Facilitating executive sponsorship for automation

BrandPost By Dwight Davis
Aug 24, 2021
Technology Industry

RPA backers need to generate hard metrics to prove the business case for enterprise-wide automation. Automating the manual tasks of CEOs and other executives is also a smart strategy.

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Credit: iStock

In earlier posts, we’ve discussed a number of the characteristics associated with successful robotic process automation (RPA) initiatives. Among those characteristics: the use of cutting-edge RPA platforms, the creation of an automation pipeline, and the establishment of a strong change management program.

Arguably, however, there is one essential element to RPA initiatives that supersedes all others: the recruitment of executive sponsors and participants. While CIOs and automation center of excellence experts will have responsibility for much of the automation planning and execution, the breath and impact of transformational automation efforts requires early and ongoing backing from the C-suite on down.

The best way for CIOs to generate executive support for enterprise-wide automation is to emphasize the many business benefits that pervasive automation can deliver. Some of the most impactful benefits include:

  • Increased employee productivity and satisfaction as automation speeds many laborious and time-consuming processes.
  • Lower error rates, improved security, and stricter compliance thanks to the standardization and auditing improvements that RPA can deliver.
  • Lower operating costs and increased revenue driven by productivity gains, operational speed, and faster time to market.
  • Greater innovation and competitiveness as employees, freed from many burdensome rote tasks, are able to focus on more valuable and strategic activities.

Of course, CEOs and other executives may rightly view these and many other asserted RPA benefits as little more than wishful thinking unless CIOs and other RPA advocates can back up their claims with hard numbers. To that end, it can be tough to deliver convincing metrics unless the advocates can first establish baseline data about the speed, error rates, and other characteristics of existing manual processes. Without such baseline data, there is no way to prove the benefits that task automations subsequently deliver.

RPA backers must also choose their initial proof-of-concept pilot programs with an eye toward identifying those that offer the fastest and largest payoffs. Identifying the best task automation candidates across an entire organization and the many employee activities within it can seem a daunting mission at first glance. Fortunately, there are now intelligent tools that can help CIOs as well as business managers identify the processes with the greatest potential for – and need of – automation.

Finally, in seeking to enlist CEOs and other C-suite executives to the automation cause, it’s important not to focus solely on the broad business benefits RPA can deliver. Don’t forget that, like all employees, executives also perform many repetitive tasks as part of their daily routines and requirements.

Savvy CIOs know that one of the best ways to convince these executives of RPA’s power and potential is by automating some of the executives’ own most-onerous and time-consuming tasks. CEOs and others who personally experience the benefits of task automation will become much more-committed advocates and allies when it comes to scaling up automation initiatives enterprise wide.

UiPath provides a broad RPA platform that addresses every aspect of task and process identification, analysis, automation, and life-cycle management. UiPath also has a broad array of services and resources to help CIOs make the business case for enterprise-wide RPA.

For further information, go to https://www.uipath.com/.