How Industries are Benefitting with Robotic Process Automation
CIOs across all industries have Digital Transformation as one of their key agenda items.
There is a strong linkage between Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Digital Transformation. RPA can greatly support organizations in achieving the end goal of digital transformation through automation. The major question is will RPA be able to do the same thing that iPhone did to the smartphone industry? Most of the key decision makers feel that it will.
Automation of mundane jobs
Typically, the departments of HR, finance and customer care have a lot of mundane, repetitive tasks to cover. These majorly comprise of handling routine queries. All those tasks can be automated by handing them over to the “bots”. The usage of the word bots can be confusing. They are not the typical robots one visualizes but generally software which is programmed to do the grunt work.
One of the most common questions that CXOs have to deal with is “will the adoption of RPA lead to job losses?”. The answer to it is an emphatic no. Most of the organizations who have incorporated RPA have reallocated their resources for tasks higher up the value chain. Up until recently, RPA was considered to be too complicated for adoption, or a few saw them as an interim step to AI or ML. But with the progress in technology, it has become relatively easier for all the organizations to go for it.
One of the key benefits, as one can already make out by now, is that you can automate a lot of mundane activities. Many telecom majors are automating call center activities and also reducing sales order processing efforts. Call center operations, processing of payrolls and forms, answering common email queries, website scraping based on keywords are few of the very common examples of RPA at work in the industry. The biggest advantage of a software or a bot is that it can carry out a repetitive task without mental fatigue and keep the task error-free. Another advantage of this automation is that resource bandwidth can be freed up for work that actually matters and also increase the overall organizational productivity.
RPA aiding Digital Transformation
The Digital Transformation of the business processes and workforce seems to be rising and very soon, it will become the norm rather than an exception. RPA is speeding up the whole process of business transformation. The various verticals operating within an organization, such as legal, human resources, finance, customer support, marketing, logistics department, can all benefit with the introduction of RPA. For example, common tasks such as policy administration, claims processing, underwriting, onboarding, profile updates etc. can be effectively automated using RPA. Of all the tools available in the market, RPA is best positioned to bring in the transformation because it can reduce the workload as well as provide key insights into the workflow performance. The added advantage of RPA is that it can seamlessly interact with ERP and legacy systems removing human interventions.
As we can infer, RPA brings in a lot of efficiency and productivity improvements and savings and one cannot stress enough on this benefit. For a long time, corporates have been trying to optimize resource utilization by labor arbitrage, or by bringing in the concept of shared services by centralization of work. RPA eliminates the need for these cumbersome planning and brings in a lot of efficiencies. Companies like Huawei and CenturyLink echo the fact that rather than taking jobs away RPA is making their organizations more efficient and competitive.
RPA enhancing customer interactions
Apart from optimizing internal processes, organizations are also using RPA to monitor the client-vendor interactions. With the use of RPA, companies can streamline contract management by identifying gaps and suggesting changes in the contract. RPA is also capable of creating product bundles and offer discounts based on customer persona and buying history. This enables the vendor organization to do segmented targeting of its customers along with bespoke offers.
RPA supporting IT infrastructure
By using RPA, companies are able to better monitor their IT infrastructures. Data management and migration, a connection of different processing islands, back office administration and various digital initiatives have all become extremely easy with RPA.
Banks have been able to capitalize the most on this wave of RPA. The banking industry is more or less saturated and, in an attempt, to differentiate their services from one another while remaining competitive they have adopted RPA. Large banks in Japan have already incorporated RPA in their accounts. Large names from India like Axis Bank and names from Germany like Deutsche Bank are also jumping on the bandwagon. Banking has many processes like Customer service, compliance, KYC, AR and AP, Deposits, General Ledger, Fraud Detection, Account closure etc. By implementing RPA, most banks are reaping the cost and productivity benefits.
Needless to say, that even though RPA is going to change how various industry operates and interacts with their customers one has to be careful to avoid the pitfalls. Leadership involvement is a must followed by identification of the correct processes to be automated. Along with these, one has to put together a change management board to onboard the employees into a new way of life. IN several ways, RPA is the avenue through which various industries can materialize their digital transformation initiatives.