Guidance in Delivering Value through Architecture
You can create and deploy business and enterprise architectures that improve organizational understanding, increase business opportunities, support agility, and deliver value. Cutter’s Architecture team delivers continuous insights based on their hands-on experience assisting organizations worldwide.
There are a multitude of innovative applications across industries where RPA solutions are improving the quality of repeated tasks and releasing resources. In this Advisor, I share a sampling of a few interesting case studies and examples of RPA in action.
The need for business architecture in organizations has never been greater than it is today, as we must continually sense and respond to opportunity and change, both of which abound. Though the business architecture discipline continues to gain traction at an ever-increasing pace, how we practice it is critical for its adoption and effectiveness. This Executive Update provides an overview of the importance of using visual techniques as part of a business architecture practice and highlights three aspects: visual design, graphic recording and facilitation, and storytelling.
The existing body of knowledge on ambidextrous principles provides a compelling academic framework but falls short of making it actionable within a real-life corporate context. To overcome this, we have developed the Ambidextrous Organization Development Canvas. In this Advisor, we share how applying our model to a broad range of organizations across multiple contexts has enabled us to decode and understand the underlying DNA of ambidextrous organizations.
Information gathering and recording are plagued by fragmentation, context switching, and volatility. These problems seem to be inherent to working with data and constitute the data beast. The contradiction between, on the one hand, the search for consensus and, on the other, the fragmentation, context switching, and volatility of information that dilute this effort is a never-ending rodeo ride. The reasons behind fragmentation, context switching, and volatility are misunderstood. This triple plague is often seen as either an imperfection that requires fixing or a roadblock to digitization.
Connecting a platform with an existing company to a platform organization is beneficial for both established companies and insurtechs. Without pursuing that avenue, the insurtechs face the risk that their competitiveness may decline if others can copy their digital skills at low cost. Thus, connecting their platforms with the incumbent organizations that possess hard-to-copy capabilities guarantees the uniqueness and sustainability of their own business model. The disadvantages of established companies, in comparison to insurtechs, are the reason why traditional companies need platforms. Platforms require changing the culture and business logic in a company from product to service dominance, making processes in relevant areas real-time capable, opening the company to the reuse and integration of solutions and services from other actors, and replacing a hierarchical culture with modern, agile, team-oriented approaches that make optimal use of the internal and external workforce.
As we are making improvements in human-computer interfaces, we are subtly nudged into realizing that these interfaces are there only because the two worlds — human and computer — exist separately. Computers do what computers do, and humans do what humans do. Yes, computing has bled into the interface between the two, making the line in between a bit easier to traverse. And yes, we will continue to see improvements in this area as we move forward. However, none of these “advances” has accomplished any fundamental change in the division of roles and responsibilities across man and machine; they have not shifted the line between them. Arguably, what we have done over the past couple of decades is merely spread computing’s ability to automate specifiable rules across larger swaths of people. It may not be helpful to think of computer-based systems as tools — as human augmentation — anymore. We may need to rethink how we think about the computing landscape, and consider rejigging our tools of thinking, notably architecture. This Advisor suggests stretching in that direction so that we are positioned more effectively to meet a qualitatively different future as it charges rapidly toward, and at us.
We believe existing organizational development approaches are not far-reaching or holistic enough when it comes to the scope of the issues they address. Most methods either focus on strengthening the scale/productivity dimension (often within the context of Lean models) or push the speed/creativity dimension (commonly referred to as the Agile model). However, choosing either the Lean or the Agile path does not provide the right mindset and tools to address the complexity and competitive challenges of most large organizations. Moreover, those frameworks that are ambidextrous are not operationally focused enough to enable day-to-day management and lack a link between strategy definition and organizational development. From our experience, these missing qualities are essential to making well-informed business decisions.
Robotic process automation (RPA) has emerged as a popular technique to automate routine and repetitive human-system interactions across functional domains such as finance, marketing, human resources (HR), and other transaction-processing areas. Adopting such intelligent automation techniques allows businesses to enable efficiencies without major system transformations. Business leaders may find it compelling to invest in RPA tools and resources but should be aware of the foundational work required before rolling out the initial robots. This Advisor explores some of challenges facing organizations looking to adopt RPA.