Robotic Process Automation: The benefits of bots are for every business
As stated in blog series part 1, robotic processing automation (RPA) is not a new concept. So, why is it getting so much traction in the marketplace? Popular research reports cite an increasingly abundant adoption of RPA for industry-specific processes in every industry domain. It is very high on finance and accounting (F&A) functions in financial and manufacturing industries. The RPA market is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 65%, from nascent in 2016 to $3 billion in 2020, and higher.
Why is the RPA adoption rate going up every year? The RPA adoption rate is growing due to many factors, including:
- Automation focus has shifted from IT operations to business processes, and from bottom line to top line. This focuses on augmenting talent, digitizing processes, and extending the life of an IT system, attracting operations executives to invest in RPA.
- Investment and time required to implement RPA are much smaller than other digital transformation initiatives. It is affordable for small and medium-sized organizations, and is accelerating digital transformation.
- Rapid funding of RPA vendors by big venture capitalist companies has encouraged the longer-term investments of many enterprises previously skeptical of investing in very small software boutiques. The largest examples have been UiPath and Automation Anywhere, attaining capital investment rounds as high as $250m/$300m.
- Aggressive marketing and support by RPA vendors. For example, UiPath landed $225M Series C funding. It's spending a huge amount of money in educating customers on the benefits of RPA.
What are the benefits of implementing RPA?
You may have heard of RPA in the context of cost savings or headcount reduction. This is the most conservative way of looking at RPA. There is great reason to believe that such a view shows limited understanding of the true potential of RPA because it brings significant benefits other than just cost reduction.
Key benefits include accelerating digital transformation and return on investment:
- Potential for near-immediate ROI: On average, robots can be implemented in 8 to 10 weeks. You will start seeing the ROI in less than three months or so.
- Fast cost savings through added capacity: since robots will take over some of the repetitive work, it frees up capacity that can be utilized for other important tasks. The adoption reduces cost for the current activity and increases productivity, ultimately providing additional capacity.
- Provides an alternative to application updates: Instead of costly application modifications to improve efficiency, robots provide a cheaper alternative to ease user pain points.
- Additionally, RPA forces organizations to think about standardized processes that enable ease of operations are therefore called out for automation.
Improved customer experience is also an outcome of RPA.
- Customer satisfaction: Helps to improve customer satisfaction by optimizing the front-end and back-end processes that may improve the customer experience – for example, not having such a long waiting period on the phone.
- Increased speed and productivity: Robots work faster than humans and produce higher output.
RPA causes improved employee experience by allowing focus on core tasks. By automating routine business tasks and amplifying productivity, RPA frees employees to concentrate on core business needs.
Lastly, RPA improves compliance and quality control. Once instructed, robots execute reliably, thereby reducing risk. RPA directly addresses some of the key imperatives of regulatory compliance. In addition, robots never make mistakes and never get tired. Their nature is consistently compliant.
Overall, RPA robots can imitate many human user actions, and they are very powerful. They are here to stay. RPA adoption is growing at a frantic pace. Some RPA software vendors have experienced triple-digit revenue growth rates. RPA is a promising technology and a tremendous opportunity for any organization. Every company needs an RPA. This will allow it to remain efficient, productive and competitive by automating routine tasks. If you have not yet explored it, it is about time to explore the possibilities.
In the next part, we will review which bots are for your business.