The Business Value of RPA (Robotics Process Automation)

DigitalIntelligence

RPA is on the critical agenda of CEOs to cut cost, increase profitability, and generate new business; and agenda of other CxO level executives for accuracy, compliance, and security.

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Primary business values of RPA are productivity, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.

As part of my business architecture and designer roles, I architected and designed several business solutions using Robotics Process Automation (RPA) tools and processes for large business and government organisations.

I also helped the startup companies and sole trading entrepreneurs to add this interesting and emerging technology to their growth agenda.

In this post, my focus is on the business value of Robotics Process Automation.

I excluded specific tools and service providers. My aim is to evaluate them in a comprehensive article. This story provides a high-level overview of the business value proposition of Robotics Process Automation.

Before delving into the business value proposition, I want to briefly introduce what RPA is.

The internal ingredients of RPA systems are complex and sophisticated however from a functional perspective it can be easier to describe the operational model by abstracting the technical details.

RPA is based on multiple software robots, connectors, and the control plane.

The software robot can read a computer screen.

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In addition, designers or operators can use pre-built connectors to capture data, e.g. user screen. We can also edit the tasks that software robots produce.

Based on these data collection models, the RPA system can create triggers and timer schedules on the Control Room engine.

Then the Control Room engine assigns tasks from the queues to the software robots (a.k.a. Bots) in the worker pool. This is an iterative and repetitive process for desired outcomes.

Business Value Prepositions

While performing some proof of concepts or proof of technology initiatives, I noticed that the software robots could be up to five times faster than an experienced human agent in completing the same task.

Humans cannot but software robots can work 24 by 7 basis.

I witnessed three critical items on the agenda of CIOs, CTOs, CDOs, and CISOs.

  • Accuracy (Integrity of business),
  • Compliance, and
  • Security

I witnessed these major concerns in many large business and government organisations.

Addressing the key agenda items on CxO level professionals is a critical value proposition that RPA can provide and exceed in delivery.

My experience demonstrated that there was a substantial reduction in human error rates.

I received confirming feedback from C Level executives in business and government organisations that RPA enhanced compliance and security capabilities by addressing their organizational concerns.

As we know business and government organisations have a tremendous focus on three inevitable initiatives:

  • to cut cost,
  • increase profitability, and
  • generate new business.

RPA adds a compelling value proposition for cost-cutting. Many tasks can be performed in a shorter time and less effort by a human. Time of employees can be the biggest cost to large organisations. Therefore, each year we see so many redundancies in these business organisations.

Increasing profitability is another value proposition that RPA contributes to large business organisations. Profitability is initiated and maintained by speedy delivery of services and reduced efforts spent by the employees, especially by those who are highly paid.

As RPA is an innovative process and set of tools, it can contribute to generating new business. This value is greatly appreciated by startup organisations and sole entrepreneurs trying to tap into new markets.

At the highest level, RPA can get rid of downstream process remediation, troubleshooting, and can reposition organisational labour to higher-value tasks.

Close to my heart as an enterprise architect, RPA can address major concerns around scalability, agility, and flexibility in organisations leveraging Multi-Cloud services and Hybrid Cloud platforms.

In business terms, this means that the software robots can easily be replicated and rapidly scaled, across the enterprise and beyond. The goal is to meet peak or atypical workloads on demand.

If we have a compelling business case and want to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cognitive Computing capabilities to enhance our automation services, we need to extend our current RPA capabilities using integrated offerings or customise our solutions at the architectural, design, operational, and specifications levels.

For example, one of my clients wanted to leverage voluminous of streaming data from the Big Data analytics platform operating with a very complex set of open source and proprietary data tools, processes, and technology stacks. The data sources were coming from internal and external sources with high velocity.

I came across many service providers offering RPA products and services with varying capabilities. I am not in a position to recommend or criticise any products as a vendor-agnostic enterprise architect.

However, I develop a set of criteria to meet our business requirements and strategic goals. I neutrally and independently propose the criteria for CxO level executives. Once they understand the business value from the architectural criteria that I introduce to them, I start creating solutions for the initiatives.

Conclusions

RPA solutions pose many business benefits to organisations at all level.

RPA solutions aim to reduce pain at the CxO level professional especially within the key agenda items such as cost-cutting, increasing profitability, and generating new business for CEOs. And they cover accuracy, compliance, and, security matters for CIO, CTO, CDO, and CISOs.

I want to point out that we should not purchase RPA products or services based on their reputation or market shares. We need to ensure that the product and associated services meet the solution requirements, use cases, financial position, and our organisation's strategic business direction.

Understanding the high-level understanding of Business Architecture frameworks can be invaluable to strategize, design, implement and operate RPA solutions. You can learn about the critical concepts from Agile Business Architecture for Digital Transformation.

I also published an article on News Break introducing An Overview of Business Architecture For Entrepreneurs.

Thank you for reading my perspectives.

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I write about important and valuable life lessons. My ultimate goal is to delight my readers. My content aims to inform and engage my readers. Truth, diversity, collaboration, and inclusiveness are my core values. I am a pragmatic technologist, scientist, postdoctoral academic and industry researcher focusing on practical and important life matters for the last four decades.

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