lmantovani@sig.org's blog

RPA: A Brave New World

As I sit here at my desk listening to the glorious whirl of robotic process automation taking place at my feet (my Roomba is vacuuming diligently), I think back to SIG's last Global Summit in Amelia Island and how RPA was at the forefront of our discussions.  

Now, of course not everyone is as fond of certain types of automation.  My dogs for instance, who are getting old, a little deaf, a little blind and a little senile, get spooked occasionally by this little disruptive digitalization in their lives.  And my 4 year-old daughter thinks it's cool, (calls it her puppy) but if it gets too loud or in her way, its process quickly becomes terminated prematurely. 

As I write this my Roomba signals with its happy little tune that it has completed cleaning the room and silence almost ensues, except for the faint hum of my newly installed ceiling fan (it’s a truly glorious sleek modern contraption) and it occurs to me that this too, a more common example of process automation, also brings me great joy, convenience and comfort.  At one point both these items were the newest technology and people doubted their need and also questioned how many jobs would be lost at their hands.  Not unfortunately, these days you do not find too many personal fanners (picture Cleopatra being fed grapes and giant palm fronds), but in its stead fan designers, engineers, installers, repair servicemen and salesmen. And whereas only a small minority of the population could afford a professional fanner back in those days, ceiling fans are common place and found in abundance due to technology and manufacturing improvements, making them less expensive and more easily accessible. 

Liz Mantovani, Sourcing Intelligence Manager