Implementing Robotic Process Automation (RPA): An Overview of Business Opportunities and Difficulties
Have you considered automation for your business? You’re not alone.
Organisations of all sizes can now access automation, known as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to automate mundane, repetitive tasks.
The RPA adoption trend is growing fast
This should come as no surprise.
So many organisations across various industries are now looking to utilise RPA in their daily operations to help:
drive superior productivity
achieve greater cost-savings and
remain competitive in today’s evolving business landscape.
However, just like any other business investment, getting the most out of Robotic Process Automation requires having an initial understanding of both the opportunities and the challenges it offers your business.
Once you’re aware of these factors, you’ll be better positioned to take full advantage of RPA, allowing you to achieve greater internal efficiencies and earn excellent business results.
That’s why today, we’ve decided to give you a running start by providing you with a complete overview of what to expect when it comes to implementing RPA in your organisation.
What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) involves using innovative software robots or “bots” that follow rule-based decisions for computer-based processes to imitate the manual actions of humans and efficiently carry out repetitive and high-volume tasks.
Led by a set of pre-defined instructions, RPA delivers quality performance in completing work faster and more accurately than ever.
RPA technology is fast becoming more and more popular in our digital world, especially as more businesses strive to embrace digital transformation and streamline their operations.
For more on this, check out our blog: 4 Misconceptions about Robotic Process Automation.
The real-world business applications of Robotic Process Automation
RPA enables businesses from a wide range of industries, such as financial services, healthcare, legal, retail, utilities and aviation, to become much more agile, flexible and responsive in their day-to-day operations.
As a next-generation technology that streamlines workflow and automates processes, RPA also empowers you to focus your time, money and resources on the more critical parts of running your business.
As an example, an insurance provider may consider using intelligent automation to bring more order and efficiency to their administrative tasks and processes. This would mean implementing automation that handles the bulk of their mundane back-office processes to free up time to allow for greater business flexibility and growth.
In automating these processes, RPA delivers several benefits to the insurance provider, including more efficient processing of claims, increased accuracy in the input of manual data and the agility to scale up or down based on business needs.
What opportunities does RPA offer your organisation?
RPA offers several benefits to your organisation through the consistent running of business processes on behalf of your team. In fact, as it takes care of the more mundane tasks, you and your team can focus more on profit-generating activities instead.
However, aside from streamlining tasks and boosting productivity levels, there are also several other advantages of using RPA technology, including:
Increased security and better compliance
RPA is ideal for supporting companies in industries where compliance is a critical part of operations, such as banks and healthcare clinics.
Once implemented, it can remove gaps in data from various sources, embed specific requirements in automation rules and automatically log all actions taken. This ensures that you are better able to manage your compliance and internal reviews in a proactive yet convenient manner.
In addition, RPA can also establish and maintain greater security measures through the remote server control of your software robots. Likewise, all automated data and instructions used in RPA are encrypted to avoid malicious tampering. All details about the actions taken by users are also tracked to help you oversee the security of your automated processes.
Compatible and non-intrusive
The operations of RPA are modelled on replicating actual human actions.
This means that implementing and monitoring automation is fairly intuitive, even without programming skills. While IT specialities are often essential in managing and supporting automation infrastructure, regular staff can easily use automation for their daily tasks.
This also means your current processes, software and hardware don’t need to be changed to adopt business automation. You just automate exactly what your staff are currently doing.
More efficient management processes
Using a central RPA management platform, you can gain complete control over all automated tasks from one login portal. This then opens up capabilities to perform modelling, monitoring, controlling, scheduling and the management of all software robots. You can also set automation rules, giving you greater control over your business procedures.
RPA also allows you to audit and analyse your operations easily to enhance governance and improve business functions.
Better customer experience
RPA streamlines monotonous, high-volume actions such as issuing purchase orders and processing claims, so that your staff can be assigned to more valuable tasks, like focusing on customers.
Although it may seem like automating back-office procedures won’t affect the front office, there are lots of flow-on benefits. For instance, by removing repetitive tasks, your employees have more time to improve the customer experience through faster and more efficient service.
To learn more about the business benefits of automation, read Why Robotic Process Automation is Right for Small and Medium Businesses.
The challenges of implementing business automation
While RPA has a long list of benefits, no technology comes without potential barriers to its successful implementation.
Here are a few roadblocks that could hinder your use of RPA:
Lack of employee support
Adopting new technologies into workplaces can potentially frustrate or stress staff members. So, it’s important for managers and executives to keep employees up to date on new developments and expectations regarding the adoption of RPA. By giving people plenty of notice and explaining the benefits of automation, your team will be more willing to accept the change.
Selecting the wrong processes
RPA is designed to streamline activities that are consistent, repetitive, predictable and high in quantity. Automation isn’t as suited to activities that necessitate human judgement or require a customised action for their completion. These are best left to your team.
So, before implementing RPA, make sure you thoroughly evaluate your processes to work out which are best to automate.
You need to have realistic expectations regarding automation. Although RPA is a very useful tool for business automation, it’s not a miracle cure for dysfunctional operations. If your processes already have errors, then you may end up making the same errors faster with automation.
So, it’s important to review your processes before you automate them and then, open up dialogues with your teams to explain the anticipated results of RPA so you can get everyone on the same page regarding outcomes.
Overcoming the obstacles of RPA
In the whitepaper, Organising Your Future with Robotic Process Automation, PwC contends that even with implementation obstacles, business automation through RPA is still one of the simplest technologies to introduce: “In fact, a couple of RPA’s greatest benefits are often overlooked…[especially] its ease of deployment.”
So, while there may be obstacles to RPA implementation, strategic thinking and planning will enable companies like yours to take full advantage of its capabilities.
Overall, the advantages of RPA outweigh any potential challenges.
How to effectively adopt RPA
To implement RPA easily, you need to invest time in the initial preparation to ensure employees are all on board and effectively planning which processes to automate.
Once RPA is implemented in your business, it typically becomes easier to find more business processes that are also suitable for automation, gradually increasing the level of RPA across your operations.
This incremental approach will help spread company-wide acceptance and the use of RPA technology, paving the way for greater competitive advantages and efficiencies for your organisation.
How CiGen helps you automate processes in your business
You can rely on automation experts like CiGen to design bespoke automated solutions that meet your unique operational needs. As your pure-play Robotic Process Automation (RPA) partner, we are committed to helping you create maximum efficiencies in your operational processes.
Our CiGen On Demand provides the perfect stepping stone into automation, especially for small to medium-sized businesses that can’t afford or justify the large overhead costs that come with full-scale business automation and licensing.
As always: we simplify the implementation of RPA for you, leaving you to focus on what you do best – growing your business.
Harness the true power of automation with CiGen On Demand
Here at CiGen, we provide an affordable automation service to small and medium-sized businesses through our CiGen On Demand subscription solution, making it easy for your business to harness the true power of automation and buy back your valuable time.
Contact us today for more information on how we can help your business to succeed through robotic process automation.