Why do we want business users to build RPA bots in the first place? It’s no secret and I hear it in almost every organization I have observed throughout my tenure and it is a big reason why RPA (although existed for 20+ years) suddenly became mainstream a few years ago. The fact that in an organization, traditionally IT and business have not always seen eye to eye (I know, shocker right) and in many cases have not even looked each other in the eye for quite some time. Not my words, all of theirs… with the standard justification something to the fact that, “IT is always too expensive, too slow, and when delivered brings me 20% of the functionality I asked for… god forbid I actually want to make changes once I do get something, forget it”. On the other side of the wall, IT typically responds with, “The business never knows what they want, what their users do, they want it for free and they want it yesterday… and when we deliver it, it’s never right”
Common complaints with one another that over time have led to further distrust, misalignment and driven a wedge deeper and deeper between these two critical groups. A wedge that compounds over time impacting company growth @ scale, cost to deliver, customer satisfaction, and employee satisfaction. More importantly for this discussion, it has left the business felling like they have to go externally to find new ways to deliver faster, cheaper, and more adaptable technology solutions to keep up competitively and deliver a unique customer service. After all, we are in a constantly changing / always adapting business climate where customers, business models, regulations and technology can and need to change on a dime. As a result, both IT and business need to be fast, quick and adaptive with their business process, training, and their technology. More importantly... I think we can agree this cannot be done in silos.
But if we look deeper into those gripes, what is the underlying need form both sides? What’s driving the business side to continue to invest in technology on their own without support from IT (i.e. OOTB apps or “ease of use” automation platforms selling ease of use)? The answer is simple… it’s the high-pressure competitiveness to be able to deliver new technology capabilities (and fill old ones) @ speed and high adaptability. If not achievable, the business will often go out to the market to purchase OOTB / plug in play / point solution apps and / or, they look to new disruption technology tools like RPA, tools that promote this do it yourself, don’t rely on IT approach to software. Although well intentioned, this is a classic address the symptom reaction vs taking the time to dig in deep to understand what’s driving the wedge, how it’s impacting the organization, and then building the right strategy by looking at all three transformational elements (people, process, and technology) so we properly address the cause and do this right.
Low-Code/No-Code to the Rescue
The vendor community has seen and responded strategically to this wedge in hopes of capitalizing on this organizational discourse. Problem is, many of these vendor solutions also don’t address the true root cause of discourse and instead seem to offer conflict avoidance approaches. Some of the more popular conflict avoidance strategies in our recent past include:
- 1. Outsourcing - remove the work = remove the problem - Outsourcing the work to someone else who will deal with it all.
- 2. App store mentality purchasing: - OOTB – SAAS – cloud - “business controlled and managed” apps via 3rd party: Leverage the latest hot new technology solutions to fill functionality gaps with quick to deploy applications. Could be something small used in HR onboarding or something as monstrous as a new save the world CRM suite (built by the business of course). Business control, business defined.
- 3. NoCode your way to business freedom - Offer Low/No Code design platforms for the business so they can have the power and control to manage their technology at their speed and not be dependent on IT. Business built, Business managed