Constant technological advancements make it possible for people to live, play, and work more efficiently. The basis of many technologies is to simply make redundant tasks easier.
In several industries across the world, from legal to healthcare, simplifying mundane tasks can boost workplace efficiency, spearhead effective collaboration between people and technology, and even boost revenues.
In fact, organizations across the world rely on robotic process automation (RPA) to invigorate their business operations. RPA is a growing innovation and popular topic among technologists.
Believe it or not, this innovation can play an integral role in streamlining important functions for your business. This guide will explain what RPA is and provide other helpful information to help you lay the framework in implementing this technology.
What is Robotic Process Automation?
RPA is simply a software technology that allows people to create, deploy, and manage robots that can copy any type of human action, while interacting with digital software and systems.
These robots can do anything a person can, such as identify what’s on a screen, navigate systems, discover and compile data, perform correct keystrokes, and a wide variety of other defined tasks.
In RPA, robots can accomplish manual tasks much faster, accurately, and efficiently than humans. The added bonus in implementing RPA is that robots don’t need to take coffee breaks or stretch.
They can be put to use in virtually any application. As you can see, there is unlimited potential to how RPA can benefit an organization. Nonetheless, there is always the concern that these kinds of innovations can put skilled people out of work.
On the contrary, RPA can make it much easier for people to do their jobs. Eliminating repetitive and boring tasks can improve workplace morale and efficiency, which can also result in enhanced customer satisfaction on the other end.
What are the Benefits of Using RPA?
RPA can make workflows more efficient. This, in turn, can result in more responsive, flexible, and profitable organizations. Robotic process automation is also instrumental in increasing workplace engagement, productivity, and customer satisfaction, while reducing unnecessary tasks for employee to-do lists.
It’s important to member that RPA is a non-invasive implementation. It doesn’t stand to harm the economy or current workforce. Instead, the innovation can be used to spearhead digital transformation for organizations throughout the world.
In addition, robotic process automation is beneficial for accelerating the automation of antiquated systems that lack database access, APIs, and virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs).
Below, you’ll find even more benefits to implementing RPA for your business:
- Rampant Transformation — 63% of executives across the globe state that RPA is a vital component of digital transformation.
- Reduced Costs — RPA can help businesses realize advantageous cost savings in several operations.
- Enhanced Resilience — RPA robots are designed to match any workload, even in the face of high industry demand.
- Better Accuracy — 57% of surveyed executives stated that RPA reduced human errors.
- Compliance — RPAs can help organizations meet industry-standard compliance regulations.
- Improved Productivity — RPAs can result in increased productivity among employees.
- Higher Value — Freeing up repetitive tasks can allow personnel to focus more on strategic tasks that add value.
- Increased Engagement — RPA has reportedly led to high employee satisfaction over the years.
Why is RPA Impactful?
RPA is today’s paradigm shift, changing the way people and organizations get tasks done. RPA robots can take the responsibility of performing low-value and repetitive work like completing reports, manipulating large amounts of data, and logging information into databases.
Advanced robots can even perform human-like cognitive tasks, such as communicating through chats, understanding unstructured data, interpreting text. These robots leverage machine learning to accomplish these tasks.
When repetitive, manual tasks are left up to software robots, humans are able to focus on interacting with customers, creating solutions, collaborating with their colleagues, and innovating new technologies.
Enterprises also benefit from optimized productivity, engagement, and operational efficiency. As such, RPA is rewriting the rules of how people work. With RPA technology, people no longer have to work countless overtime to catch up on important business tasks.
Organizations also no longer have to hire freelancers and extra staff. Intelligent software robots can easily be implemented in any industry.
How Can RPA Technology Be Applied Today?
Nowadays, RPA technology is freeing people up to accomplish more strategic tasks in their organizations. Below are some common applications of RPA technology in several familiar sectors:
- Insurance — RPA can reduce costs and elevate customer satisfaction by automating audit management, claims processing, and updating user information.
- Banking — RPA has already begun to define a new area in banking, allowing financial institutions to automate customer service, data migration, and mortgage origination.
- Healthcare — RPA has laid the groundwork in improving compliance and patient experience by automating medical data management, operational analytics, and claims processing.
- Manufacturing — RPA can handle the most challenging tasks by automating inventory management, regulatory compliance, and invoice verification.
- Public Sector — RPA can increase performance and connectivity by automating financial processes, procurement, and human resources.
- Life Sciences — Invigorate innovation and operational efficiency by automating supply chain management, product safety tracking, and lifecycle management.
What Features are Important to Implement RPA?
In order to build and monitor a company-wide RPA strategy, you’ll need to acquire technology that is much more advanced than helping you automate one single task. You’ll require a program that will spearhead the process of ensuring that your enterprise is fully automated.
In sum, your platform must:
- Discover automation opportunities across different business operations.
- Create high-performance robots that fulfill a need.
- Manage countless automated workflows.
Why is RPA a Fast-Growing Innovation?
It’s not difficult to understand why RPA adoption has accelerated throughout the years. The relative ease of implementing RPA technology along with its quantifiable value is the clear culprit.
