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The fact that robotic process automation drives innovation is the main reason why it is viewed as one of the supporting pillars of digital transformation across industry sectors, both digitally savvy (e.g., IT, media, telecom) and more traditional ones (e.g., automotive, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals).

However, although many organisations are attracted to undertake digitisation by its promised benefits, not all of them actually succeed in the long term. In fact, according to a recent McKinsey Global Survey, only 16% of organisations have experienced successful digital transformations in the sense of achieving the goal of improved performance and sustaining the changes for extended periods of time.

The good part is that the survey findings make it clear which are the practices that lead to durable success: leadership, capability building, empowering workers, upgrading tools, and communication. So based on these past fruitful experiences, you can tailor your own approach in a way that maximizes the likelihood of favourable outcomes.

It is important to acknowledge the fact that RPA drives enterprise level innovation. By freeing employees from the burden of repetitive, tedious, routine tasks such as data entry or payroll management, software robots enhance job satisfaction and thereby make a significant contribution to a more engaged workforce.


“By freeing employees from the burden of repetitive, tedious, routine tasks such as data entry or payroll management, software robots enhance job satisfaction and thereby make a significant contribution to a more engaged workforce.”


A relevant consequence of higher engagement levels is the reduction in the number of errors. Since errors have a domino effect and it is quite likely that they propagate extensively across the workflow, error reduction streamlines the entire delivery cycle.

Therefore, by fostering more committed workers and thus downgrading the risk of error, the use of RPA takes a positive effect at the enterprise level.

How does robotic process automation drive enterprise level innovation?

Let’s follow our preferred pragmatic approach, and substantiate the claim that RPA drives innovation by looking at some of the actions that are likely to cultivate your company’s modernisation. We will emphasize that the innovative effect of software robots is observable at the level of the whole company.

1. Reorganising information systems and business processes

Given that the first step of the automation journey is the selection of automatable processes, RPA implementation fosters re-analysis of business processes. Subsequently, it enables the flow of digital information across all the departments of your organisation where it is utilised.

By doing this, RPA coordinates multiple systems with the real information needs of the selected business processes. All in all, the methodology that underpins RPA strengthens the digitisation of the core business model by aligning the newly introduced digital aspects with the existing information system.

2. Allowing small and medium businesses (SMBs) to sidestep legacy system issues

Legacy systems don’t fare well handling data, the main asset of a 21st century business, effectively. Because these systems work only with data grouped in silos, employees’ access to the bigger picture is hindered, and all users must be granted access to data, thereby raising security risks. In fact, information silos point out that your business could benefit from robotic process automation.

Moreover, replacement of legacy systems is very costly, and poses significant risks to data migration. All these issues are even more challenging for SMBs, in their continuous effort to rival large enterprises or global corporations. Use of software robots to collect information from disparate systems like ERPs or CRMs is a worthwhile quick-fix to SMBs facing this problem.

RPA implementation in small and medium businesses is easier when you use a product created to address your specific needs, such as the CiGen fleet of RPA Robots for Hire.

3. Promoting long term, strategic thinking

We have repeatedly and strongly advocated the need for coherent, long term strategies when embarking on the automation journey. By careful consideration of the unfolding of the RPA project, always in connection with the business objectives, you maximise buy-in at enterprise level.

The reason for this is pretty straightforward: long term thought inherently supports a shared vision, and cooperation to implement this vision. Additionally, planning for a longer term is a precondition for scaling, or automating business processes across the whole enterprise. We recommend a Centre of Excellence as one of the best practices for RPA deployment, precisely because it is likely to ensure this much needed coherent longer term plan.

4. Empowering your employees with automation skills

The ultimate competitive advantage of automation resides in the fact that it makes people really matter. By passing the dull tasks to software robots, human employees are free to engage in more higher-value work. In the context of expanding the use of RPA over the whole business, part of this work will be automation related.

This means that the staff must be trained to use automation software, to design task and decision trees for setting up efficient bots, to delegate and prioritise tasks according to contextual needs. The objective you might want to pursue is efficient collaboration between humans and robots, because it warrants a sustained workflow optimisation.

5. Contributing to compliance modernisation

Reliance on robotic process automation for data management provides an efficient method for data collection, registration, and administration for compliance purposes. It also enables accurate data tracking and knowing at all times who has accessed what data, and for what purpose (e.g., modification, removal).

As a result, data security is improved and the probability of compliance breaches is significantly reduced. Relatedly, if sensitive data is managed by bots and deleted after usage, the risk of fraud is also lowered.


If your organisation’s IT infrastructure strongly supports software robots’ operations across the organisation, then you are one step closer to leveraging the full benefits of automation. The capacity to flexibly adapt to societal changes (e.g., a shrinking labour force) and preparedness for future technological developments (e.g., intelligent automation) are certainly among the benefits.

Starting with structured plans not only for RPA implementation, but also for further deployment is a precondition for scaling up to enterprise level. With the contribution of RPA to drive enterprise level innovation, innovation and scaling are a match made in heaven.

At the end of last year, we launched an extensive ebook, which provides step by step guidance for RPA implementation, offering concrete, firsthand examples from over 11 industries. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, you can do so here.

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