Robotic Process Automation, or ‘RPA’ for short, is the fastest growing segment of the global enterprise software market, with an estimated growth rate of 63% seen in 2018. This took the market’s aggregated revenues to $846 million in CY18, which is expected to rise to $1.3 Billion in 20191, once everybody reports their numbers. Impressive, right? But, what is Robotic Process Automation and what can it do for your organisation?
RPA can help organisations to improve efficiency, whilst the task execution rates of RPA are typically (i) at a faster pace and (ii) at a lower price-point than other automation methods. Being specific, RPA is software that’s most commonly known as a ‘Robot’ or ‘Digital Worker’. Once implemented and tailored to a company’s needs, it mimics business processes that follow pre-outlined and repetitive sets of business rules, thereby, replacing the need for human workers to complete the processes, freeing them up to focus on more creative or strategic tasks.
RPA Use Cases
RPA and Digital Workers can be used to automate many different processes depending on your organisation’s needs. However, let me outline a few basics that will most likely apply to your organisation. Effectively, an RPA implementation happens when a Digital Worker is trained to read a screen, follow process steps in applications, control and manipulate third party systems, such as ERP and CRM. This can be implemented across different environments, including Mainframe, Windows and Web. The same Digital Worker can be trained to completely or partially automate different processes, including:
- Online Forms (e.g. Mortgage & Application Forms)
- Service Level Agreements
- And many more
RPA helps to capture and interpret data from existing IT applications and will manipulate the data according to set rules. This is enabled by its ability to communicate across multiple different IT systems. Not only does this free up FTEs to work on other business critical tasks, but these processes can be completed 100% accurately by a Digital Worker and in a faster time frame when compared with their FTE counterparts.
What can Digital Workers do for you?
Multiple Digital Workers can be trained to complete many conjoining tasks at once, leading to a Digital Workforce. When implemented according to recognised rules, such as Blue Prism’s Robotic Operating Model by a Certified Implementer, such as Venturiq, such a Digital Workforce can lead to a fully-coordinated digital back-office processing centre without the need for any FTEs. Digital Workforces like these can lead to financial benefits, namely lower costs, since a Digital Worker license is far cheaper than a typical FTE’s salary. It’s important to note that the afore-mentioned Blue Prism licenses do not have hidden costs, meaning that there are no additional and unexpected license charges for the feature-rich solution that Venturiq implements. But the benefits do not stop there; utilising a Digital Workforce to complete back office processes will lead to an improvement in accuracy and increased timeliness.
Digital Workers will complete the task the same way every time, but, if the information provided is missing or invalid how does it affect the output?
The Digital Worker will flag the data/input to a FTE to help resolve the issue. In essence, the Digital Worker reports to Human Colleagues. Let’s say the Digital Worker is completing an invoice process, but the Invoice does not contain some key information. This will be flagged to a FTE and they can resolve the problem. An oft-discussed downside to Digital Workers that have not been enhanced with Artificial Intelligence capability is that they are built to automate repetitive tasks, however, they are not able to “think” for themselves; meaning that if an input is missing/incorrect they are not able to resolve the issue themselves. However, this does mean that when all data is correct and valid, a Digital Worker will execute 100% accurately. That said, when something is missing or invalid the Digital Worker will not process the data until the issue is resolved.
And, if that’s not enough…
A further benefit of using Digital Workers is that they are able to complete back-end processes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This can lead to a drastic increase in the amount of time saved, as no matter what time information is sent to you, as long as you have the appropriate processes automated, a Digital worker can complete that worconk almost instantly without FTE intervention outside of office hours, including on the weekend! Furthermore, task-execution can be scheduled to take place at a chosen time. This could help to save time, not only for your FTEs, as they do not need to manage the process any more, but it could save time for your suppliers and customers too, as the general turnaround time will be much improved.
I hope that this has helped to answer your question ‘What is Robotic Process Automation’ and how it can assist you and your organisation. If you would like to know more about RPA, Venturiq or our processes please feel free to view our other blog posts or contact us.
- “Gartner Says Worldwide Robotic Process Automation Software Market Grew 63% in 2018” – https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2019-06-24-gartner-says-worldwide-robotic-process-automation-sof