Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools can help businesses improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations faster and at a lower cost than other automation approaches. Interest and activity in RPA is growing and we are increasingly seeing deployments reaching enterprise scale and operating on processes across the organisation.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) uses software, commonly known as a ‘robot’, to capture and interpret existing IT applications to enable transaction processing, data manipulation and communication across multiple IT systems.
Multiple robots can be seen as a virtual workforce - a back-office processing centre but without the human resources. There are financial benefits owing to the lower cost of a robot licence compared to a typical salary, and firms are also seeing non-financial benefits including improved accuracy, timeliness, and operational flexibility.
What can robotics do?
At Deloitte, we have deployed RPA software, at scale (to the equivalent of the manual effort of 100s of people), within clients’ organisations, and within our own internal support processes. We have found it useful to consider robotics (and related cognitive tools) in terms of what they can actually do for a business.
We call these the ‘7 Robotic Skills’ - explore the graphic below.
What processes are suitable to deploy with RPA?
RPA tools are best suited for processes with repeatable, predictable interactions with IT applications. These processes typically lack the scale or value to warrant automation via core systems transformation or if core systems transformation is not due to be implemented soon. RPA tools can improve the efficiency of these processes and the effectiveness of services without changing the underlining systems.
RPA software ‘robots’ perform routine business processes by mimicking the way that people interact with applications through a user interface and following simple rules to make decisions. Entire end-to-end processes can be performed by software robots with very little human interaction, typically to manage exceptions.
RPA can be used to automate processes that are:
- Prone to error
- Rules based
- Involve digital data
- Time critical and seasonal
Why Robotic Process Automation?
The benefits of RPA solutions go beyond cost reduction and include:
- Decreased cycle times and improved throughput
- Flexibility and scalability
- Improved accuracy
- Improved employee morale – enables them to add more value
- Allows time to innovate and focus on customer satisfaction
- Detailed data capture