Smart automation has become the name of the game since the pandemic emerged, and it continues to be a key strategy for companies that are trying to digitally transform themselves to keep pace with current and future business disruptions. Robotic process automation (RPA) has become a savior of sorts for many customer-facing organizations to ensure business continuity when human resources have been reduced or eliminated short-term.
Whether it’s customer service and support, marketing, IT, HR, or other important workflows, RPA implementations are handling a larger and larger workload.
Why Are RPA Implementations Important Now?
Robotic Process Automation is advanced technology that uses business logic to automate business processes and systems. With RPA tools, companies can configure software “robots” to capture and manipulate data and other inputs to trigger automated responses within digital systems. RPA implementations can be as simple as automating email or chat responses to managing thousands of bots to manage large-scale applications.
As companies prepare for the aftermath of Covid-19, RPA is playing a growing role in improving productivity, maintaining efficient workflows, and supporting customer-facing activity. Automated bots can scale easily within process frameworks and can adjust on the fly. It’s the most flexible way to manage repetitive, manual tasks usually performed by people, freeing them up for more value-added work.
Moreover, as companies get back to a more “normal'' working environment, they need ways to manage the backlog of work that arose from pandemic-driven workforce reductions, and to enable remote work and hybrid-work environments. RPA bots can accelerate the setup and adoption of remote work platforms and serve as a support infrastructure for the growing number of people working from home. Bots from RPA implementations have privileged access to data sources and are able to extract and deploy that data to employees that might not have the ability (or authority) to access it. It is a more secure way to mitigate data breaches and can eliminate compliance and audit concerns.
Benefits of RPA Post-Covid
Companies are experiencing a range of business benefits by leveraging RPA deployments:
1. Cost Savings
Because it’s highly automated, RPA increases the quantity and quality of work performed, giving human resources time to focus on direct customer contact and higher value work. Smaller RPA implementations with fewer than 10 bots are inexpensive to deploy and can deliver ROI almost immediately.
2. Speed and Productivity
RPA cuts the time necessary to complete manual tasks by orders of magnitude, which has been critical during the pandemic, when time saved for hospitals and medical supply manufacturing can make the difference between life and death. RPA bots can help hospitals, for example, project the number of ventilators needed and quickly decide whether they should be redirected to sites with higher need.
3. Business Continuity
Bot-driven automation can also protect employee health and well-being during and after the pandemic. Bots can quickly measure and evaluate Covid health concerns and determine if a person is low-risk enough to go back to the office and participate in keeping the business operating.
RPA helps companies reduce the human margin of error by 5 to 10 percent for highly repetitive tasks, improving accuracy and boosting the quality of work.
Enterprise Adoption of RPA
According to Automation Anywhere’s Now & Next State of RPA Report, RPA implementations have passed the tipping point for enterprise adoption and have entered the mainstream in the wake of Covid-19. Among key findings in the report:
- 63 percent of companies are already deploying or actively scaling RPA to raise business resilience and productivity.
- 78 percent of companies have already realized productivity gains. In cases where more than 100 bots are deployed, companies were more likely to have achieved their goals.
- 67 percent of new RPA customers opted for cloud-based RPA implementations to speed deployment and flexibility.
- 57 percent expect to invest more in RPA to increase employee productivity and improve the customer experience.
- The number of bots used by these companies is projected to double in the next year.
Where Smart RPA Is Used Today
Adoption of RPA has been accelerated by the pandemic for a wide array of business functions. For example, RPA can help CIOs self-detect, diagnose, and respond to system anomalies in real time, and ensure that data across IT systems are fully connected and used consistently. These implementations increase data quality, improve the accuracy of AI, and boost efficiency for engineers.
RPA is also used extensively these days for improving the customer experience online. Companies typically use multiple applications to ensure customer satisfaction. RPA implementations can identify potential bottlenecks in the customer service process and other sources of friction and determine quick and scalable solutions. By first understanding how customers interact with a company, they can work to improve the customer experience.
Learn RPA using the advanced UiPath platform with the Robotic Process Automation certification training course.
Why Should You Care?
Robotic process automation is experiencing double-digit market growth and will reach nearly universal adoption by 2023, according to Gartner. Technology professionals can get a jump on learning this innovative new platform with RPA training courses geared for developing real-world solutions to today’s business challenges.
Also, if you are curious about other career paths, you should check out Simplilearn’s free courses to curate your own path.