Across the globe, enterprises are increasingly turning to digital solutions to innovate their process, cut time and cost, and improve their operations. One such way you can do this is by adopting a technology solution known as Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the application of technology which allows employees to configure and access computer software (a “robot”) to interpret, analyse, and capture applications to process transactions, manipulate data and communicate with further digital systems.
Not only is this practice a way to automate necessary business processes, but it also frees up valuable employees to focus on different tasks, such as attending to consumers and clients. The range of ways enterprises are utilising RPA can vary from automatically replying to a customer email, as first implemented by Virgin Trains in 2015 to refund consumers for late trains, to a bank completely redesigning its claims handling process to enable it to handle over 1.5 million requests a year.
Industries Paving The Way:
The Unimate technology (1954), the first computer-operated machine arm, may seem primitive in modern society, but it was undoubtedly the start of the automation revolution in this sector. Today, vehicle manufacturers can use RPA to comply with regulations and benefit from real-time reporting to develop business processes and operations.
In the retail sector, adopting innovation is a crucial way to distinguish yourself from your competitors. RPA can aid production to ensure the items make it safely and quickly to the shelves, along with automating returns in the case of e-commerce stores. By removing the need for a human employee to input every product return manually, a business will not only save money, but it will also save valuable time.
Transportation & Logistics.
By using RPA, a logistics company can automate the shipping process from start to finish. A business can also gain greater insight into their supply chain and finances by accessing real-time data. Transport, on the other hand, can use RPA to respond effectively to customer expectations, such as creating a self-service system that the modern day consumer craves.
What Are The Benefits of Robotic Process automation (RPA)?
Adopting RPA software is less expensive than hiring a new employee to complete the task. This leads to an average overall saving of 37% on yearly costs for an enterprise.
Reduce human error.
Humans make mistakes; it’s in our nature. Robots don’t. When a human employee lacks the knowledge to complete a task, RPA will step in to help. It eliminates the rate of errors, leading to lower operational risk.
Improve customer experience.
Your customers are the backbone of your business. RPA frees up valuable employee time, meaning they can respond to customer queries and offer help when previously, they would have been busy with a mundane task.
There’s no need to replace existing systems.
To adopt RPA, you simply add it to your existing IT solutions. It’s a tool to boost and improve your current operations, not replace it entirely.
What Do You Need to Keep in Mind When Choosing RPA?
RPA can significantly increase an enterprise’s productivity and digitalise their current operations. It reduces time constraints of human employees and reduces the risk of errors. It’s no surprise then that businesses are increasingly turning towards such processes. However, before you implement RPA within your company, there are considerations to keep in mind.
With so many robotics options now available, the right choice may be quite challenging to make. There are also numerous low-quality, self-made RPAs on the market. You need to research, plan and carefully manage the RPA you implement to ensure you don’t expose your business to some security risks as well as don’t lose money.
Both RPA software and RPA instances introduce additional security vulnerabilities since RPA technology requires proper governance and security controls. Otherwise, it can become a desired target for many hackers. The key areas of concern here include governance, vulnerability management and password management for software robots, regulatory compliance and more. For an in-depth look into the security risks, our whitepaper explains further.
Unethical machine-learnt patterns.
Unfortunately, machine-learning algorithms run the risk of picking up unethical and unacceptable patterns on which they base their decisions. It’s a real risk for multinational enterprises in particular, and can significantly damage a business’s reputation. A high-profile case for this risk is Uber. During the terrorist acts in London, the Uber algorithm raised fare prices very high, resulting in a reputation-damaging scandal, one which was hard for Uber to recover from successfully.
When adopting RPA, regardless of your industry, you need to do so with the utmost care and research. Only by preparing your business in advance and discussing your custom software development with experts can you successfully adopt this process.
Ready to adopt an automated software solution for your business needs? We will guide you every step of the way. Get in touch with us!
Originally published at eleks.com on November 1, 2018.