Where Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Is Impacting Digital Transformation
Today more than ever, companies are being forced to use automation tools to close the gaps that inevitably arise in a rapid digital transformation. As a result, the use of robotic process automation (RPA) is growing rapidly as companies look for ways to accelerate processes that enable employees to be more productive. It is also clear that the better these processes, the better the experience for companies or individuals doing business with your company.
RPA in the workplace
According to the recently published Gartner Magic Quadrant for RPA (Subscription Required), Gartner defines RPA as a combination of user interface interactions and APIs for integrating and performing data transcription work between different business and productivity applications. An RPA tool is explained by providing a software script that emulates a human process / task within a workflow. It should also contain:
- Low-code functions for creating automation scripts
- Integration with corporate applications
- Orchestration and management including configuration, monitoring and security
There were 16 companies in this year’s quadrant, with the 10 largest accounting for over 70% of the market. Gartner also suggests that many areas of IT have been negatively impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic, but the likelihood of an economic downturn due to the health crisis could fuel the continued adoption of RPA. The operational disruptions caused by COVID-19 and the new normality of remote working are causing customers to delve deeper into RPA as a tactical automation option to digitize paper-based, routine human processes.
However, COVID-19 did not create the market. It already grew by 63.1% in 2018 and 62.9% in 2019, compared to 13.5% and 11.5% of the total enterprise software market, respectively, and is likely to continue to grow without or without a crisis.
This is to be expected. RPA is an integral part of digital transformation and digital transformation strategies as it offers five distinct benefits that organizations may want to leverage when developing strategies to cope with sudden move to remote workplaces.
Related article: BPA vs. RPA: How Are They Similar, How Are They Different?
1. Process speed
Dave Anderson is a technology director at Liberty Mutual Insurance in Boston. Above all, he says RPA enables a crucial quality of digital transformation, especially speed. When dealing with older software systems, many programmers may decide that a system needs to be rewritten. System upgrades are complicated, time consuming, and expensive.
RPA can unlock the value of older systems by providing new interfaces. At its core, RPA helps to improve and optimize business processes. Liberty Mutual uses RPA selectively to automate repetitive processes and connect different systems. Another advantage is that the new data flow generates additional data. Data provides insights and insights enable us to use AI services to further improve ourselves and add value to the company.
While this can be a useful approach, caution should be exercised if it is overused. “If used extensively, the value can be unlocked, but complex operations can affect future projects and reduce agility,” said Anderson. RPA is most effective in a limited context when rewrite or migration is costly. Neighboring systems may be ready for rewrite, which can be done alongside an RPA overhead and possibly integrated. “Like any technology, RPA is not the answer to everything, it can add significant value to your transformation.
2. Employee empowerment
Tonkean, based in San Francisco, is a human-centric platform for automating robotic processes. His co-founder Sagi Eliyahu told us that he had spent a lot of time figuring out how automation works holistically and as part of an enterprise-wide infrastructure.
He believes that process automation will only be transformative in that it directly empowers your company’s employees. In that regard, automation technology will play an important role in shaping the future of work by changing the way employees spend their time and how business leaders scale their operations.
However, he warns that automation software will be of minimal value if implemented hastily. “Whether you’ve been planning a digital transformation for some time or partially responding to COVID-19, the answer isn’t simply to automate every task you can,” he said. “Process automation without internal governance can lead to data corruption, delays and support problems.”
3. Dynamic processes
Instead, automation solutions are most transformative when they can adapt to dynamic processes and keep people informed. Process automation can do more than just automate individual tasks, it can optimize workflows that contain human input for decisions. This saves the employees the most time and allows them to focus on the things they are best at.
4. Business Transformation
According to Jon Knisley, Principal for Automation and Automation, automation is the new darling of technology managers who, after a decade of focus and a graveyard of frozen initiatives in many organizations, are employing transformation fatigue with Process Excellence for FortressIQ in San Francisco, which is developing a process discovery platform. But automation, he said, is a means to an end, and the goal state remains business transformation.
RPA is a core component of a company’s intelligent automation technology stack. In conjunction with DPA, process intelligence, AI and analysis solutions, it enables fast end-to-end automation of business processes and accelerates the transformation. Employees are relieved of tedious, low-value, and error-prone tasks, and customers benefit from a smooth experience.
However, the consequences of automating with RPA cannot be overlooked. Without a doubt, it’s quick, efficient, and less expensive than other methods. At the same time, RPA does not address and actually contribute to the underlying problem of technology debt. “Think of it as a patch to get a few years more out of the legacy system that you know will eventually need to be replaced in order to meet your transformation goals,” he said.
5. Repeated tasks
Yaniv Masjedi is the CMO at Nextiva, a telecommunications company based in Scottsdale, Arizona with over 1,000 employees. He pointed out that the whole idea of digital transformation is knowing how to use technology to redefine the way people do things to make their lives easier. The feat can be achieved by inventing digital tools to streamline difficult work, mainly for repetitive and time-consuming tasks.
People can use RPA as a tool to automate repetitive tasks. This allows companies and organizations to use RPA to create newer and better systems that do not require a large workforce. Most, if not all, digital transformations rely on the principles of RPA to accelerate work progress. Without RPA, it is not easy to digitally convert a traditional workplace system into an automated one.