Automation as the Driving Force for Impactful Digital Transformation

Sutherland Editorial

Oftentimes, we take foundational technology for granted. Think about the circuitry and chips that power all of our gadgets and make our increasingly digital society possible. The same is true when it comes to digital transformation within the enterprise: there’s plenty of buzz around digital transformation, and much of that hype revolves around flashy, next-gen technologies like IoT. But if you lift the hood, the crux of digital transformation is actually automation. As the driving force behind any successful digital transformation effort, automation is the bridge that can guide companies to revamp business processes and create new jobs and opportunities.

Automation is an umbrella that encompasses many tools, most notably robotic process automation (RPA) and robotic desktop automation (RDA). Horses for Sources estimates that RPA and RDA will push the market for enterprise robotic software to $1.5 billion this year alone. It also posits that the total enterprise robotics software and services market will eclipse $3 billion by 2021, representing an impressive compound growth rate of 39 percent. Smart organizations are clearly starting to take stock of these automation tools based on the latest market projections, since they know an effective digital transformation strategy requires the intelligent automation of processes.

As the market around automation tools continues to skyrocket, the utility and necessity of these technologies for digital transformation is becoming increasingly harder to ignore. They are the bedrock for many digitally thriving enterprises, remedying blatant inefficiencies and bottlenecks that stifle many organizations by automating and refining processes, desktop interfaces and workflows. When it comes to digital transformation, here’s why automation via RPA and RDA is a company’s checkmate move.

Automation is a pit stop to digital transformation

The Business Case for RPA

For a business to truly transform digitally, a key component is knowing how to handle data and what to do with it. This is where RPA comes into the fold. The tool is extremely capable at analyzing large sets of data, recognizing deviations within and adapting to those appropriately. By automating business and software processes, RPA can work wonders when it comes to rummaging through mountains of data and developing actionable triggers and responses between other systems. This means that humans no longer have to intervene and devote laborious effort to facilitating communications between internal systems. RPA removes that burden and becomes the intermediary, boosting productivity and enabling humans to focus more of their energy on creative, time-beneficial tasks.

Enterprises that leverage human workers who perform transactional, labor-intensive functions at high volumes can save themselves time and money, not to mention the blood, sweat and tears of their employees. Forget the talk about automation stealing jobs—for RPA to truly prove useful, it requires a human touch. Yes, RPA as a tool is built upon self-triggered bots taking over processes from humans. However, when it comes to tasks that require the intuition and gut of a person, RPA is nothing more than a fish on dry land. Without human intervention guiding and overseeing RPA, an enterprise will be unable to truly harness the power of automation and achieve digital transformation.

RPA and RDA are key to digital process transformationThe Business Case for RDA

While RPA is aces at analyzing and processing data to interact with internal systems, RDA is what a company needs in order to automate the transfer of all that data between each system. For those looking for a more tangible representation of automation, RDA paints a much more literal image. The tool essentially scrapes desktop screens, then scripts and reprograms them to establish an automated flow of data between systems. By automating the various workflows within a company, RDA can boost their responsiveness, efficiency, reliability and overall performance.

Much like RPA, RDA wouldn’t be what it is without people. With data inputs being so unpredictable, there’s no one, all-encompassing way to program a bot to automate the transfer of data. Humans need to pass this information to bots in order to affect the automation RDA can provide. Over time, machine learning algorithms can be instituted that lessen the amount of human hand-holding RDA currently requires. But as with pretty much any automation tool, to reap all of its benefits, the ongoing presence of human workers is required.

The Digital Transformation Finish Line

Automation technology arms companies in the long, winding race toward digital transformation. To do so successfully, a business needs to automate and revamp their processes to be more intelligent, agile and cost-effective. This is where tools like RPA and RDA add the most business value today. Once these manual processes are fully automated and digitized, a company can then reallocate its most valuable resource—people—and embolden them to drive the creative, intelligent innovation that will lead to greater possibilities down the line.

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