Robotic Process Automation is an application of technology, which is governed by its structured inputs and business logic. The goal is to automate businesses processes using RPA tools, from things such as automated email replies to deploying hundreds of bots that can tackle tasks within an ERP system.
It was Chief Operating Officers in financial services that spearheaded RPA adoption, as they sought ways to leverage software but without the costs. The RPA challenge is a big one, but if done right, can speed up business processes and increase efficiency.
The possible benefits of a successful implementation are automation over functions such as Know Your Customer credit check and other administrative tasks that can sink a lot of time for employees. Automating the more menial tasks – of which there can be many within data and filing specifically – means freeing up time for high return tasks.
Where to start with RPA
Here are some areas to begin when looking towards RPA adoption:
Marry your business objectives with RPA
RPA bots can automate the interaction of end-users within enterprise applications, brows-based applications, and many more. They’re universal application orchestrators, but we need them to align with our business objectives.
In order to do this, you must first identify if the RPA adoption can fit the needs of the organisation. It’s important to assess the impact that RPA will have on the overall firm, on a micro and macro level, to avoid wasting time and effort implementing something that cannot fit the business needs. This is where consulting is important, and objectives are laid out.
Involving IT from the start
Whilst meeting your business needs is vital, it’s important not to leave out IT until it’s too late. Implementing RPA rashly and without the backing and understanding of the IT department can cause serious issues and not secure the resources required. It’s important to gauge the infrastructure requirements before starting, too.
From here and with the help of IT, it’s important to define what would make a successful implementation. Metrics (including software development metrics) and documentation of automation need to be the priority here in order to accurately assess the success of the RPA adoption.
It’s also vital to communicate with employees. Of course, automation of business processes can sometimes lead to a lack of job security. It’s important to make it clear from the offset how the automation will impact employees, and should it be a successful implementation, how it will affect workflow. A lot of jobs may be directly impacted by RPA adoption, so it’s particularly important to communicate with these employees.
Project governance is extremely important to the successful implementation of RPA. Roadblocks must be planned for, and data loss should be mitigated. It’s up to the CIOs to continuously look for chokepoints where the RPA can stumble. It’s possible to install a system that monitors this performance, and a strong hand in controlling the RPA to not let it run free. Of course, it’s also important to ensure security and compliance are of absolute priority during implementation.