Earlier this month, Founder of IRPA Network, Frank Casale, spoke with Automation Innovation sSpeaker, Barry Matthews, Managing Director of Alsbridge Europe.
In the interview, Barry and Frank discusses trends in the process automation space including the shift from research to execution, the changing role of IT and how aspirants can approach execution.
FC: We themed this year’s conference “The Year of the Robot.” Late last year when planning I predicted that 2016 would be the year of the robot. What I meant was that this was the year that RPA and intelligent automation would begin to be really embraced and get traction within organizations. We anticipated that business and tech leaders would begin shifting from research to execution. This certainly is playing out in the U.S. Do you see this as a year of the robot for U.K. as well?
BM: Yes, absolutely, there has been a dramatic shift; if last year was conversation, this year has definitely been action. We have seen a very rapid uptake, to the extent that we now have a team of almost 100 just carrying out RPA implementations for our customers. The “penny has dropped”, as we say in the UK, and business and IT leaders have now realized that there are rapid efficiencies to be gained through RPA and that processes can be automated in all departments across the back office – and so they are rolling the technology out across the organization rather than just in individual departments.
FC: What other observations do you have with respect to more recent trends in process automation?
BM: I’m seeing IT involvement from the outset and not as an afterthought. We’ve been preaching this to our customers for a while now and the message has definitely landed. Thankfully, CIOs are often the instigators of business process automation now, leading from the front and helping their business customers implement the software properly, so the IT blockers that plagued early implementations are now far less common.
FC: What is your advice to those who continue to passively research?
BM: Go for it – start small, run a pilot and see for yourself how effective it can be. Ask for advice from those of us who’ve been doing it for many years; the RPA community is a friendly place and experts whether early adopters, suppliers, consultants or advisors are generally very happy to help see RPA delivered successfully, so take the first step and get started!
Hear more from Barry at this year’s Automation Innovation Conference in London! The event takes place on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at etc.venues St Paul’s. Learn more about the full-day conference.
Barry is recognized as one of the leading sourcing practitioners in the UK, having led a wide range of transformational sourcing transactions over the past 18 years. In 2010 Barry recognized that leading businesses were demanding a more agile, expert and relationship based approach to sourcing advice and he co-founded Source to address that need. Source became one of the leading UK advisory companies and has been widely recognized for its success and pioneering positive outcomes based approach. Alsbridge acquired Source in 2015 and Barry was made European Managing Director. Barry is a pioneer in the field of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) spotting the opportunity in 2010 and building an RPA practice to service the needs of a rapidly expanding market. Barry leads Alsbridge’s business in Europe, overseeing operational and delivery services with the objective of ensuring that all Alsbridge advised deals deliver positive outcomes. When not leading Alsbridge’s European business, Barry occasionally finds time for endurance sports events, iron man triathlons and multi-stage races.