The day of RPA has arrived – the intelligent evolution of a productivity bot

The day of RPA has arrived – the intelligent evolution of a productivity bot

Global spending Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Software is expected to reach $2.9 billion this year, according to Gartner, cementing the idea that machines are here to take our jobs, but thankfully focusing on boring, yet necessary repetitive tasks. But will all this change? Could RPA be phased out, or does it still have a future?

According to Varsha Mehta, senior market research specialist at Gartner, RPA software providers are now “moving beyond a traditional single technology-focused offering to a more sophisticated suite of tools”. These include low-code application platforms, process mining, task mining, decision modeling, and integration platforms as a service (iPaaS). The aim, suggests Mehta, is to create a “hyper-automation-enabled platform”.

Customers, understandably, want more bang for their buck. big data Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), to a certain extent, have given organizations analytical headaches. But where Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Give organizations insight into operational and market patterns, customer habits and financial modeling, for example, providing the “how” of RPA.

Tibco Software’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Nelson Petrasek is a close observer Enterprise and Data Intelligence The tendency he admits is that this effective, Process-driven RPA Technology is essential to meeting the expectations of efficiency and productivity in the overall mix of organizations.

“You have to establish this convergence of different technologies to achieve the larger goal of automation,” Petrasek said. “The space has matured quite a bit, so it’s not just about a bot running alongside a human or taking the place of a human, it has to be put in terms of broader capabilities.”

For example, Petrecek talks about how, in process mining or task mining, a bot can “introspect in an intrusive manner,” through application logs and system load, to build a picture of how workers are and aren’t working. They are cutting corners or copying work. The idea is to create a picture, helping to improve processes, increase efficiency and even increase productivity.

Increasing productivity, reducing costs and freeing up valuable employee time are the three key business drivers for automating processes, enabled by RPA.

Increasing productivity, reducing costs and freeing up valuable employee time are the three key business drivers for automating processes, enabled by RPA. A recent Deloitte Intelligent Automation survey found that many organizations recognize this, with 74% of survey respondents claiming to have already implemented RPA.

David Wright, a partner in Deloitte’s Intelligent Automation team, said, “Organizations that have gone beyond piloting intelligent automation tell us they have reduced costs by an average of 32% in the areas they targeted, up from 24% in 2020.

skills and beyond

But the role of RPA is now evolving into a broader set Intelligent Automation Power, what would this mean in terms of expectations? Can robotic process automation definitely be labeled an efficiency technology?

Wright says that having RPA in the intelligence mix “opens the door to better human-to-machine integration”. This, he adds, leads organizations to change how they view RPA Companies that have significant transaction processing, as well as challenges with legacy systems and integrations, can look to RPA and greater intelligent automation functions as a way to overcome potential barriers.

“If you don’t have enough funds [replace your legacy tech with modern applications]Intelligent automation offers a way to optimize and automate over your legacy technology,” says Wright.

It will also address some of the silo issues that have been flattened in existing RPA implementations. Neil Parker, General Manager, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Lai – which includes properties Gartner’s 2022 RPA Magic Quadrant – Discusses how multiple industries have deployed RPA to help knowledge workers and “free them from the administrative workloads that many of them unfortunately face.”

“Yet RPA lagged behind,” he says, “becoming a legacy technology as digital transformation takes hold. Now, we talk about intelligent automation, which can really help take RPA to the level that today’s workforce needs in real-life work.” consistent with.”

It’s an interesting time for RPA. True, the market looks a bit fragmented, although the key players, viz UiPath, which has been made public on the New York Stock Exchange last year, and companies like Salesforce (through its Mulesoft arm), Microsoft, Automation Anywhere and Pega featured strongly as leaders or visionaries. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. All these companies are looking at intelligent automation as the next transformational opportunity.

“Industries that rely heavily on essential, but boring and uncreative, processes, such as many questions received by customer service agents, are prime for adopting intelligent automation,” added Parker, adding that digital workers or software robots can simply take over the burden of endless staffing. Paperwork, triaged and classified for the agent, or in many cases closed tickets, frees the agent to tackle more complex or interesting tasks.”

This evolution of RPA towards intelligent automation is interesting. Manufacturing and technology industries have traditionally been early adopters – Deloitte research claims they make up around 76% of the RPA market – but there are now signs of widespread adoption. The attraction is the big picture, where RPA is part of the solution that promises big financial savings and long-term stability.

Interest in RPA is growing

Don Schuerman, CTO and vice-president, product strategy and market, a Pega – Ranked as a top performer by Forrester and continues as well Gartner’s RPA Magic Quadrant – says he’s now seeing interest in RPA across the industry spectrum, particularly complex organizations that have many back-office processes and need to drive greater simplicity and efficiency. This has been accelerated by Covid and now the growing uneasiness around the global economic outlook.

“It is widely applicable to any large-scale organization with huge benefits for retail, supply chain management, government departments, telecommunications companies and insurers. In fact, any business that deals directly with a large volume of customers can benefit enormously from RPA,” Schuerman said.

“Any business that deals directly with a large number of customers can benefit greatly from RPA”

Don Schuerman, Pega

“Ultimately, we see RPA having the most profound impact when it is used as part of a larger process transformation initiative, combining workflow automation, RPA and, increasingly, AI-driven decision making to not only automate manual tasks, but to streamline the whole. Customer-facing process. Having a low-code platform that brings all these pieces together and facilitates business and IT collaboration can help ensure faster results, but also future scale and maintainability.”

Parker of Lye agrees. He has seen growth in adoption in several new industries such as travel and retail that have seen rapid declines in services due to labor shortages.

“We’re all seeing administrative chaos and staffing shortages at airports that could easily be solved by automating the routing baggage process,” Parker said. “The same goes for healthcare. Nurses’ and doctors’ time is too valuable to spend processing forms or answering the same question hundreds of times. Retailers can also see the benefits of intelligent automation in the form of conversational AI, which can boost online sales by being engaging. Chatbot

Parker added that RPA can process returns efficiently and simplify the entire experience for customers. Reduce friction points and deliver to consumers Confidence to complete a purchase online A process challenging as much as a value and cultural one.

A glass slipper

However, Schuerman is quick to point out that RPA is by no means a panacea for all technology and process ills. Far from it.

“IT should be decision makers Be careful about over-reliance on RPA Where the use cases don’t fit,” he says, RPA is particularly valuable in automating tasks that specifically fit the following criteria: high-volume, low-complexity and rules-based.

“For the API [application programming interface]-based use cases, for example, should only be seen as a bridging capability where existing APIs are not immediately available. If left unchecked, RPA can become fragile and prone to breakage.”

Building sustainable automation that fits into larger business processes is complex by default, Schuerman adds, and customers need to understand that most RPA connections should be temporary. A workflow for automating multiple, long-running processes that interconnect internal and external systems, machine and human tasks, bespoke software and third-party software integration or Intelligent business process management (IBPM) instead of RPA. However, combining IBPM with RPA is “your secret weapon”, he says.

What can we expect in 2023? As inflation and the cost-of-living crisis affect consumers and enterprises, will we see an increased shift to RPA and intelligent automation?

“We are increasingly seeing organizations replace standalone RPA implementations with more robust and sustainable low-code workflow solutions, which can leverage RPA as part of an overall automation strategy,” said Schuerman.

Parker agrees, saying that RPA as we know it will soon be phased out in favor of intelligent automation. Businesses can no longer do without AI baked in from the start, he says. Anything else only leads to more headaches, and with so many changes in work patterns, skill shortages, economic pressures and competition, few businesses can take that chance.

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