Where does RPA currently stand? What is the forecast for 2018?
Worldwide use of robotic process automation has led to significant, positive impacts on business productivity. In 2017 the adoption of robotic process automation grew globally at a higher pace than ever before.
According to Deloitte, RPA has become a “top priority for global business service leaders” across the industry landscape. Sectors such as banking, insurance and financial services have led the charge with their uptake of RPA to date. Pleasingly, the range of industries now investing in or actively investigating robotic process automation is growing, including manufacturing, utilities, mining, hospitality and FMCG, to name a few.
With its non-intrusive and flexible architecture, an automation scope that encompasses such a wide range of applications and business processes, and its ability to facilitate better management of the changing labour market, robotic process automation has become more than merely a viable option.
Indeed, extrapolating RPA’s growth trajectory into the near future would imply adoption as a necessary step that competitive businesses must take. According to the Institute for Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence Survey from June 2017, 66% of respondents were considering expansion of robotic process automation programs and 70% were allocating increased funds for investment in 2018.
Zoom in on Australia
According to Frederic Giron, research director at Forrester — quoted by Beverley Head for ComputerWeekly — one of the most ardent concerns of Australian businesses with respect to automation will be innovation.
To this end, companies will focus on sourcing bright (human) minds who can fuse the best of both worlds — human intelligence and collective experience, with the power of process automation. Such automation is expected to work hand-in-hand with broader company mandates to provide personalised products and services that provide the best possible customer experience.
In CiGen’s feature in the Australian Financial Review, Leigh Pullen, Executive Director and co-founder says of the Australian landscape: “RPA has moved to proven technology and is providing tangible benefits to the companies that deploy it”.
Let us now list some of the robotic process automation best practices that can help to lock in these tangible benefits.
Top 6 robotic process automation best practices
1. Select the processes to be automated wisely
CiGen’s Leigh Pullen states that in order to tap into the vast potential of robotics, it is essential to begin an RPA implementation with those business processes that are best suited for automation. Selection should be made based on criteria such as:
- Mature, stable processes — processes that are stable, predictable and well documented, with operation costs that are consistent and well defined
- Low exception rates — low rate of variable outcomes that would otherwise require complex human intervention
- Measurable savings — cost savings and/or benefits gained can typically be expressed in terms of greater accuracy, faster response times, lower cost base, etc.
- High volume / high frequency — these processes often provide a faster ROI