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Events | December 18th, 2018

4 Takeaways on the Impact of Automation at ITPalooza 2018

Automation has always existed at the intersection of technology and business. In the last 100 years, automation revolutionized traditional blue-collar work and expanded the efficiency of production exponentially. In the 21st century, however, automation will continue to evolve and potentially disrupt white-collar work from software design to marketing and financial services. The use of robotic process automation (RPA) is already making waves, as Romanian-based startup UiPath is on it’s way to becoming the fastest growing software company ever with a current valuation at $3 billion.

Undoubtedly the market demand for automation is growing rapidly, but its long-term impact on white-collar work has yet to be known. At this year’s ITPalooza in Fort Lauderdale, Robert Valdez, Manager of Cybersecurity and Compliance Services at Kaufman Rossin, moderated a panel discussion on the risk, rewards, and impacts of 21st century automation with South Florida tech entrepreneurs and professionals managing automation technology. The panel included Jody Paterson, Founder and CEO of ERP Maestro; Albert Santalo, CEO of 8base; Armando Lambert, VP of Enterprise Optimization at Bayview Asset Management; and Zia Bhutta, co-founder and Managing Partner of Accelirate Inc.

Below are the chief takeaways from the panel discussion on impact of automation and tips on how to manage automation processes and talent within companies:

1. When Starting with RPA, Start Small

When first utilizing RPA, companies tend to bite off more than they can chew by automating many large and complex business processes. Instead, Armando Lambert recommends companies to start small and simple with RPA. “A lot of automation failure is starting too large,” said Lambert. “Pick small, clerical work and do it in sprints. That’s where you want to focus on to get buy-in when first beginning.”

2. To Become Agile, You Have to Automate

While automation is a new process for most companies, companies that don’t implement automation may be left behind if they don’t begin now. Albert Santalo says that automation of the right business processes can make companies even more agile, leaving them some room to innovate and pivot. “If you can’t see around corners, you’re in trouble,” said Santalo.

3. Automation Can Reduce Compliance Risks

Companies that often struggle with achieving legal and regulatory compliance do so because of manual processes in place. Without automation, compliance is difficult to manage and error-prone, according to Jody Paterson. “People make mistakes, but the problem now is that the amount of data and complexity of it is increasing.” To solve this problem, Jody recommended that companies utilize automation software for compliance so that the potential for human error is reduced and the consequences of noncompliance (steep fines, penalties, legal action) can be avoided.

4. To Recruit RPA Talent, Be Hands-On

While RPA is a growing field, finding talent to build and manage RPA technology must not be taken lightly. To secure the best developers for your company and culture, Zia Bhutta suggested that executive leadership must have a role in the recruiting process. “I do 90 percent of the interviews for my company, from junior to senior roles. I’m very hands-on and my leadership team will have to do the same for their departments,” said Bhutta.


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