Sometimes when a big opportunity comes along, you just need to grab hold of it. Robotics Process Automation, for me, was that kind of big opportunity. Robotics for our clients, or RPA, is the use of software - “robots” - to mimick the actions that humans carry out on PCs on a big scale, to automate highly repetitive processes which use structured data to deliver an outcome. After years of working with financial organisations on two continents and in four countries, I could see this was something that could really help our clients.
It also crossed my career path at a time when I was looking for change. I’d been working in Hong Kong for a couple of years and wanted to come back to the UK and I also wanted to help Accenture build and grow a new business. The Financial Services Europe leadership explained some of the challenges we were having, in getting a Robotics business working at scale in line with our ambitions, and invited me to jump into the fray. It was a hot topic, with Artificial Intelligence also starting to come to the top of our clients’ minds, and I was excited — so I said yes.
I learned the ins and outs of the topic from scratch. I really didn’t know much! But what was clear was we had very strong people across the board who knew this stuff really well. At the same time, they were knee-deep in delivering for clients so couldn’t take the helicopter view of how to industrialise and grow our business. Diversity is central to how Accenture works, and I saw an opportunity to bring my natural capabilities to help solve this business problem, defining a vision, setting out a strategy and also executing a plan for how we were going to get there. That didn’t really need in-depth robotics knowledge to start with. My immediate team and I built up enough robotics knowledge to become credible with clients, with teams and with our ecosystem partners. What I could bring was helping to shape a business and join up the best parts of our company and the best of our talent to serve our customers.
As a team, we are growing this business, even more so now as we look to more artificial intelligence-led capabilities and how our clients use them to solve their problems. Being a part of that, having a voice in the industry and helping improve customers’ lives has been pretty cool. That growth also means we’re looking for people to help us too. Learn more on our RPA recruitment page.
If I had one piece of advice for people starting out, it’s to be curious. Be interested, learn, explore. Learn around the stuff that interests you as well. It might not always be possible — but keep looking for that next big idea and for ways it might connect with your talents and what makes you tick. You’ll always enjoy it more when you’re passionate and you care about something. That’s how you’ll improve your skills and your awareness too. Get stuck in is the other thing that I’d add. Get involved and try lots and lots of different things. Because this is a broad arena in which we work — take advantage and it will be a rewarding ride!