An AI summer powers 10 new golden rules of RPA

AI powers new rules of RPA conversation with Leslie Joseph Forrester

1:1 featuring Leslie Joseph, Principal Analyst, Forrester

Robotic process automation (RPA) is no longer a lonely island in the sea of automation. There is a grand convergence across the landscape. RPA is a ‘stepping stone’ to something bigger.

This was at the core of my discussion with our guest speaker, Leslie Joseph, Principal Analyst at Forrester. Leslie recently authored new research published by Forrester, The 10 Golden Rules of RPA Success. Leslie has some serious cred here, as he leads coverage at the intersection of enterprise applications, technology platforms, and the future of work. We are making the research available compliments of UiPath here.

In my 1:1 discussion (you can watch our full conversation)—as in so many customer, partner, and family conversations today—we hit artificial intelligence (AI) hard out the gates.

Here are some of my favorite takeaways:

On lessons learned since the pandemic

The pandemic intensified the importance of bringing robots into the system, into core processes. There was a shift from cost takeout to risk mitigation and continuity. And then, employees started asking more about what else bots could do for them. The conversation shifted to innovation through automation.

On the state of digital transformation

Businesses had to invest in digitization because they had no option, but they were not creating any real source of competitive differentiation. Now, however, things are different.

On the shift from RPA as a tool to a platform

Over the past couple of years, [UiPath] has been ‘meshing automation with process intelligence’ and this has been quite transformative...a true example of AI-powered enterprise automation.

On generative AI in the enterprise

It’s taken years and years of development to get generative AI (GPT1, GPT2, GPT3, etc.) to its current form. There is a lot more “gas in the tank” on what other AI technologies will emerge. Now, with generative AI in the enterprise, businesses will have the ability to layer on top of unstructured data. So you will know not only what is happening, but also why it is happening.

On the end goal

Automation is evolving into ‘whole business observability,’ providing views, actions, and recommendations across how work actually gets done, end to end.

AI-powered automation

During our discussion, Leslie summarizes what we call AI-powered automation well: “There is a lot of power as the technologies evolve…moving from the realm of science fiction to actual reality. This is long term where the value of automation is going to shine. We will layer really adaptive AI across processes that understand context and can respond in very human sorts of modes.”

With that, we dove into Leslie’s latest top "10 Golden Rules of RPA Success" and here they are (alongside a quick summary snippet):

Rule 1 – Weave RPA into your company’s automation fabric

Gain executive sponsorship and engagement to drive transformation outcomes.

Rule 2 – Build a sustainable business value model for RPA

Report value in ways that matter to the C-suite.

Rule 3 – Treat RPA as an enterprise platform

Prioritize enterprise-wide resilience and best practices.

Rule 4 – Secure your bots with zero trust principles

Make robot security a priority.

Rule 5 – Prioritize your processes

Target the right use cases, go deeper into complex tasks, and embrace process optimization.

Rule 6 – Lay early foundations for effective automation management and governance

Federated governance models are key; they are two-thirds business-led and one-third IT.

Rule 7 – Plan for AI, but don’t rush in (check out how AI combines with RPA in four modalities)

Embedding machine learning (ML) into RPA-based workflows greatly increases the surface area of automatable tasks and processes by enabling novel use cases.

Rule 8 – Take an innovative view of intelligent automation

Foster in-house automation skills and citizen developer programs to drive innovation through automation.

Rule 9 – Design for humans

Focus on employee experience (EX) and wellbeing.

Rule 10 – Foster an automation-first culture

Ensure everyone pivots to thinking of automation as the primary model for all kinds of work.

Get your complementary copy

You can download Leslie Joseph’s full research report and watch my conversation with Leslie.

I want to thank Leslie for taking the time to speak with me and offering up his passionate insights on the future of automation and AI.

Bobby Patrick headshot
Bobby Patrick

Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), UiPath

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