22 April 2020

Bots are the future of Business Continuity

Bots are the future of Business Continuity

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Business Continuity Plans (BCP) have been tested on a global scale like no time before in my 20 years of working. The key difference to the tragic events of 9/11 and 7/7 , is that the impact is worldwide, so the London team can’t simply take over from the New York team, we can’t move staff to our BCP site, etc. This is likely to be the beginning of our BCP challenges.

The Extra Technology team delivers bots (software robots undertaking basic tasks across applications like human workers) to many clients across multiple sectors. Typically before commissioning the development of a new bot, the client’s decision-makers review a business case based on a candidate process review. Almost invariably the most important factor in whether the bot is commissioned is Return on Investment (ROI) from resource-saving, with other factors like compliance and audit taking less prominence. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic, the top concern of many decision-makers is operational stability and BCP.

Only a few months ago, a candidate process for robotization was scrutinised for ROI on the ‘normal’ factors of reduced/redeployed Full-Time Employees (FTE) saving, increased productivity, auditability and compliance - now the primary consideration is often BCP. Will this bot maintain my daily business operations, even if my staff are sick, working from home or otherwise indisposed?

A very recent blog published by one of our consultants The Hidden Benefits of Automation Anywhere investigates more.

Until now a typical client ROI assessment framework matrix would factor-in, FTE Reduction/Redeployment, Auditability, Scalability, Accuracy and Time to Market - however not BCP.

The lesson businesses learned from COVID-19 is that BCP is now clearly a key factor in the ROI assessment framework matrix.

Use Case

In 2019 our customer, a leading international bio-tech organisation, deployed a significant number of Automation Anywhere bots. Not only have the bots delivered ROI against the traditional RPA assessment framework matrix but they also provided tremendous BCP benefits by freeing-up a reduced staff (due to sickness and disruption) to undertake more ad-hoc work during a challenging time. By being innovative and investing in bot technology they have continued back-office tasks with minimal disruption to the benefit of the organisation but also to the global community that they serve.

Our customer’s management team has recognised the hidden BCP benefits of RPA bots and is committed to re-review previously rejected RPA candidate processes. This time using the updated RPA assessment framework matrix that includes BCP. They will mobilise a small Rapid Application Development (RAD) team to accelerate the automation of key processes previously delivered by small teams, that are now at risk due to staff sickness.

Summary

The world is changing at a rapid pace. Organisations now have game-changing technologies at their disposal. Extra Technology recommends that businesses quickly react to new challenges, design and deploy bots to automatically undertake core business operations and ensure that end-customers experience minimum disruption. Bots can help share the load during a difficult time.

When happier times return, the bots will continue to undertake; repeatable, predictable, processing releasing the staff to engage in more innovative activities – to take time to think of new products, new services and consider how to take us to the next level of customer experience.

Satish Patel
Chief Operating Office, Extra Technology

 
Satish Patel

About the Author
Satish Patel is Extra Technology’s Chief Operating Officer. He spent the first 15 years of his career in technical roles and the next 10 years in senior business roles delivering business change. Satish has delivered large-scale business transformation programmes for leading financial services organisations. He joined Extra Technology from Barclays upon successful delivery of the award-winning Global Sales and Suitability programme for Barclays Private Bank and Overseas Services. Satish previously worked with M&G, HSBC, CSFB, Deutsche Bank, ABN AMRO and Nomura.

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