What exactly is RPA?

RPA stands for robotic process automation. While there are multiple ways to describe RPA, EY sums it up nicely as “the use of software that mimics human behavior to carry out repetitive, high volume administration tasks.”

There are not any physical robots involved, the bots are in fact software. It is essentially automation that carries out tasks usually completed by humans. This then frees up employees time so they can instead do higher value work.

 

What is a typical RPA use-case?

One Bizagi customer, a leading American bank, launched an RPA project to drive efficiency in their business. They have integrated RPA with their commercial lending platform and bots now perform the work of over 40 full-time employees, saving them time and money. 50% of their commercial lending platform is now managed by RPA – from the onboarding of customers to the servicing and closing of the loan.

The onboarding could previously take up to two months, but with RPA it only takes half that time, proving the efficiency of the software. It also mitigates risk and improves the customer experience as RPA is programmed to always carry out the same set of actions.

 

 What are the benefits of RPA?

  • Free up employee time – As already mentioned, RPA takes care of repetitive, administrative tasks so that people can concentrate on value-add tasks instead
  • Reduce risk and ensure compliance – RPA follows regulatory compliance through programmed tasks and provides an audit trail
  • Eliminate human error through consistency – Bots follow routine tasks with extreme accuracy, so there is no risk of typos or incorrect information entries
  • Reduced costs – UiPath reports that RPA projects can reduce costs by up to 80% with most companies seeing a positive ROI in less than a year
  • Act as middleware to core systems – RPA can provide integration to legacy technology for apps that don’t have APIs
  • Agile and easily scalable – Additional RPA software can be easily deployed across business units and geographies, and when combined with a BPM/DPA software the process is super agile

RPA project benefits

Why is RPA so popular right now?

From 2018 to 2019, global spending on RPA software is estimated to increase by 57% to $680million, proving its popularity as the technology matures.

“End-user organizations adopt RPA technology as a quick and easy fix to automate manual tasks,” said Cathy Tornbohm, vice president at Gartner. “Some employees will continue to execute mundane tasks that require them to cut, paste and change data manually. But when RPA tools perform those activities, the error-margin shrinks and data quality increases.

In Gartner’s webinar ‘Robotic Process Automation (RPA) From Hype to Reality’, Garnter describes RPA as a gateway technology that is enabling businesses to embrace other intelligent automation services, such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

“The amount of hype that’s going on in the market today is probably reaching its peak. We think it’s going to take another year where it sits at the top there… The higher-end tools, the ones that are in business enablement – those tools are starting to put in RPA tech in their base products,” says Gartner.

How do I deliver an RPA project?

Implementation is everything… “While RPA can transform the economics and service level of current manual operations, we have seen as many as 30 to 50% of initial RPA projects fail,” reports EY. 

Businesses often struggle to fully-modernize their operating model as they have become reliant on people to conduct the most repetitive tasks. RPA can address these repetitive tasks and integrate with a BPM platform, like Bizagi, to ensure these automated actions are fed into broader processes.

These repetitive tasks are quick wins that can kick-start your RPA project before scaling up the processes to enable end-to-end automation across your business. For more information on how to successfully deploy RPA, read our blog: Successful RPA Implementation: What You Need To Know

Is RPA actually the right solution to meet my needs?

As Gartner highlights, RPA is not a one-size-fits-all technology and there are cases where alternative automation solutions, such as digital process automation, achieve better results. “RPA solution perform best when an organization needs structured data to automate existing tasks or processes, add automated functionality to legacy systems and link to external systems that can’t be connected through other IT options.”

RPA and UiPath

If you’d like to find out more about delivering an RPA project, and how Bizagi can help you achieve end-to-end automation in your business, watch our webinar How DPA and RPA combine to deliver complete automation. And if you have questions about how it could work for you, simply Contact Bizagi today.