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What sits behind Robotic Process Automation

Most of the trends for 2018 and beyond mention Robotic Process Automation (RPA) as one of the hottest topics for Shared Service Centres. The term itself can cause a few to resist the adoption of this new business practice, and this is because of a slightly misleading use of the word ‘robotic’. While RPA can conjure images of shiny silver robots sitting and working away at partitioned stations, where people once sat, the reality is far from these images.

Robotic Automation is essentially software, a software robot that does the repetitive work, so that employees don’t have to. Some examples are: filling in customer forms, looking up information, searching legacy systems and manually copying and entering data. Having a workforce that is focused on performing these mundane tasks sometimes means that they are not focusing on the end customers. In a world where not the product, but the customer experience makes the difference between choosing or not choosing a provider, having a good understanding of the customer is of upmost importance for the success of any business.

What is the value add of RPA?

RPA is the latest evolution in business transformation, especially for Shared Services and outsourcing providers who are beginning to recognise its full potential. Simply put, with Robotic Process Automation, organisations can intelligently optimise how work gets done, faster and more efficiently. Using central end-to-end platforms that replace legacy systems, enables organisations to automate tasks, streamline processes, increase employee productivity, which eventually translates into a more satisfying customer experience.

While many businesses are still trying to find the best use cases of RPA that can respond to their strategic business needs, there  are some early adopters that report having achieved significant cost and time savings through the successful implementation of robotic software. As long as it is implemented as part of an overall strategy and it’s linked with the technology infrastructure and IT, RPA can drive significant efficiencies.

One thing is certain – throughout 2018, and in the coming years, we will continue to see more value add delivered by Robotic Process Automation to business globally and in Romania.

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