Von Miles, Director of Global Alliances at Agilify, is a talented business leader with enthusiasm for problem-solving. She’s created wildly successful sales, marketing and alliance programs and led global teams that proposed and competitively won over $500 million in contracts, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Von also lends her talents to a variety of charitable causes and is passionate about early outreach to young women encouraging careers in STEM.
What led you to a career in RPA/Intelligent Automation? How did your background prepare you for this field?
It was a natural career progression for me to land in the Intelligent Automation (IA) space. Prior to joining Agilify Automation, I spent nearly two decades working in technology consulting in Sr. Leadership roles across all vectors and practices. Intelligent Automation was fast becoming a trend and topic top of mind for senior enterprise leaders and I wanted to be a part of that wave.
One of the things that inspired me was the rapid growth of the IA market. It was exciting to see automation solutions quickly resolve customer business challenges. It was equally exciting to see the potential market growth for intelligent automation space.
What do you see as the biggest opportunities in RPA/Intelligent Automation? What’s in the future for your RPA career?
In 2019, the global Robotic Process Automation (RPA) market size was valued at 1.40 billion USD. Projections display a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40.6% from 2020 to 2027.
With all the buzz about Hyperautomation (end-to-end Intelligent Automation solutions), I believe a large portion of the market growth will be a rising demand for automation of redundant tasks in the business process coupled with AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning) enhancements. Additionally, I feel strongly that the remote work scenario due to the COVID-19 pandemic will reshape business operations, wherein companies will now opt in to IA.
I will continue my work in further leading teams to support organizations in driving successful digital transformation initiatives and end-to-end automation programs while building relationships and strategy with the right technology platforms, such as Kryon.
This space we call Intelligent Automation is fast-moving, constantly evolving and I predict will be around for many years to come.
What has RPA/Intelligent Automation helped you accomplish personally or professionally?
I’m fortunate to have landed at Agilify Automation who greatly invests resources and support in growing all of its associates. I look at my career path in Intelligent Automation as a journey. This journey has afforded me many opportunities to develop key relationships and experience endless learnings.
Leading our Global Alliances group, I am tasked with developing and driving the execution of revenue-driving programs, solutions and initiatives as well as capacity growth and customer success with our most strategic partners. While I am not expertly enabled to deliver automation services, I know enough to be dangerous. I have also spent countless hours building my knowledge base to stay ahead of the curve and connected to my partners to accurately address predictions in the market, advise on that direction and collaboratively disrupt the market with joint solutions to support client needs.
Why should women consider a career in RPA? What advice can you offer to women who are interested in pursuing RPA jobs?
Referring back to the expected growth of the Intelligent Automation market, there is ample opportunity for women in all aspects of the field. There is a shortage of women majoring in computer science in college and consequently a shortage of women in all of the STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) fields. Inclusivity and diversity are the underpinned successes to many enterprise organizations especially in the technology space.
The Tech space can be intimidating to migrate your way through but is well worth the reward. I would encourage interested women to find a mentorship program. Attend local events and meet-ups. Join networking groups and global communities to connect with other like-minds. You are your best investment, continuously develop professionally and personally. MOVE with courage, you will make a difference. Learn as much as you can and then learn more. Never stop learning. Plan your path and then strategically work through the steps to reach your goals.
Be fearless and disruptive, you are your best asset and can bring tremendous value to your selected employer. Use your confident creativity to disrupt the Intelligent Automation market and make room for others who’ll follow you.
Only 5% of tech leadership jobs are held by women. How will the industry benefit from increasing this number and placing more women in top positions?
At Agilify Automation, we are breaking that trend with 35% of our leaders being women. Interacting with a diverse team forces individuals to organically prepare better and anticipate alternative viewpoints. The inclusion of women in tech makes individuals expect differences in perspective and opinion and encourages greater efforts to work harder to come to a consensus. Everyone benefits from that kind of pressure.
I believe the RPA space is ready to receive more women inclusively, but women have to feel welcomed and encouraged to join the teams. That can be achieved with the support of organizational leadership promoting initiatives and programs that draw women professionals into their ecosystems such as my experience at Agilify Automation.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
The shortage of women in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) fields has to be addressed. As predecessors, we must start participating at the collegiate level by creating supportive networks and mentoring for motivated students. We should also commit to inserting ourselves onto platforms where we can showcase our thought leadership to dismantle the disbeliefs that women don’t exist in IA leadership.
You can also join the international Women in RPA initiative. We’re showcasing women leaders in all aspects of RPA. Please get in touch so we can share your story.