Pros and Cons of Robotic Process Automation Implementation
The global robotic process automation (RPA) market size is expected to reach USD 3.11 billion by 2025, according to a new study by Grand View Research, Inc. When implementing a new technology, you must consider the benefits and potential drawbacks. Robotic Process Automation has many benefits and potential challenges in the form of product selection, process evaluation, bot architecture, user training and scaling up.
When evaluating RPA solutions, it is important to understand that there are many adoption challenges and opportunities. To take full advantage of an RPA solution, it's the teamwork that makes the dreamwork. It all starts with asking the right questions. Like, “What are the challenges with implementation? What value-added services are there to ensure RPA success? What are the tough lessons learned during implementation that have lead to success?"
An automation strategies costs and benefits are complex as they can affect both front and back office processes. This is why we'll highlight both the pros and cons of implementing RPA within your organization. Some of the leading software providers like UiPath, Automation Anywhere, BluePrism, Work Fusion and Pega RPA, all have there strengths and customer success stories. However, finding the right product for your RPA initiative is an important step that starts with discovery and education. Let's take a look at what RPA can do for your business process.
The Pros of RPA
Picture a Credit Union (CU's) thinking about introducing automation in an effort to streamline administrative tasks. To make the CU's business process much more efficient, this CU is looking for an automation solution to rapidly transform there back office processes. They are interested in leveraging the increased accuracy and speed of its business services. By implementing robotic process automation, this Credit Union can foresee immediate benefits including reduce time for consumer loan processing, enhanced accuracy of manual data input, and the elimination of repetitive copy and pasting between applications.
The benefits of RPA are quite similar across industries. RPA's capabilities are of course are quite incredible, and this is really a case where seeing is believing. The following are some less obvious benefits that Credit Unions find important.
Data gaps between separate sources of information are removed and all actions executed by the RPA robots are logged during automation. This allows for simple compliance management for running regular internal reviews. RPA systems work across many industries and have been built with a compliance first architecture. If compliance is important to you, RPA makes it easy to stay in line with even the strictest regulations.
RPA is compatible with virtually any system that a human uses on a computer. Robots recreate the same activities people do everyday like copy & paste, navigating the internet, using banking applications and of course Microsoft Excel. With incredible speed, a bot can move between applications to get more work done, faster. The RPA technology works with the user interface elements on the presentation layer of your screen. This means you do not need to update your legacy systems when you bring RPA into your company. RPA is a unique type of automation because it is Non-Intrusive. It can also reduce the time pressure on IT as users do not need coding ability to work with the RPA.
RPA provides a platform to centralize an organizations management of bots, auditing and analytics to remotely model, monitor, control, schedule, and execute the deployment of RPA software robots. Enhanced governance can be achieved by creating automation rules to manage business operations. High levels of security can be managed and maintained through secure remote server control.
Enhanced Customer Experience
Relieving employees from the burden of repetitive work is what most companies view as one of RPA's big benefits. Even though back office automation doesn't seem to impact front office work. RPA can drive customer improvements. Through automation an organization can deliver quality services faster and decrease the chance of errors.
The Cons of RPA
It's easy to see how RPA can benefit a CU by improving business operations and customer service. Rolling out a new enterprise solution without challenges isn't realistic based on most organizations historic experience.
Here are some of the challenges that you should look out for if your are considering the successful implementation of RPA for your Credit Union:
People are habitual and organizational change can cause stress among employees. Employees who are part of a new technology implementation might be put-off by taking on new responsibilities. It means learning something new and not everyone shares the same level of enthusiasm. Setting the right expectations and communicating them through corporate leadership and executive sponsors will ensure employees stay informed during the RPA implementation process. For successful RPA adoption its best to create a culture of innovation to accelerate adoption.
It is best to select tasks that are repetitive, rules-based, high volume, and do not require too much human judgement. Those tasks are real winners as they will help you see the fastest ROI and greatest company-wide impact. Think “Where do we use copy-paste a lot? Where does data migration take a while?" The more non-standard the process the more difficult it is to automate and the more human interaction required to complete the task. More complex tasks include interacting with customers and developing human relationships. Of course, the upfront time it takes to identify the right process is necessary to successful process selection. You may not need to automate everything right away. Think “What one process could we change that would make the biggest difference?"
So as to not disappoint, be mindful when it comes to setting internal expectations for a new technology like RPA. The excitement for what's possible should not be overshadowed by the practicality of the processes that need to be improved first. RPA will not fix all operational problems or broken processes. Companies need to decide on the right technology for their unique RPA needs. By communicating expectation regarding results, point to other companies successes stories so people can see a roadmap where they are going.
Proper prior planning will help you conceptually manage all the moving pieces. Working with a partner that has experience in the trenches of RPA projects can prove to be invaluable. To get the full benefit of an RPA solution, partners like Tangentia can provide best in class lean operation principles to your organizations workflow. When weighing the Pros and Cons of and RPA implementation, the right partner can really tilt the scale in your favour as you navigate the unchartered waters of RPA for your company.
PwC says in their white paper Organizing Your Future with Robotic Process Automation that “a couple of RPA’s greatest benefits are often overlooked…[such as] its ease of deployment.”
When you overcome the challenges of the automation selection process and minimize employee resistance, you will experience RPA implementation success. Few things are more gratifying than identifying a process that needs improvement and working together as a team to drive innovation. During the process, new ideas will emerge for other areas of the business to be automated. Widespread adoption can help the company realize the full cascading benefits of a true world class RPA solution.
Whether you are interested in UiPath, Automation Anywhere, BluePrism, Work Fusion or Pega RPA. Here at Tangentia we understand process automation very well and can help you throughout your implementation from initial discovery conversations to enterprise multi-bot rollout.
About the Author
Mark Latimer is an Account Executive in Tangentia's Automation & Digital practice. Tangentia is a Global Boutique Technology Solutions company with offices in Canada, US, and India. Mark helps organizations discover, identify and implement robotic process automation projects to improve an organization productivity and competitiveness. Tangentia has over 1000 customers in over a dozen countries and is one of North America’s fastest growing IT companies.
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