Robotic Process Automation makes it possible to automate tasks that were once thought to be impossible to automate. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence revolutionize the knowledge work and create a whole new automation culture in companies. Do these seem like futuristic visions to you? Think again!
We recently sent out an international survey asking companies how far they were in implementing intelligent automation. We found that half of the responding companies were currently implementing RPA or investigating RPA opportunities, whereas one fifth of the respondents already have RPA in operation.
Repetitive tasks are at the top of the list of areas that companies are focusing their RPA projects on. It makes sense as it is simple to quantify the benefits from the reduced time spent on activity. We at OpusCapita and some of our customers have already witnessed the huge impact of RPA. Software robots – the virtual assistants – process information accurately and many times faster than a human, make no mistakes, work through day and night, never get sick or take coffee breaks.
Business leaders love robots because they can serve customers 24/7, thus accelerating the revenue cycles. Finance leaders get excited about fraud controls and shortened closing periods enabled by Machine Learning, and HR leaders thank the intelligent automation for reducing staff overtime hours. In the end, these technologies are quite easy to understand and relate to.
The real disruption is ahead with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
RPA allows a much quicker and cheaper automation than we have seen before. But the automation of the knowledge work is about to reach a whole new level with Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
These technologies have evolved during the past few years faster than anyone anticipated. In our survey, companies are expecting machine learning and AI to impact their business in a couple of years’ time. We believe that business processes will be affected much sooner!
With machine learning capabilities, a robot can easily process millions of rows of information and historic data in seconds to build complex rules. It then uses the created logic to make decisions, propose solutions and provide recommendations at the judgment points in the workflow. It continuously learns from deviations and errors, and thus overcomes the situations where the RPA assistant would stop and wait for further instructions. We at OpusCapita are already investigating how to utilize machine learning to generate liquidity forecasts, detect fraud attempts and spot errors in payment flows, for example.
Partner up for a short learning curve
Companies expect quick return on investment from RPA, but it takes time to build the competence. When the development in the field happens in leaps and bounds, you cannot afford to be slow to catch up.
In our survey every fourth of the companies who already had implemented RPA believe it will transform their business. The corresponding number for companies with limited experiences in RPA is only 2%. It goes to show that there is a learning curve in RPA.
With the right partner companies can quickly absorb new competencies in their organization, and cut the learning curve to a fraction. It is no wonder that the most common way of sourcing RPA are partnerships! A great partner will not only enable a quick deployment of RPA and continuing maintenance effort for the software robots in your organization, but will also support you in building awareness and abilities, aimed to creating the true automation culture across your operations.
Mrs. Heini Pensar, Head of Professional Services at OpusCapita, has
Mr. Henri Wiik, Product Marketing Manager at OpusCapita, is a
If you want to hear practical tips on how to start implementing RPA and gaining the benefits, we have a series of webinars focusing on intelligent automation underway. Join in!
The results of the Robotic Process Automation & Artificial Intelligence Survey 2016, with real-life examples and case studies can be downloaded here.