By now most forward-looking businesses know about Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and the benefits digital workers can produce. They know RPA harnesses artificial intelligence, automates routine tasks, reduces human error, and vastly improves customer experiences. What's not to like?
Oddly enough, though, many companies think they don't have time to implement RPA because they have other strategic initiatives already underway. This reasoning just doesn’t hold up. In fact, RPA can accelerate their existing initiatives, while building the foundations for digital workers to decrease operating expenses and improve employee satisfaction.
Concerns such as “not having the bandwidth” to initiate RPA are akin to firefighters saying they don't have time to stop their bucket brigade to switch to a fire hose. Or a lumberjack saying he doesn't have time to switch from an ax to a chain saw. From an operations standpoint, delaying RPA does not make good business sense.
RPA works because it speeds up some of the pieces surrounding key initiatives. For example, if you have a system conversion already underway, RPA can help with data testing and validation, and migration of data from legacy systems to the new systems. It also can streamline payment processing, speed claims administration, employee on-boarding, credit card applications and expense management, to name just a few. Digital workers (bots) are configurable software set up to perform the tasks that you assign and control.
At Metre22, we’ve had dozens of conversations with business leaders who are contemplating RPA. Some of their common questions include:
How will it work with our existing technology platforms?
Digital workers learn, they collaborate, and they have the same digital skill set as people. They interact with any system or application the same way humans do—everything from copy-paste to correcting data to making calculations. Thus, there’s no need to change underlying business systems or applications in order to automate. And with a growing marketplace of ready-made, ready-to-deploy bots available on demand, RPA requires no specialized IT infrastructure.
What is the ramp-up time for RPA?
RPA implementation can be lightning fast. Business users can get started with RPA software on their own and set up and deploy digital workers in a matter of weeks. At Metre22, we work with companies looking for a team to do the work as well as those who want to be shown how to do it themselves.
When can I expect to see a return on my investment?
Companies typically see ROI in a matter of weeks. Why? Because ROI is derived from the multiple areas of impact that digital workers capture. Immediate quantifiable benefits include dramatic error reduction, savings from compliance and auditing processes, and employee time-savings. Even greater benefits will be realized when employees are assigned to higher-value tasks.
The automation of data entry alone creates huge savings opportunities. According to a new global study, commissioned by Automation Anywhere, “the most hated administrative task in the world is, you guessed it, data entry. An overwhelming majority (87%) of the office workers surveyed expressed a desire for their employers to automate manual, repetitive business processes.”
Companies today face the daunting task of managing an ever-increasing volume of work with their current staff. The wisest among them see RPA as a lynch-pin in their digital journey, showing up at exactly the right time to accelerate their business transformation. They know if they don’t, they may fall behind.