Below, you’ll find other reasons why RPA implementing is becoming an infectious trend across the globe:
- RPA can effectively assist different types of sectors in recognizing their operational issues in a data-driven way.
- Industry leaders, from healthcare to finance, have already shown remarkable results when using RPA software robots.
- An investment into RPA technology can yield an exceptionally high ROI compared to similar technology solutions.
- RPA can be easily implemented into different legacy systems, ensuring reduced disruption into your existing systems and databases.
- Employees can quickly create their own RPA workflows and make their workdays much simpler and efficient.
Is RPA and AI Similar?
RPA and AI are completely different technologies. However, RPA and AI can work together to unlock promising possibilities for businesses across the world. Actually, RPA technology allows enterprises to utilize both AI and machine learning to handle a wide variety of cognitive processes, such as:
- Interpreting documents containing unstructured or semi-structured data
- Understanding the visuals shown on screens.
- Understanding speed and continuing chats and conversations.
How to Implement Robotic Process Automation
Implementing RPA technology is a straightforward process that involves a lot of consideration before the innovation is actually put into place. Here are the steps of implementing RPA technology for your business.
Step #1: Discovery
What is your ultimate goal for digital transformation? Once you begin the implementation process, be sure to ask lots of questions to your colleagues and consultants.
You can also reach out to partners, vendors, and non-competitors who are already using RPA to understand the benefits and challenges associated with the process.
Step #2: Readiness
What process will you automate first, and who will you trust in your organization to lead the implementation process? There are two positions you need to fill to make sure the implementation process runs smoothly.
The first is the RPA sponsor, who is responsible for managing the budget necessary for workflow automations. The second is the RPA evangelist, who will align all departmental leads to gather a consensus on which processes need to be automated.
Step #3: Engagement
The next step is having your RPA evangelist meet with all departments to determine the best course of action for automating existing workflows. These decisions must be approved by the RPA sponsor.
It’s important to make sure that any workflow automations are from a long-term perspective. Also, make sure that both executives and collaborators have a say in the final decision making.
After all, RPA is only successful when the entire workforce is compelled to automate on their own.
Step #4: Proof of Concept
During this stage, you should have a great idea of what your RPA implementation will look like. Now, it’s time to put these implementations in the context of the nature of your business.
The importance of this stage is to make sure that your concepts are accurate and able to impact the efficiency of your business operations. If you find that your implementations are insufficient, veto the plan and send it back to your designees.
Your RPA concept should ideally touch across multiple applications and systems across your organization. The more multifaceted your concept is, the higher your ROI will become.
Step #5: Pilot Test
Once your concept has been finished, it’s now time to test it. The concept will follow the implementation strategy expressed in your proof of concept. During the testing phase, gain feedback from all collaborators.
Ask them how the new changes are impacting their efficiency, engagement, and morale. Check with your RPA evangelist to make sure that your implementation strategy is feasible.
The testing phase is extremely important because it’ll provide you with a great idea of how your workforce responded to challenges with your operations. You’ll also learn how they deduced solutions to these problems and offer your expertise when necessary.
Step #6: Center of Excellence
Just because your implementation strategy was a complete success doesn’t mean that you’re out of the woods. It’s essential to produce documentation outlining the standards, tools and templates, and best practices for each workflow automation.
This documentation is integral for a few different reasons. During onboarding, new employees can quickly adapt to company-wide operations. Also, documentation can keep all collaborators on the same page.
This way, you can be certain that everyone is practicing the same practices and standards that will result in higher operational efficiency.
Step #7: Expansion
If you run a very large organization, the smarter route is testing RPA implementation in very specific areas of your business. If your strategy was successful, then you’ll need to copy the same results to other urgent areas.
After monitoring the results of your previous tests, create documentation that will lay the framework in creating additional workflow automations. As your business grows, you’ll have an established format in how digital transformation will expand.
Step #8: Monitor Final Results
RPA concepts aren’t set-it-and-forget-it. In any business, things change. You may cater to a new target audience, practice new hiring habits, and even become mandated to follow a new industry regulation.
In this case, it becomes important to constantly monitor the results of your concepts. Schedule regular meetings with your RPA personnel. This will help you to:
- Understand if there are more business operations that need to be automated.
- Receive data-driven insights into how your concepts are performing.
- Realize the ROI of your RPA concepts.
- Correlate your RPA concepts with the progress of expanding digital transformation within your business.
This is arguably the most important step. Over time, your RPA concepts will need to be adapted to new methods of doing business. Neglecting this step can cause your entire strategy to become counterproductive.
RPA Implementation Can Be Complicated
As you can see, RPA implementation is a thought-provoking process. On your own, you may not have the time nor expertise to assess the merit of RPA software bots. It’s usually best to consult with a professional to see how this technology can benefit your business.
Do you require direction in finding out if RPA technology is right for your business? Do you need help in creating a custom technology implementation strategy? At Dev.co, we specialize in providing RPA consulting services.
To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today to speak to a member of our team.
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