RPA 2019: The Obvious Knowledge Gap (Part 2)
As this historic year in Automation is in its last quarter of 2019 and as companies ramp and plan for 2020 I would like to address the “elephant in the room” regarding this exploding sector of tech. I wrote a bit about this earlier this year expressing my views regarding the “Obvious Knowledge Gap” and how the lack of quality resources could eventually cannibalize the industry. While that hasn’t happened there are signs that early adopters are feeling the sting of the lack of qualified resources that can develop RPA processes.
The projections for RPA are off the charts. I read recently that it could have $6.7 trillion global impact on the World by 2025.
That’s quite a statement. It would be interesting to see if MS Windows had that impact pre Windows 95. The point is there is significant momentum in the RPA, ML and AI sectors in the global economy right now. It’s not a marketing pitch but we are seeing some real results. There are however consistent issues with finding talent and resources.
I will argue that the hiring model for RPA at this stage is completely outdated and very flawed.
I think it comes from the fact that people don’t completely understand what the technology is and how they can successfully spin up a RPA CoE. Here are some of my thoughts around this subject.
1. The first “real” RPA Pilot for a medium to large organization shouldn’t be lead by 1-2 new RPA Developers.
This in essence is putting these two individuals in the deep end without the ability to swim. RPA Pilots should be high impact and involve key business areas. The decisions will be made by business leads. The new hires are just learning the company and are trying to do their best, but don’t have the domain knowledge nor gravitas in the organization to ask the hard questions that will be needed.
2. Do not hire cheap.
While the market may eventually commoditize similar to the web development market. You get what you pay for. If you are pinning the success on an inexperienced cheap developer, it’s not even worth starting the project.
3. RPA Developers need to know more than what they are “certified” on.
A good developer knows MS Windows inside and out. They understand how applications work. Not just a web application. There are many old and new apps out there. If they need to be automated there is a reason, they are hard to use!! We used to say, customers aren’t coming to us because the application is easy to automate or even use.
4. In addition to point #3, Developers need to have some other exposure to programming languages and DB’s.
5. As ML/AI and cloud based API’s become more readily used, understanding how to manipulate these objects are vital.
This is by no means a complete list as more items will be added as we proceed with our RPA Journey. The space has changed quite a bit in just one years time and I would expect it to continue to evolve as we head into 2020.
Peter S. Camp is the CTO and Founder of CampTek Software. He has been developing RPA Applications for over 15 years. For further questions, discussion or inquiry about CampTek Software Services, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.