Whether you’re setting out to hike Grand Teton or deciding which room to tackle first during a home remodel, a fundamental truth holds: You must have a solid grasp of where you are before you can make a plan for getting to where you want to be.
The same principle holds when it comes to establishing a digital workforce enabled by robotic process automation, with the aim of automating tasks across an organization.
But figuring out where to get started with a technology like RPA can prove difficult. Here are a few insights on how businesses are implementing RPA, as well as the value they recognize in embracing the next-generation of RPA: intelligent automation.
Business Leaders Are Onboard with RPA
When it comes to tapping RPA to automate repetitive tasks, the C-suite, at least, is sold. Ninety percent of respondents to the 2019 Kofax Intelligent Automation Benchmark Study — which asked more than 300 senior executives around the world to weigh in on the current state of process automation in their organizations, its benefits and barriers to doing more — agreed that “leadership recognizes the importance of process automation to our future success.”
Further, more than three-quarters of respondents said that 60 percent or more of process work could be automated; almost half said that 80 percent or more could be automated.
RPA Is Still on a Path to Optimization
Companies still have a long way to go to optimize key processes before automating.
Although 60 percent of respondents wanted their processes to be automated or mostly automated, only 38 percent said they had achieved that benchmark.
Moreover, Centers of Excellence are widely acknowledged as essential when it comes to successful RPA implementations. Fifty-one percent of respondents reported they have a COE for process automation, and 41 percent acknowledged its importance as part of an enterprisewide initiative and reported having a plan for creating one. Less than 8 percent had no COE plan.
Executives See the Value of RPA
Even companies that are implementing RPA solely to automate processes are realizing significant benefits. Organizations are seeing the greatest improvements — more than 25 percent — in the areas of employee satisfaction, efficiency and customer retention.
Many, however, have questions about how to scale RPA to hundreds, thousands or even hundreds of thousands of software robots, and how to efficiently manage the “bot teams” across the enterprise.
Intelligent Automation Could Be a Blueprint for RPA Success
The truth is that the ability to maximize and extend the scope and degree to which processes can be optimized is redefining how organizations “work.” With intelligent automation, organizations can start, scale or expand the intelligent digital workforce on their terms and timelines.
RPA at scale requires the ability to apply RPA across the enterprise and on processes ranging from simple to complex. For the more complex processes that include unstructured data and managing work between RPA bots and employees, RPA alone is insufficient. An enterprise automation solution requires seamless interoperability of “smart automation” platform capabilities, such as cognitive capture, intelligent optical character recognition, process orchestration, analytics and RPA. Beyond automating rules-based tasks with RPA, intelligent automation enables true end-to-end automation of more complex processes.
The result could be a digital workforce consisting of humans and bots collaborating to provide increased capacity to the organization, while empowering the employee and driving an improved customer experience.