Adobe CIO: How we scaled RPA with a Center of Excellence

Adobe CIO: How we scaled RPA with a Center of Excellence

Cynthia Stoddard shares how her team’s Robotic Process Automation Center of Excellence helped Adobe grow RPA use rapidly – and win support across teams, including finance

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Lessons from our RPA journey

Rather than multiple RPA engines and tools being used in silos across our organization, the COE has maintained standardization.

Beyond gaining buy-in, when starting out with RPA and as you build your COE, I would advise IT leaders to keep their focus on business applications rather than the tooling itself. A tool can have dozens of cool functionalities, but if it doesn’t actually address business problems, then it will be worthless.  

One of the best ways to keep that focus is to ensure you are involving the people whose daily activities will be affected by RPA in the process on the front end. Automation is a systemic function, so having the system represented in the proof of concept and pilot programs lets you see exactly where the bots will be able to make an impact, both at the micro (employee, department) and macro (organization) levels.

Adobe is still very much in the growth phase of RPA implementation. We continue to find applications for it. Nearly two years in, I would attest that any CIO or IT leadership must insist upon a COE as part of any kind of RPA program. I don’t think we would have achieved nearly so much success so quickly without it.

Further, the COE has kept our RPA growth not just steady, but focused on measurable, tangible application. Rather than multiple RPA engines and tools being used in silos across our organization, the COE has maintained standardization, meaning our RPA hums like the proverbial well-oiled machine, even as it evolves.

We still have plenty of exploration of the possibilities of RPA in our future, and I see our well-established COE as a strong foundation for that rapid growth.

[ How can automation free up more staff time for innovation? Get the free eBook: Managing IT with Automation. ] 

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