By the end of 2022, more than 90% of large organizations globally will have adopted some form of RPA – an increase of 35% from 20191. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an automation tool that allows the user to configure bots through scripts to emulate repetitive manual tasks, such as executing transactions, manipulating and cleaning data, and linking applications. Simply put, RPA is a non-invasive technology that works within existing IT architecture to perform task-level automation of procedure-driven business processes.
Benefits of RPA include reduced resource costs, increased operational efficiency, better user experience, effective utilization of resources, and improved compliance. It can be quickly deployed, enabling organizations to achieve their digitization and automation initiatives by improving process quality, speed, and productivity. With a relatively simple implementation that can be layered quickly, RPA enables a fast turnaround time with a high ROI. Thanks to recent growth in RPA vendors, the cost of licensing an RPA tool has decreased. The Gartner Magic Quadrant below examines the RPA vendors in the market.
Given the multitude of RPA use cases within financial services, business leaders should work to prioritize the processes for automation by developing a robust business case for RPA implementation that supports both short and long-term business goals. As an example, a leading bank looking to extend student loans as a part of their community support, tapped into RPA to expedite the loan process. Within two weeks, they were able to efficiently onboard 1500 students onto their lending platform and initiate the loan process. The bank was successful in extending the RPA use case for other loan types, enabling them to maximize the benefits out of their initial foray into RPA.
It is important for organizations to evaluate RPA alternatives and determine the tool that is best suited to their needs. A quick scan of RPA market offerings will indicate that it is often sold as a ready-to-deploy, business-friendly tool. Despite these marketing ploys, successful RPA implementation requires a specialized skillset and IT support. RPA failures, though rare, can result in expensive downtime, especially if resources with knowledge to manually carry out the process are no longer accessible.
It is also important for organizations to thoroughly evaluate their internal architecture and technology systems. Often, older legacy systems may be incompatible with RPA or require workarounds that increase complexity and lower the value derived from automation. RPA is often used as a temporary solution on inefficient processes. By clearly defining and streamlining a process end-to-end prior to automation, an organization can realize greater savings and fewer challenges down the road. Often, a “bad” process can benefit more from process re-engineering and off-the-shelf software tools rather than automation.
Successful RPA implementation requires a well-defined strategy, guardrails, and proper governance that account for the right monitoring and mitigating techniques to support the automation roll-out. Without governance, RPA projects can potentially fall prey to security and compliance risks, such as data leakage and fraud. Incorporating the right tools to manage RPA bots, continuously tracking performance, as well as planning to identify and mitigate errors, will ensure success and continuous improvement.
RPA projects started off as tactical in nature but with growing market acceptance, RPA’s use in strategic projects has also increased. More and more organizations are utilizing RPA to drive revenue generation and boost their automation initiatives. RPA has solidified its position as a mainstream player and evolved from being a tactical aid to becoming a strategic pillar in an organization’s digital transformation journey. With the right approach, RPA can move beyond plucking low-hanging fruits and take on processes that align with the overall digitization vision. It is critical for organizations to champion a cultural shift by designing a strategic roadmap that fully embeds RPA and identifies the right processes for automation across the horizontals and verticals to achieve long-term benefits and scalability.
Cognitive technologies have been steadily gaining ground in the market and shaping the future of automation. By unlocking and leveraging the full suite of core technologies, such as Smart Workflow, with disruptive tools, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, the path is poised to embrace intelligent process automation. It makes a strong business case for robotics to assume more sophisticated and complex work across organizations and widen the range of processes that can be automated. With increased digitization and layering of sophisticated techniques, such as process mining and advanced analytics, the possibilities are endless with RPA serving as a foundational component.
Capco provides a market-tested approach that enables financial services organizations to rapidly pilot, mobilize, and industrialize RPA at scale. To learn more about Capco’s process excellence solutions, contact email@example.com.