5 benefits of robotic process automation (RPA)
The Robotic process automation (RPA) market is considered one of the fastest-growing software categories — valued at more than $2 billion in 2020, with drastic growth expected over the coming years. RPA is software technology that performs repetitive tasks that save employees time. RPA tools function by using a “bot” to interact with an employee’s desktop and repeat a set of tasks in the way that the employee would.
RPA tools can be programmed to perform click-based tasks that a worker would usually be doing with a mouse and keyboard. The task is recorded once, generating a script — the bot then follows that script to complete the subsequent tasks. This makes RPA most valuable on tasks that are click-heavy, and require little to no critical thought or problem solving to complete.
RPA technology has several use cases across horizontal job roles and verticals. Some of which include inputting or extracting data from forms and applications, assisting customer and sales roles in data scraping, invoice processing, payroll, and much more.
This article will outline five key benefits that organizations realize from implementing RPA technology:
#1: RPA promotes increased efficiency and productivity
There are more than 1 billion knowledge workers globally — think programmers, engineers, HR personnel, accountants, and any other employee whose job requires special skills, knowledge, or experience. Knowledge workers spend much of their time on mundane, click-heavy tasks that don’t require their specialized knowledge — which is an ineffective use of their time.
When RPA technology performs the click-based work that is part of the working processes of knowledge workers, employee efficiency and productivity improves. Employees spend less time on their repetitive tasks and more time on value-driving work. According to Gartner, RPA can save 30% of a full-time employee’s overall time.
#2: RPA ensures high accuracy
Human workers are not perfect — we’re all human after all — and are prone to error. However, errors can be costly to a business when it comes to data entry and other critical tasks. Whether it be due to simple miscalculation or a typo, burn out, or process knowledge leakage, it’s impossible for any employee to get data entry right 100% of the time.
With automation via RPA, these tasks are done with increased accuracy than if they were done manually. So long as the script was generated correctly, RPA tools can perform their tasks with 100% consistency and accuracy every time. They can also comply with industry and organizational policies.
#3 RPA saves time and money
As employee productivity increases with the automation of repetitive tasks, organizations also realize cost savings. Employees can get more work done within a given amount of time as their click-heavy tasks are automated. They can then spend more time helping customers, problem solving, or whatever their role is in driving value for the business.
Additionally, automation saves organizations money when it comes to ensuring data is correct. According to the 1-10-100 rule of escalation, it costs $1 to prevent a data entry issue, it costs $10 to correct an issue, and $100 if a data accuracy failure occurs. RPA enables companies to prevent an issue from happening — thus saving them money in correction or failure.
#4: RPA paves the path to legacy modernization
Many organizations are still using legacy technology or a home-grown database solution, both of which are difficult to integrate with other solutions. This can create swivel-chair processes, when employees must enter the same data into multiple systems given that these solutions have no way to communicate with each other. This is an ineffective use of employee time.
RPA allows organizations to access these systems and provides a way for organizations to input and export data from them. Since RPA interacts with the program or system in the same way that a human would, these tools can input data into multiple systems or scrape data from them into a secondary application.
#5 RPA leads to scalability
Finally, businesses are going digital — which requires more data to be inputted and processed, more employee brain power, and an increasing need for integration and digital capabilities. Should organizations aim to keep up with their competitors and align with customer demands — it’s critical that they implement solutions that will scale.
RPA tools offer scalability in that — similar to APIs — RPA can be reused for multiple projects. If one set of bots is programmed to scrape data from one application into another, a second group of bots could use the same script to pull from another application. Additionally, RPA helps organizations accomplish all of their tasks without the need to hire and train a larger workforce.
To learn more about RPA, download our business automation whitepaper.