RPA Rebuttal

You May Need to Go Back to Basics Before RPA

The promise of RPA may be bright. But to start solving problems with RPA, you need to understand the data chain in your organization.

It's easy to get excited about new technology and paint a picture which is a bit too bright. We recently posted an ebook extolling the virtues and potential of RPA. After reading our article, we got a message from Simon Bennett, CTO for EMEA at Rackspace Technology, saying we may not have told the full story. We invited him on to Cloud Talk to give his rebuttal!

In the latest Cloud Talk episode, Simon Bennett and host Jeff DeVerter discuss the principles that need to be considered before deploying RPA, and the importance of data.

Tune in to hear about:

  • Understanding the data chain/data journey
  • The role of the Chief Data Officer
  • The process of putting RPA into production
  • The changing face and language of IT

Simon sets the record straight about RPA. “So the article talks a lot about robotic processes and how, when a problem is found, you can use a robotic process to fix it using a virtual engineer rather than a human being. And that’s great when you know what the problem is. But so often now, with IT solutions that span data centers, private cloud and public cloud, what may be seen as a problem with a customer-facing website, or a mobile phone app, may manifest itself somewhere much further back within the IT solution. Being able to find the source of the problem rather than just treating the symptom is key to understanding how you can fix the problem in the first place. And a robotic process doesn’t necessarily fix a poorly performing website when the problem is grabbing data out of a database somewhere completely different. And unless you know where that data comes from, how do you know which robotic process to use and why?”

Simon explains the importance of understanding the data journey and why Chief Data Officers are high in demand. “Many organizations now are hiring Chief Data Officers. And why are they doing that? This is about the business process and the business data. Understanding where the data originates, where the master of that data is, and how that data flows and moves around the various systems.”

Jeff discusses the changing face of IT and why it’s incumbent IT speaks the language of the whole business. “Even 10 years ago, you had IT inside of an organization and a nice big brick wall a lot of times right in between [IT and the business side]. And it was IT’s job to do the interpretation of what the business needed, and then effectively communicate that and solve it. So IT and the partner could speak in tech, and they didn’t necessarily have to speak in business outcomes because they could just map requirements. But that world has changed. As the digital fluency increases across the organization throughout all aspects — marketing, sales, finance, everywhere — people are able to do more. It’s incumbent then that IT speaks the language of the whole business to be able to enable those folks.”

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About the Authors

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Rackspace Technology Staff - Solve

The Solve team is made up of a curator team, an editorial team and various technology experts as contributors. The curator team: Srini Koushik, CTO, Rackspace Technology Jeff DeVerter, Chief Technology Evangelist, Rackspace Technology The editorial team:  Gracie LePere, Program Manager Royce Stewart, Chief Designer  Simon Andolina, Design Tim Mann, Design Abi Watson, Design Debbie Talley, Production Manager  Chris Barlow, Editor  Tim Hennessey Jr., Writer Stuart Wade, Writer Karen Taylor, Writer Meagan Fleming, Social Media Specialist Daniel Gibson, Project Manager

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