Boosting productivity and differentiation with RPA
Robotic process automation (RPA) is one of the key areas of focus in the enterprise market today, with a growing number of organisations looking for opportunities to implement bots to automate parts of their day-to-day operations and orchestrate processes.
This is unsurprising, as RPA reduces labour-intensive processes by simulating human effort to complete tasks and increases the capabilities of those companies that perform high-volume transactional processes, by automating administrative task workflows and processes.
Alina Gicqueau, director of Product Management at Micro Focus, points out that the implementation of RPA can have numerous benefits to a business, including freeing up to 20% of employees’ time that can be put to better use, by eliminating those dull and repetitive computer tasks that can take hours to perform.
“It also helps to reduce costs significantly. When you think about it, around half of companies currently spend anywhere between $5 and $25 per manually processed invoice, so implementing RPA here will bring down expenses significantly. The value of RPA has been recognised by business, with some 98% of leaders saying that automating processes is essential to driving business benefits,” she says.
“By harnessing RPA’s capabilities to handle the organisation’s mundane processes, business leaders can also gain benefits such as accelerated time to value, as they can create, test and deliver new automated processes within weeks or even days. Furthermore, RPA reduces human error by eliminating copy and paste mistakes introduced by manual data entry and increases productivity, as bots can complete the same tasks in minutes or seconds that would take people far longer. In addition, they work 24/7, without requiring breaks or leave.”
Perhaps the greatest advantage RPA offers, however, is that it gives organisations the power to build, secure and scale automated business processes, from legacy to modern, across the enterprise. Even Gartner agrees that "the ability to integrate legacy systems is the key driver for RPA projects. By using this technology, organisations can quickly accelerate their digital transformation initiatives, while unlocking the value associated with past technology investments." Therefore, she adds, RPA is ideal for automating repetitive, error-prone user interface (UI)-based human actions on legacy applications, as well as integrating these with modern IT process automation.
Gicqueau explains that, for all its benefits, RPA needs to be easy to implement and use, suggesting that an effective RPA solution should encompass an intuitive design interface that allows users to easily record screen actions and design sophisticated end-to-end RPA workflows, visually or with code. It should offer cross-platform connections, combining UI automation with API and other integration methods, in order to connect business processes spanning old and new applications.
“The robots must also be scalable in order to meet changing workload demands, security must be centralised and controlled by a dashboard that enables the management of robots that have unique IDs and encrypted, role-based credentials, and the bots must be resilient. This means having advanced object recognition technology to detect UI changes and to automatically adapt as needed, saving time on maintenance.
“In conjunction with RPA, operations orchestration (OO) will enable users to integrate all software products, thereby helping them offer end-to-end automation in IT. This is because OO automates complete actions using workflows that link steps to standardise any process at enterprise scale.”
What this means, she continues, is that with OO, one can automate end-to-end processes with an enterprise-grade orchestration engine that delivers extensive out-of-the-box content and open APIs to integrate across traditional and hybrid IT ecosystems, teams and tools.
“Enterprises that have used OO in conjunction with RPA have been able to save hours and increase their speed of service delivery and response times. This is because it reduces the workload on IT operation managers, while the built-in content and workflows facilitate integrations with ease.
“In a digitally transforming world, every little improvement or minor benefit can have a significant impact on a company’s ability to remain ahead of the competition. RPA, for its part, can offer dramatic improvements in accuracy and cycle time, increased productivity in transaction processing, more rapid completion of tasks and the freeing up of people from mundane tasks to instead focus on more complex interactions. Clearly, RPA can be a key differentiator for those enterprises seeking to lead, rather than follow,” she concludes.
To find out more about enterprise requirements for RPA, download this white paper.
To try RPA in your organisation, click here.