IT Circle: Ultimately, technology is always about people

Sharing technology experiences between end users in different sectors is an important success factor in digital transformation. IT Circle Holland brings these end users together in 28 expert groups with sessions on different trends. A recent theme that is gaining increasing attention is RPA. “Since 2020, we have seen a marked increase in the need for information on RPA among our members.”

IT Circle Nederland was founded ten years ago in Amsterdam, at the initiative of a number of CIOs from different sectors. The goal of IT Circle was, and is, to help IT professionals in organizations with their development. That way, members get a broader view by also taking a look at colleagues from companies in other industries. Meanwhile, IT Circle has grown into a national organization.

“What we are primarily doing now is bottoms Up organize exchanges, from peer to peermeetings ”, says Karen van der Zanden, Managing Director IT Circle Holland. “What makes us unique is that we do this across sectors, from the public sector, education and care to business. Because within a particular sector, existing solutions are often well-known, but it can also be good to hear how other sectors solve specific issues. ”


The themes discussed in these exchanges have therefore been put forward by the members themselves. And one theme that turned out to be the subject of many questions was Robotic Process Automation (RPA). “Especially last year we saw that there was a great need for information about RPA,” says Van der Zanden.

IT Circle Manager Joost van Oevelen adds: “In 2017, we have already reviewed this topic. It was a one-off case at the time, but since 2020 we have seen a clear increase in the need for information on RPA among our members. It was a striking trend in input from our members. ”


The issues of robotization are different. Van Oevelen: “For some of our members it is a new topic, for others it is a topic they have been working on for some time. The latter category would like to know more about next step† In recent months, therefore, there have clearly been start-ups and restarts in the RPA market. We also see that the start-ups consult members who are a little further along. They can learn from best practice ash and fiasco

An important issue that arises when companies start with RPA is not of a technical nature. Van Oevelen: “We see that many organizations want to know how to get their people involved in robotics. We haved therefore, a series of sessions devoted to the fear that robots will take over jobs. Because in practice this is not the case, and experience experts among the members have given tips to achieve that acceptance. ”

Scale up

Currently, there is a group within IT Circle Holland that focuses on RPA and meets approximately every two months to exchange experiences. Van der Zanden: “There is a lot of demand and supply from members who like to share their experiences from their organization in an interactive meeting with about twenty members.” Van Oevelen: “This can also involve organizations that do not so much want to talk about themselves, but want to engage in a discussion with others on a particular topic.”

For companies starting with RPA, the main question is where to place the first robots. In practice, this is in many cases finance, but there are also companies that first set up a chatbot, even though it is not really RPA. For companies with more experience with RPA, the question often arises as to how to proceed with scaling, management and further development after the first successful implementation. Van Oevelen: “We have also devoted various sessions to this, on everything involved in upscaling RPA.”

Process mining

Technologies like process mining and AI are also part of the next step. Van Oevelen: “There are a number of members who are really looking at this. For example, in one of our sessions we were aware of hyper-automation, of which this is a part. At the moment, we see primarily ambitions in this area, but there “There are still a number of practical issues. There are both ethical and technical components to it that people want to know more about. Setting up a few robots is really different from hyper-automation.”

Van der Zanden: “In our meetings on AI, we see that our members often talk about the ethical side of AI. So not so much the technical side, but the question of how to set it up in a good way, without Part of the discussion is therefore emphatically the social side of technology, which is really important to our members, because with any kind of technology, not just AI or RPA, it is the people who have to create the digital transformation. ”

During this year, IT Circle wants to be aware of, among other things, RPA in the public sector. Hyperautomation also gets a successor. In addition, testing is a topic that will get attention, as well as RPA and safety.

IT Circle is open to end users who want to share their experiences with IT. Click here for more information about IT Circle

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