What are the benefits of automation?
Business process automation might be the next step an organization needs to achieve its vision. Business process automation is the technology-enabled automation of complex business processes. Automation streamlines operations by completing tasks exponentially faster than a human could and without the risk of manual errors. Also, these technologies work tirelessly 24/7 without interruption, reducing costs associated with human capital. Automation boosts worker satisfaction by eliminating the mundane tasks of the day and opening up more time for creative and fulfilling work. According to McKinsey, automating business processes through RPA can lead to a Return on Investment of between 30 and 200 percent in the first year alone.
What is RPA?
Robotic Process Automation, or RPA, is the technology that allows anyone today to configure computer software, or a “robot” to emulate and integrate the actions of a human interacting within digital systems to execute a business process. RPA robots utilize the user interface to capture data and manipulate applications just like humans do. They interpret, trigger responses and communicate with other systems in order to perform on a vast variety of repetitive tasks.
While traditional automation requires knowledge of a coding language and basic knowledge of computer science, to build one of these “robots” requires little/no coding and an IT background is not necessary. This allows RPA to automate at a fraction of the cost and time of traditional automation. The platform for creating these bots is famously user-friendly and based on pointing, clicking and dragging with the computer mouse. To watch an introduction to RPA programming and the user interface used to create them watch this video.
What can I automate in my organization?
RPAs can be applied to any rules-based process done on a computer, which includes but is not limited to: information collection and organization, customer follow-up, bill payments, reviewing applications for hiring, customer service, and form autofills. Really if you have any time-consuming redundant task on your computer you wish you didn’t have to do, chances are you can automate it.
Best Practices for Implementing RPA
1. Start small with quick wins: identify 3-5 processes within your organization that you wish were automated and start with those.
2. When scaling your implementation you need to consider how the bots will interact with each other; many implementations fail because companies overlook communication exchanges, between the various bots, which can break a business process.
3. Communication within the organization is key for keeping the bots updated. If an employee changes the company’s password policy but no one programmed the bots to adjust this will result in a bot roadblock.
4. Don’t forget the impact on people. RPA isn’t for every enterprise. As with any automation technology, RPA has the potential to eliminate jobs.
Overall, automation has many capabilities and many ways to be applied to any organization. Not only does it reduce costs , but it enhances employee and client experiences.
These streamlined processes have a major impact on improving the organization’s ability to accomplish its goals in less time with less money.
Automation has been taken mainstream with RPA, and all organization’s looking to improve their business model should consider implementing this new technology.