Dear CIO, do you know what your bot architects are doing?

How to know if your RPA architect is building the right robots.

Just about as soon as the technology industry had decided to coin the term ‘bots' as a shortening for software robots, we started to worry about the rise of robots and the possibility of new increasingly sentient artificial beings developing the ability to impact our lives.

In terms of our own perception and awareness of bots, Microsoft talked about not a whole lot else at its Build developer conference back in 2015, so we can reasonably suggest that bots became mainstream industry language somewhere around or just before that time.

In the six or seven years we've been working more prevalently with software bots and the Artificial Intelligence (AI) brains that help to drive them, we've realised that they're not about to take over the world any time soon. Thankfully perhaps, more recent focus has been directed towards the provenance of the information that goes into their construction and their subsequent management.

Bots have progressed to become part of one of the tech industry's new ‘fad' terms which is unfortunate in many ways, because they are fundamentally important to the way contemporary IT platforms are developing. The most recent trend in this space sees us referring to Robotic Process Automation (RPA). This describes the use and deployment of software bots to shoulder definable, quantifiable, repeatable tasks that can be cost effectively orchestrated from a software layer.

What CIOs need to know now is not whether software bots and RPA will form a part of the total IT stack they need to manage - they can be assured of that. Instead, the prudent bot-aware CIO will be looking to assess the success rate of RPA initiatives given that many projects miss their deadlines more than 60% of the time and have failure rates of between 30%-50%.

Harden up your bots

Industry commentators are starting to talk about the need to have an RPA architect in place to review bots for functional excellence. These are the people that make sure your organisation's bots are ‘hardened' i.e. robust enough to stand up to the job they have been unleashed towards.

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