In these times, no conversation about disruptive technologies is complete without reference to “robotic process automation” (RPA, or robotics as it is colloquially known). Although the technology is not new – screen scrapers and automated workflow have been around for over a decade – the pace of adoption and the fact that this is now being actively experimented with and piloted in most major financial institutions is a new phenomenon.
This is due to the confluence of two unique market events: maturation of robotics technology and the efforts by financial institutions to mitigate inefficiency. Similar to any rapid mainstream adoption of new technology, however, success is not always assured. In the case of robotics, adopters have faced mixed results.
In this article, we examine why the adoption has been so troublesome. We will explain why the institutions that have been successful in adopting robotics have done so not by focusing on the technology but by taking a step back and looking at the actual business problem at hand, and then considering robotics as part of a broad toolset that is available to them.