What is Robotic Process Automation?
“Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an application of technology, governed by business logic and structured inputs, aimed at automating business processes. Using RPA tools, a company can configure software, or a “robot,” to capture and interpret applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems.”
What are the benefits of Robotic Process Automation?
Through the use of RPA, high-growth organizations are able to realize significant cost savings, as bots are typically cheaper compared to the costs of hiring humans. The typical cost of an employee to a company is 1.25x to 1.4x their salary, per the U.S. Small Business Administration, compared to bots which are a one-time, fixed cost to an organization. RPA is easily able to scale as an organization continues to find new, innovative opportunities to utilize this technology across it. As its use across an organization expands, current employees will be the first to realize the benefit of RPA, eliminating repetitive, tedious tasks from their daily work.
RPA increases the efficiency of the organization, because the bots are easily implemented and work continuously. They do not get tired nor need sleep to perform their task.
Bots completing tasks through RPA technology decrease risk for the organization, as they eliminate human error. Additionally, RPA creates the environment for greater compliance to internal or external standards or regulations. The bots are carefully monitored upon being launched.
All of this can happen on existing technology platforms. The healthcare industry is ripe with opportunities for RPA efficiencies. There are countless forms that need to be filled out and processed, from patient registration through claims processing. Healthcare organizations can save time and resources by handling these tasks with the help of RPA software.
The banking industry uses RPA to automate many manual processes as well. From loan and credit card application processing to anti–money laundering (AML) investigations. The AML process is highly manual and takes anywhere between 40 – 50 minutes for investigating a single case depending upon the complexity and availability of information in various systems. These repetitive and rules-based tasks can be easily automated with RPA, enabling more than a 70 percent reduction in process turnaround time.
Messina Group’s Analytics practice integrated three disparate data sources, built models and visualizations for business users to understand the true dollar impact to the business based on its practices, and discovered ways to gain multi seven-figure dollar efficiencies by bringing data-driven decision making to the Trip Trade policy.
4 Tips to Successfully Introduce Robotic Process Automation into Your Organization
1. Set Clear and Reasonable Expectations
RPA allows for quick wins, which is critical to seeing value from new initiatives. While setbacks can happen with any project, setting clear, realistic expectations is a cornerstone for the success of any digital transformation project. Being cautiously optimistic and doing your research are two of the best ways can you ensure your RPA program is a success.
2. The Importance of Change Management
Without adequate time to plan and communicate with teams that will be utilizing RPA technology to ensure that workflows will run smoothly. If your organization rushes into implementing RPA technology without necessary discussions, then the chance of failure increases significantly. The time spent may seem not valuable, but business processes being broken, not enhanced, would be the opposite impact of an RPA program.
3. Governance and Compliance
The lack of planning and communication for system- or company-wide updates to processes that do or may impact the ability of the bots to complete their tasks will create problems. If there are software updates and without updating the bots, processes may break and there will be lost data and activity. There can be challenges to launching bots, regarding compliance with internal or external policies, so it is critical to take your time and launch bots correctly the first time.
4. The Human Element
The use of RPA does promise efficiency for organizations must be addressed with employees, educating them how it works, what it will do, and why it is being implemented. Be prepared to walk employees through new processes, so everyone is on the same page and that the bots are completing the right tasks at the right time to match the needs of your team members.
How to select the right Robotic Process Automation software for your needs?
To learn how people are solving organizational challenges with RPA, visit Gartner’s RPA software providers list and G2’s RPA software providers list. It’s always important to educate yourself before going into a project and reviews on a third-party platform is an exceptional way to learn the pros and cons of each solution and the impact the software has had on their organization.
RPA is quite diverse and can range from simple to sophisticated. Below are just some of the areas where it can be utilized.
RPA is also being combined with artificial intelligence to replace human labor. By combining these technologies decision making engines can run autonomously making data driven business decisions.
The RPA tools market is rapidly evolving as new vendors enter the market and mature vendors add new features to their products. The sophistication of some RPA tools now can involve machine learning and artificial intelligence making the RPA solution more autonomous and data driven. It is key to understand your use cases that you want RPA to address before making a purchasing decision. Not all RPA tools are created equal. That said there are some key functions to look for when evaluating RPA platforms:
How easy is it to create bots?
The amount of code required to create a bot varies widely between products. Some vendors have adopted a no-code or low-code design studio to reduce the amount of IT-like coding skill required to implement and deploy bots.
How well does Robotic Process Automation software do bot management?
As RPA scales out in the enterprise it is critical to have a centralized function for command and control over your bots to easily, deploy, manage, and monitor their performance and uptime.
Does your Robotic Process Automation tool aid in process discovery?
Vendors are building the capability to record and analyze user actions to help identify repetitive processes that are candidates for automation.
Positive business outcome is the ultimate goal, don’t lose sight of that. Don’t hesitate to bring in an integrator with expertise in RPA tools and integration services to help achieve your desired business outcomes.