Robotic process automation (RPA) is a technology that enables businesses to spend less time doing repetitive tasks, and more time doing tasks which add more value. It does this by automating tedious tasks across business applications in the IT infrastructure. Companies benefit by enabling their employees to spend more time on fields like customer interaction, achieving corporate goals, brainstorming on future steps, etc. To a lot of organisations this sounds like a good idea, and often they want to move towards a structure like this. However many businesses lack good understanding of the concept, and are not aware of the implementation pitfalls, which undermines the adoption of RPA.
Counter-argument for RPA
RPA often gets associated with taking over human workforces. A myth that sends out the wrong message about this empowering technology. RPA is about improving efficiency, and even about making the workplace more fun by freeing up time so employees can fulfil more challenging and satisfactory tasks. And yes, there are jobs in which RPA can replace humans. But at the same time the technology also provides new opportunities and enables businesses to scale into a more productive company, requiring the important human insights and creativity.
Illusions versus reality
The main reason of RPA projects failing is false expectations. Dissatisfactions like this often start with a misconception of the true capabilities of robotic process automation. Unrealistic assumptions are an adoption deal-breaker A pity, because RPA can truly amaze people, and its adoption can change the lives of employees and customers. So let us start by erasing five commonly spread myths, in the name of RPA.
Cost reduction is the sole advantage of RPA.
Think about how RPA can positively impact cost, customer relationships, risk management. Market demand requires most companies to undergo digital transformation. Increasing speed of throughput, enhancing validated decision-making and improving accuracy are the three critical drivers for this transformation. IT structure wise RPA can bridge the gaps between multiple systems without creating a crisscross of patches. And IT safety wise RPA can be an addition to cybersecurity by detecting patterns and identifying potential vulnerabilities in real-time. However the application of these benefits is of big importance of the impact, this depends on a company’s core business and processes.
Any random process can be automated with RPA and will be high effective as a stand-alone solution.
Process analysis proves that mostly 50% of processes that contain repetitive tasks are suitable for automation. However of this portion of tedious tasks RPA’s value is optimised only when automating the most time-consuming activities for employees.
A virtual workforce replaces the human workforce.
RPA eliminates certain repetitive tasks that employees would normally have to spend their time doing. As a result tasks are being taken over by RPA, but not jobs. Becoming more efficient through RPA creates scalable opportunities and for the human workforce to shift towards less repetitive and more value-adding tasks.
Robotic process automation dispels risks by removing any human interference.
Whenever an employee has to handle a repetitive task for eight hours straight, he/she is going to make a mistake no matter how easy the task is. In this sense inconsistency is taken away by RPA, but not human interference. On the other hand it could also be a huge pitfall, because if tasks are programmed in the wrong way, it is going to consistently complete the tasks incorrectly. So it is a balance between automation and human interference, and when it is balanced correctly, RPA will really work the magic.
RPA is a tool that is easy to implement in-house without specialised skills.
It may have become clear that implementation is not something to be taken lightly in terms of RPA. Implementation requires an holistic approach from an experienced party. You need to have an accurate and realistic picture of the current situation, only then RPA can as functional and beneficial as expected. One’s view on RPA must be as a methodology rather that a technology.
A smart RPA methodology is crucial
The 7-phase model of the Another Monday methodology addresses all the crucial elements for a successful implementation. When RPA is approached as a methodology instead of technology, it turns illusion into a magical reality. That magic comes alive after you have kicked off your RPA journey successfully.
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