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October 2016 Vol. 56

RPA: Mapping out a plan for enterprise automation

Robotic process automation technology has the potential to make business processes more efficient, boost productivity and save lots of money by enabling "virtual workers" to take on tedious tasks -- without the odious work typical of big enterprise-level applications. But this type of enterprise automation is an emerging technology, tools are still taking shape, and matching robotic process automation (RPA) to the right process is "still an art form," says Forrester analyst Craig Le Clair. Because the technology is so new, he says, businesses risk implementing systems without the safety net that underlies mature technology. Read on for advice around establishing IT's role in RPA projects and hear from two execs who have implemented RPA. Elsewhere in this issue, we examine how Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority upgraded its obsolete on-premises infrastructure. And Nationwide Mutual Insurance's Guru Vasudeva explains his IT department's lean management system.

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