The Robotic Process Automation debate continues

Fantastic early morning.

I have been disparaging in this column about firms dashing to adopt Robotic Course of action Automation as their 1st step toward know-how transformation. RPA—which automates laptop or computer procedures by mastering from the actions of a human personal computer operator—isn’t transformative it just automates present processes. And it’s usually accomplished with an eye toward preserving labor expenditures, somewhat than generating new benefit for buyers.

But I experienced a pay a visit to very last week from a male who disagrees. He’s Daniel Dines, CEO and co-founder of UiPath, which sells an RPA tool and rated amount just one on Deloitte’s speediest growing tech organizations checklist previous yr, with a few-calendar year expansion of 37,000%. Dines argues RPA is just a instrument, and like any other software, it can be used in great techniques and undesirable.

“The journey towards great procedures is lengthy and arduous,” he stated. “Our idea is that if we can establish a resource that is as simple to use as other tools—say Microsoft Excel—and put it in the palms of people on the floor, a specified percentage will be in a position to automate procedures in a transformative way. This is not transformational in a direct feeling but it is transformational in an oblique perception.” Reasonable sufficient.

Incidentally, Dines advised me his “passion in life” is reading fiction. Kafka is his “all-time most loved.” Far more lately, he relished A Gentleman in Moscow, which I would advocate as nicely.

And speaking of books, this weekend I read through The Fantastic Influenza, John Barry’s e-book about the deadly 1918 epidemic. It presents a pair of valuable classes for the latest pandemic danger. One particular is that the 1918 flu largely disappeared for the duration of the summertime of that calendar year, but arrived back in an even extra virulent variety in the tumble. The other is that officials at various concentrations overlooked the specialists and attempted to downplay the threat—with disastrous consequences in the conclude. Normally much better to expose the info.

You can study Fortune’s most recent protection of the virus listed here. News beneath.

Alan Murray

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