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Blue Prism Executive: “RPA Adoption Across Asia-Pacific is Still in Its Infancy”

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In 2017, Mike Cawsey joined Blue Prism with more than 20 years of experience in leading global enterprise software and technology organizations in business process management, analytics, and information management and governance. At this point, he works as a senior vice-president and general manager of Blue Prism Asia-Pacific, and here are a few excerpts from his interview with Computer Weekly where Cawsey offers insights on the state of adoption of RPA in APAC.

Could you share your observations about RPA adoption across the region based on what you’re seeing in the market?

“Similar to other enterprise technologies, RPA adoption in APAC is behind the US and Europe. Nevertheless, adoption is definitely growing in the region, though it varies in scale across different countries. Australia and Singapore are leading the way in terms of maturity and scale of adoption. India is also very strong especially among large global enterprises that have established their operations and centers of excellence there.

Other major markets like Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines also have corporations that have demonstrated strong adoption – although the implementations may sometimes be vanilla RPA rather than intelligent automation. It’s a maturing region and there are areas for growth and maturity.

Operational excellence, resilience, cost efficiency, and error reduction continue to be major drivers of RPA adoption in the region. However, more mature customers which have successfully scaled up their digital workforce are looking at ways to move the needle, and it’s more around delivering a more connected customer experience and new differentiated products rather than cost efficiency. That said, my view is that RPA adoption in APAC is still very much in its infancy based on my experience across the region.”

What are some of the RPA implementation models you see across the region?

“It varies across the region. Those that have the vision may put together a center of excellence which involves the business and IT. If it’s purely led by IT, it tends to remain tactical. Because it’s the business that understands the process, IT needs to work together with the business to truly scale any RPA implementations. It all goes back to that vision from the senior level and that’s where we’re seeing the most success.”

What is your strategy for approaching customers in emerging versus developed markets in the region?

“We and our core partners know what works. If implemented properly, organizations can scale very quickly, but it has to be adopted from the top and with the right methodology. Whether they are small or large organizations, there are certain principles that work, such as having the right sponsorship and cultural change.

Start your journey in RPA based on the learnings of others – that will definitely be my approach and that’s what we recommend to customers. We also connect customers in the same industry to help them understand nuances of what’s required and what’s not.”