Digital workers work consistently, but they don’t think like humans … just yet! So internal policies that are targeted at your human workforce need to be revised
A digital workforce is fast becoming the cornerstone of any organisation in meeting transformational and operational challenges. Yet, all your organisational processes and procedures are most likely built around your human workforce.
Until now, that made sense. But humans aren’t the only workers carrying out tasks in your organisation. With the arrival of the digital workforce (software robots), you have a talent pool that’s very different to your human talent. That means there’s a need to look at your resource strategy from people right through to internal policies and procedures.
Of course, you need the right human roles on your automation team, but you also need to factor in the changing procedural needs of your digital workers too.
Thinking about your security as an organisation
When implementing Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and a digital workforce, your first engagement is likely to be with your security team, asking them to supply a log-on for your digital workers.
How you start this conversation is critical. This may be the first time that your security team has been informed about ‘safe’ robots being allowed into their network, so their initial reaction may be more critical than positive – after all, they’ve spent their careers defending your network real estate against the ‘invasion of the bots’.
It’s important to explain in clear detail how these digital workers are wholly security compliant. Digital workers are safe, secure and come with a logical access model that protects the network from any kind of malicious intervention.
Collaboratively working with your colleagues in these proactive conversations early on security are integral in the digital transformation journey.
Revising your human-specific procedures
Digital workers work consistently, but they don’t think like humans … just yet! So internal policies that are targeted at your human workforce need to be revised.
As humans, we’re used to software updates appearing on our desktops and for us to respond and execute these updates. But a digital worker won’t do that unless you’ve told them how to deal with it – so it’s important to include these version and software updates into your process architecture.
You need the right human roles on your automation team, but you also need to factor in the changing procedural needs of your digital workers too.
Consider having a process where any updates are cascaded out to your digital workforce at 2 a.m. each morning. That way it’s built into your procedures and you know it’s being taken care of. Tell the digital workers how to react in a given scenario and give them the information to carry out the required process effectively – that’s the key learning here.
Does a digital worker need a screensaver?
Why do we have screensavers on our computers? We need screensavers because humans leave their desks. We go to the coffee machine, or we go and have a chat with our friends.
But a digital worker doesn’t have friends to chat with and doesn’t leave the desk – it just sits there working, 24x7. So why have a screensaver kicking in after 10 minutes of screen inactivity?
The answer is that it’s an outmoded policy and the digital worker doesn’t need it. We’ve seen organisations where a process nudges the screen every nine minutes to prevent the screensaver kicking in. But that’s a workaround, not a sensible policy.
Why create a workaround for a human problem when you’re dealing with a digital workforce? Changing policy to make your digital workforce effective and efficient is critical to your long term business benefit profile.
Policies that meet the needs of the digital workforce
To get the best from your digital transformation implementation, you need policies that are designed and built specifically for your digital workforce.
When I see examples of workarounds within the business, I know that that there isn’t a true cultural adoption of these digital policies across the organisation. It will be teams that are driving forward the establishment of a Centre of Excellence (CoE), but without the organisation truly binding to exactly what it actually needs to establish the digital workforce.
What’s needed is a top-down approach to updating your policies, so the whole business is brought into the digital approach.
Rob Mills is VP ANZ for Blue Prism
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