Another year in the rear-view mirror and what can we say? This year we’ve seen the RPA market continue to dominate headlines as hundreds of millions of dollars poured in from the VC community. Hype, mania, and maybe a bit of irrational exuberance took over, but we’re now seeing a course correction taking place.
The correction isn’t about market demand or the viability of RPA but rather claims vendors are making over ease of use and scalability. These claims run the gamut—no code versus low code, AI enabled automation capabilities, and my favorite “a robot on every desktop”.
An arms race is taking place on who can deliver the best intelligent automation solutions. But we are at an inflection point, because automation for its own sake is pointless. If all you are doing is adding “more technical debt” to your IT department, what value are you bringing to your organization?
Our vision of what this technology is and can do is fundamentally different. True RPA isn’t a productivity tool set, desktop macros or screen scraping technologies, it is so much more. We are providing raw capability to execute on mission-critical work—a fungible and elastic Digital Workforce.
This Digital Workforce augments and enables, more than it replaces and is driven and controlled by business not IT. It also makes the digital worker the cornerstone for operational agility and productivity. Organizations in the near future will evolve to consist of a 1/3 Digital Workforce, 1/3 human and 1/3 infrastructure—all working in harmony.
So how do we get there? This year we’ve achieved several milestones that help democratize IT while putting RPA initiatives in clear alignment with business goal and objectives. Here are just a few quick highlights;
- Support across all IT delivery models: With the acquisition of Thoughtonomy back in June, Blue Prism became the first RPA vendor to offer customers access to end-to-end automation solutions that cover all IT environments — on-premise, cloud, hybrid and SaaS.
- A strong ecosystem of partners: The Digital Exchange (DX) has emerged as a dynamic online RPA community providing drag and drop access to thousands of downloads assets that can be incorporated into a Digital Workforce from companies like ABBYY, Appian, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce and SAP, to name a few.
- Investing heavily in R&D: Earlier this year, Blue Prism launched its dedicated AI Research Labs headquartered in London. This think tank brings together PhD level research scientists and engineers across multiple AI fields, a world-class brain trust on the future of work, who will inform and spearhead developments on the company’s embedded AI capabilities.
Hopefully, this helps move a discussion along to what customers need and want, and we don’t get lost talking about unicorns, rainbows and pixie dust on our way to cashing out on an IPO. We’ve seen enough BULLS*%# and HYPE this year. It is time to set the right expectations with RPA. Every enterprise needs a Digital Workforce and we’re committed to getting you on that journey. One that’s focused on delivering value versus a quick productivity fix. So, here’s to looking forward to a less hype-oriented 2020. We wish you all the best over this holiday season.