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:

  • Repetitive
  • Prone to error
  • Rules based
  • Involve digital data
  • Time critical and seasonal

3rd Annual Robotics Survey

In September 2017, Deloitte invited organisations globally to take part in an online survey on their use of RPA. We received responses from over 400 individuals across many industries with combined value of £1,500 billion. This year’s Deloitte RPA survey, shows that awareness of robotics remains high. Even more organisations have investigated the RPA opportunity and/or built a proof of concept. They are convinced robotics will deliver a significant productivity increase and that it is applicable for a significant portion of their activities. Find out more.

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

Meet the team

Justin Watson

Justin Watson


Justin is the global leader of Deloitte’s intelligent automation business. His goal is to help clients to safely adopt adaptive, self-aware processes through the application of automation, analytics a... More

David Wright

David Wright


David leads our Robotics team for Global Business Services. He brings over 19 years experience of large scale national and global Robotic and Cognitive Automation, Shared Service, Global Business Serv... More

Andy Willmer

Andy Willmer


Andy has over 20 years’ experience working with UK law enforcement, security and justice organisations, in operational, digital and transformation delivery roles. He has expertise in the design and de... More