of collaborators to create a growing community that shares best practices. I’m excited to say that we’re still only at the beginning — this ecosystem of pioneers will increasingly generate ever easier access to emerging tech while enabling those participating to create new offerings to stay competitive. Ultimately, we're going to automate more, we're going to automate better - and most importantly we're going to automate together.

Free the People

Becoming an agile enterprise means operating as a seamless mix of digital workers, human workers, and systems dynamically automating processes everywhere from the back office to the customer experience. You can do this with Blue Prism's intelligent digital workers that are versatile, autonomous, self-organizing, and secure. As a result, you gain better insight and control over the work, create new and transformative ways to operate, and empower people to focus on work that truly matters.

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