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RoboOps: Embracing Intelligent Automation for Higher Quality Business Operations

For enterprises looking to take their business operations from good to great, the key to higher quality operations is to automate. According to research from Horses for Sources (HfS), a whopping 98% of enterprises surveyed employ some sort of automation strategy. With a strong figure like that, it’s no wonder that more than half of companies (52%) believe instituting an intelligent automation strategy, such as robotic process automation (RPA), will lead to improved business operations. In fact, over the last few years, RPA has steadily emerged as a revelatory tool for enterprises looking for better quality of operations.

RoboTalk: What Is RPA?

No robopocalypse here – when it comes to RPA, it’s more like a robotic revolution for enterprises. RPA is the application of technology that allows companies to configure computer software (aka “robots”) to capture and analyze existing applications in order to communicate with other digital systems, manipulate data, process a transaction and implement responses.

Many enterprises are already jumping on the robo bandwagon. That’s because these “robots” prove highly useful in facilitating process transformation, to everything from business, IT support and workflow processes to back-office work and remote infrastructure. With Forrester Research predicting the worldwide global RPA market to hit $2.9 billion by 2021, robots are undoubtedly taking over and will be automating business operations for the better.

How RPA Creates Higher Quality Business Ops

RPA technology can be applied by a wide range of industries. But, companies using labor at a large scale where their human workforce performs high-volume, highly transactional process functions can greatly bolster their capabilities with RPA – saving both time and money.

RPA can dramatically improve cycle times and accuracy by automating tedious tasks and removing people from these dull scenarios where mindless repetition is likely to lead to human error. This sort of automation will thus increase productivity, especially when it comes to transaction processing.

With more advanced solutions stemming from RPA technology, enterprises adopting these robo-powered automation strategies are likely to improve the quality of their business operations, increase efficiency and cut costs. Companies can also expect quicker scalability, advanced flexibility, increased throughput, more strategic deployment of resources and more comprehensive data capture.

Robots in Action

Companies have utilized RPA to computerize outdated manual operations and streamline complex business processes. Research shows that the operating cost of an RPA software robot can be significantly and consistently less than the labor cost it displaces. For example, a medical insurer employing RPA can decrease the costs around processing their claim adjustments. Meanwhile, a BPO provider can save on cost per process by applying RPA to their core processes.

The majority of enterprise buyers surveyed by HfS are so far satisfied with what RPA has accomplished for them – 58% are satisfied with RPA’s business value, while 57% are satisfied with its ability to lower costs. Some of the key areas where enterprises reaped the most savings and value include IT, marketing, procurement, HR and master data management.

It’s important to note that despite the projected figures of spending around RPA in the next few years, this is still a nascent market. The biggest barrier to adoption of automation processes among enterprises is cost – 35% of enterprises surveyed say the immediate cost savings of automation just aren’t attractive enough. Other key roadblocks to RPA adoption include exhausted IT budgets and lack of internal talent to evaluate and implement the technology.

RPA to Make Waves at Automation Innovation Conference

In efforts to overcome the lingering doubts and concerns surrounding RPA, the fourth annual Automation Innovation Conference will take the lessons learned from the last three years and apply those so more enterprises can begin harnessing the power of RPA, artificial intelligence and cognitive computing. Taking place December 5-6 in New York City, this year’s conference is all about exploiting the second wave of RPA adopters beyond its initial implementations. As RPA continues to reinvent business operations and progress digital labor, enterprises that fail to embrace it will end up being so 2000-and-late.

Sutherland is proud to be a gold sponsor of this year’s Automation Innovation Conference. Our own Tim Leger, SVP, Business Transformation and Rich Lander, Vice President, Business Transformation will be speaking and presenting a case study at the event. Follow our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) for updates directly from the conference.