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Importance of CoE to drive RPA

CoE is an in-house body which provides capabilities for a specific area of focus.

Many businesses are applying the concept to RPA so they can create standards and scale their transformation efforts. Leveraging a COE is how many businesses aim to squeeze the most value out of their RPA initiatives.

Getting an RPA program right can be a complex initiative and demands careful planning and research. But if you're able to get a capable COE up and running, it can help you achieve success and can provide advantages, like economies of scales, reusable components , reducing FTE costs , increased productivity and accuracy

As you can see, having an internal capability can be a useful launching point for large-scale development and support. The functions in a COE are centered around the business needs , so their focus areas can vary. For example, one organization might use their COE for demand generation, in which the aim is to educate other business units on RPA and how it can be applied. Another organization might want to be self-reliant in RPA development as it scales up its digital transformation efforts. In this case, they would use a COE for internal training and solution design. For many large enterprises, every RPA solution is handed off to a COE for continual maintenance, administration, and risk management, making upkeep as efficient as possible.

Irrespective of the intent as above, COE brings scalability and reusability to the equation. To coordinate all these functions, governance is a key factor that must be carefully planned. For example, you'll have to decide on an organizational structure for your COE.

COEs tend to be either centralized or federated. Centralized models, which are the most common, concentrate the RPA capability at one point in the organization, which means that all business functions defer to the COE for support and resources. Federated models are also quite common. This is when a central COE provides the framework for different business divisions to build their own COEs, rather than having one COE for the whole organization. This is helpful for more complex organizations, where business units are more distinct in culture and processes.

One must also consider the point of control . Is the COE intended to be owned and governed by a business or IT, or maybe a mix of both? This will influence the degree of control over development standards, change management, and IT requirements. There isn't really a clear, winning combination of the considerations I described. And in a sense, they aren't even the most important part of planning a COE.

The COE won't work well unless it matches the DNA of your organization. It takes a good understanding of the organizational structure to know which COE model will be the best fit. Hence it is recommended to spend significant due dilligence in arriving at the right model which would work best for the organization.

CoE fuels the overall automation initiative and if stood correctly, RPA programs within the organization would have higher chances of success.

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