RPA COE - Centralized or Decentralized ?

Updated: May 6




Numerous and diverse organizations worldwide are adopting Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to ensure that their business operations are more beneficial, have fewer blunders, and improved operational efficiencies. Fundamentally, RPA is deployed to help organizations strategically pivot as per changing business landscape to fulfill company goals and visions.


However, how can organizations know whether RPA is developed and deployed appropriately? How can organizations guarantee stakeholders that everybody had been advised and supporting documentation was well placed? How can organizations ensure that employees were raised to adapt themselves as per what was deployed?


That’s when an RPA Center of Excellence (CoE) is required. It optimizes RPA yield, gives structure, and enables scalability.

Numerous enterprises understand that deploying RPA at scale in silos is quite difficult or probably impossible. An RPA CoE unifies individuals from different disciplines to share information, team up, and deploy automation in a more powerful and streamlined way. The CoE is intended to drive advancement, improvement, and collaboration - it empowers teams to gauge, analyze, and speed up performance.


An efficient RPA CoE is based on a high-performing operation model, which includes:


  • Organization: CoE is planned within the enterprise context, ensuring RPA is effectively deployed throughout the enterprise. The RPA CoE will impart internal and external responsibilities that will bolster the RPA implementation.


  • Governance: This ensures transparent and crystal clear RPA policies, processes, and standards are set. Further, it also takes care that all security requirements, compliance regulations, and regulatory standards are met appropriately.


  • Technology: When an RPA CoE is set up, it takes the duty of choosing the right automation tools for the right tasks and ensuring its maintenance. In simple terms, the RPA CoE is the engineer of a robotic operating environment.


  • Processes: The RPA CoE relieves enterprises of wondering whether RPA is deployed in a stable and secure environment. It analyzes the automation opportunities and ensures RPA is implemented in the right environment.


  • Operations: While RPA offers advantages, it also brings structural changes like operational change management, modified duties, and responsibilities of human workers, etc. Well, all of this is taken care of by the RPA CoE.


Now that the implications of an RPA CoE are studied, are you wondering if there is a specific way to deploy RPA CoE? There are three ways in which you can deploy it. Choosing your preferred way depends upon capabilities and the scale for implementing the RPA CoE.


The Centralized Model


The Centralized model will have all the functionalities needed at one location. In this model, the COE provides all the capabilities, expertise, and resources to drive a successful RPA implementation within an organization.


A typical model will have one centralized iPaas with all the business processes controlled from this location.

This model permits streamlined RPA proposal management in the initial months of executing automation in the enterprise. Its most notable advantage is how automation goals adapt themselves (at the global level) with the enterprise’s strategy and vision. Moreover, a centralized model encourages the procurement of knowledge, and it is more effective from the project’s expenses’ angle.


Likewise, standardization of processes permits reporting regular progress and evaluating them at the enterprise level.



The Decentralized Model


The decentralized model has its attributes spanned across an enterprise with various CoE abilities controlled separately by various business units. This model does not burden the local business teams inside the enterprise while, at the same time, assisting them with acquiring momentum and skill. It passes the demand for innovation over to the employees by motivating them to meet business objectives by utilizing RPA. This model is moderately governed, and various business units set up their own CoE rules and designs.


Business units are given the responsibility to drive their capabilities, scaling plans, and Governance (though a common Governance Framework can be defined across the Organization).


The Hybrid Model


Assigning responsibilities for explicit areas typically results from the requirements of individual BUs. The characteristic feature of this model might be highlighting the robots' makers both in CoE structures and BUs.


A well-designed CoE should be sophisticated and mature enough to deal with decentralized business unit demands while still having centralized tasks. For example, taking care of the CoE delivery as well as operational help. Simultaneously, every business unit will have its own metrics for improvement, prioritization, and evaluation of automation processes.



An RPA CoE offers varied benefits that can improve capabilities immensely but building a center of excellence that is aligned with your goals is not a simple task. Implementing an RPA CoE throughout the enterprise demands significant effort from all concerned parties.


Digitalleaf Solutions has been deploying automation solutions both on-premises and on the cloud taking complete control of the COE set up, run, and maintenance. Our RPA-as-a-Service approach is the most profitable and technical debt-free model adopted by customers.


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