Digital Workforce Is Changing The Enterprise Landscape

by Priyanka Pugaokar    Feb 20, 2017


Automation is the next big wave in the industry with enterprises across the domain are using software robots to perform routine, repetitive and tedious business processes. Robot Process Automation (RPA) and Cognitive technologies are witnessing a rapid adoption. Enterprises intend to get on the digital workforce journey are increasingly deploying RPA and Cognitive technologies to bring down the time and cost and increase productivity.

The RPA market is gaining traction as a cost-effective alternative to legacy systems integration and is projected to become a $5 billion market globally by 2020. The growing use of cognitive technologies in conjunction with RPA, presents opportunities to reimagine business by redesigning and rescaling jobs.

The San Jose, California based Automation Anywhere delivers the most comprehensive enterprise-grade RPA platform with built-in cognitive solutions and analytics. The company, which provides Digital workforce solutions to Fortune 500 companies across more than 90 countries, is very bullish over the new wave of software robot automation business in India. In a candid interaction with CXOToday, Ankur Kothari, Co-founder & Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at Automation Anywhere talks about the trends in RPA and Cognitive technology and the business potentials in these two emerging areas in India.

- What is the engagement of Automation Anywhere in India? What are your key focused verticals in the country?

We are the world’s largest digital workforce platform having strong footprints in India. We started our India operation around 13 years ago with the establishment of our second largest Development Center in Baroda. We currently employ around 250 employees out of our Mumbai, Baroda and Bengaluru offices. We closely work with the largest service providers and system integrators. We have partnered with 27 global Advisories such as E&Y, KPMG, Deloitte, PwC, SIs like Accenture, TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant and BPOs like Genpact, HGS, EXL to name a few.

We offer the most comprehensive Robot Process Automation (RPA) platform with built-in cognitive solutions and analytics to enterprises to manage and scale the business processes. We provide our digital workforce solutions to world’s largest companies that include financial services, BPO, healthcare, technology and insurance companies. We aim to become the world’s largest employer with 3 million digital workforce by 2020.

- Enterprises are increasingly exploring robotic automation for business agility? What trends do you see in RPA and cognitive technology?

Robot Process Automation (RPA) is exponentially growing concept in the industry and now it is pretty much on everyone’s agenda. Automation allows companies to push the boundaries of productivity to the next level. A lot of manual processes can be easily automated through using software robots, which are economically viable and time saving. So everyone is looking at RPA as the next big wave that allows them to reimagine their business.

Different companies are at different stage in terms of adoption and deployment, where some enterprises are in the rapid adoption phase and some are actually leading it. Some companies are just getting started and some companies are scaling from the deployment. We also see that some enterprises are institutionalizing RPA; meaning that they are going in the mind-set that first automate and then do it manually. But from our perspective, there is a meaningful exponential curve is happening in India in terms of RPA. Interestingly, we also observe that some enterprises are driving the adoption from India and taking the idea to the global offices.

- How CIOs are driving the whole new wave of Digital workforce in their respective business?

We observe that CIOs and heads of shared services are majorly driving the robotic automation in their organization. But in most cases, it depends on the organizational dynamics and leadership. With the use of robotic automation, businesses can actually make the systems talk to each other, so the complexity can be manageable. We also see the cases, where the businesses are leading the automation and IT becomes its partner.

- How RPA, Cognitive Technology and Content Analytics work together to form Digital workforce?

RPA allows you to create bots and facilitate interaction between the two systems through the user interface at the front end as well as back end. It also allows you to move the data, validate it and take algorithmic ruled based decisions and automate all robotic tasks we do manually. On the other hand, Cognitive technology allows you to put human intelligence inside the bots. It allows learning, comprehending and acting like a human. Cognitive technologies can be trained to make core judgements. When you put analytics on it, you can analyse the relevant data in real time.

- What kind of transformation businesses have experienced after the deployment of RPA and Cognitive technologies?

We have seen companies are achieving almost up to 100 per cent growth from 20-30 per cent. The usual benefits of automation are reduced in cost, increase in productivity, improvement in compliance and reduction in risk. But what is more important is that as you implement more automation the mind-set of an organization start changing and that is the real transformation. It allows businesses to drive a digital business, reduces business variability and drive larger business values. Automation is changing the role of operation in organizing and giving rise to new age operations.

- But there is also a perception in the industry that more automation could lead to probable job loss, especially, the semi skill jobs. What are your views on this?

There is no truth in this perception and it is just hype. With every technology job holders move up and they become a part of the process. Hence, the job does not go, but gets changed and people keep on upscale and rescale. During the automation process, some jobs may become not as relevant but it may create other jobs over the period. Secondly, even if you automate ten per cent of your entire operation in the first 2 years the average attrition is not more than 14-15 per cent. So when a person leaves the job, the company replaces that role with a different kind of task or rescale it.

- What growth potentials do you see in the RPA? What is your go to market strategy in terms of business expansion in India?

We are seeing a rapid adoption of robot automation across the industry verticals. Either the transformation is led from India or starts in other geographies, but India plays a significant role. We are also seeing a lot of Indian companies are also getting on this journey. We forecast that cognitive will play an important role and a lot of leaders looking at this as an opportunity to reimagine their business. They are looking at processes to completely digitize their business.

We continue to engage with all the leaders and thought leader clients. We are also open for association with the government and talking to concern authorities though our partners. Innovation is at the heart of our business and we will continue to push boundaries of technology.