Robotics - The Game Changer

RP Rath,VP-Technologies, Quatrro | Wednesday, 15 February 2017, 06:03 IST

Robotics as a concept is not new as most of the organizations already adopted suitable automation processes and mechanisms in some form or the other. However, “Robotics”, now being considered as an alternative term to “automation” has fascinated Business leaders to consider this seriously as part of their growth story. Organizations such as System integrators, Solution Providers, Consultants, Service providers are driving Robotics deployments by looking into solutions, tools, processes, Ideas, innovative practices etc. as constituents of ‘Robotics driven Process Automation’ or RPA to lure the industry with win-win propositions. As part of Robotics adoption, many organizations have initiated a thorough study each of their business functions and processes in order to identify any task that has prerequisites of repeat work, time and resource bandwidth.

When should one start the RPA process? If this is what is hurting the decision making process, ‘Now’ is the best answer. Yes one should start RPA process initiation to lead in this initiative and be there on the forefront of growth. This is true irrespective of what type of business one is into. While IT plays a key role in driving RPA process and hence IT enabled service providers have an edge over the others to adopt, use and extract benefits from Robotics process, RPA has the potential to garner benefits across the industry verticals. The good part is there are good system integrators who provide end to end support in RPA adoption. However, identification of the business process and scoping has to be owned and driven by the parent organization and should not be left it to external parties.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) within an organization helps promote business process transformation and innovation in-line with business and revenue goals as this helps automate processes quickly, cost effectively and effortlessly. Any process which is rule based like back-office work, IT Services, and Data entry, healthcare etc. are immediate potential candidates for RPA. While most of the organizations, primarily IT centric one’s have initiated dialogues on Robotics processes, stuck with ‘where to start’. Though it is a complex decision to identify a process for RPA pilot, factors like internal skill and strength etc, thorough understanding on RPA, project management skills, determination and support of the management is essential to this noble initiative. It is imperative for the Board to understand the key benefits and challenges of RPA which actually is the driving factor for a right implementation. In this decision making process the CIO’s need to play a crucial role of stage-manager primarily due to their understanding in netegrities of people, process and technology aspects and mastery in software life-cycle management.

Software developed as part of Robotic process automation (RPA), that acts a robot allows configure, capture and interpret existing applications for processing any transaction, manipulating data and triggering responses and works as a middle layer with other communicating systems. Thus, RPA is useful for companies with large labor forces working on transactional functions such as day to day repetitive knowledge process work, Data entry, Administrative processes, Helpdesk Support processes, Workflow processes Remote Infrastructure and back-office work etc. results in capability boost and save money and time. Most of these processes need a deep-down study before being identified for RPA. Successful implementation of RPA results in key benefits such as:

• 100 percent error free output

•  30 percent cost-savings

• Reduced process cycle times

• Better quality with improved security and data integrity

• Improved audit and Regulatory compliance analytics

• The ability to move operations up the value chain

• Improved performance and higher operational efficiency

• Ease of deployment and Adoption& non-disruptive

• No need of complex IT Skills or huge budget

• Enhance Client experience

Like all good-things come with hindrances, robotics too is associated with some sense of negativity like retrenchment of people from dull and repetitive tasks and projects resulting job loss. RPA may Impact employment depending on how the automation is used. Many organizations plan to choose this technology deployment to achieve more work and greater productivity with the same number of people and no job-cuts.

Automation is key success for every company seeking growth, agility and rationalizes costs. Robotics can play that dynamic role to minimize manual intervention and drive higher process efficiencies. The future of RPA seems very bright as many organizations have started deployment of robotic processes and early signs demonstrate huge tangible and intangible benefits. Robotics adoption is being used as a key distinction to prospective Clients vs. competition offerings. It is unclear, whether RPA acceptance will lead to any negative impact on society or not. However, many studies reflects that automation of processes may impact the labor market seriously as approx. 30 percent of jobs may have been automated by 2030 or before.

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