Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is finding an abundance of innovative use cases in industries such as healthcare, banking and finance. The top RPA tools help with cost reduction as well as time savings. In some cases, RPA is a factor in digital transformation initiatives. Of course, it can’t do everything. Seasoned users understand the inherent disadvantages of RPA in certain contexts and solved by integrating RPA and AI for when there is an additional automation for processes.
Overall, however, users on IT Central Station are positive about the technology, as their reviews reveal. Many of the benefits either contribute directly or indirectly to the ROI, and our members have shared useful insights on how to calculate ROI for a RPA project. We've also taken an extensive look at the cost of RPA, including implementation and maintenance costs.
The benefits of RPA include:
- Cost savings. Used the right way, RPA can help save a company money. As an IBM RPA user at a tech services company with over 10,000 employees explained, “This product definitely helps with cost optimization and brings a lot of optimization to repetitive processes.” The savings come mostly from automating previously manual processes. In this user’s case, the operating cost savings is between 20 and 30 percent. For Nicola B., a Business Readiness & Continuous Improvement Support Manager who uses NICE at Swinton, an insurance company with more than 1,000 employees, RPA’s cost saving benefits came from reduced call handling time. In their case, it amounted to over £1,000,000 saved within the first month.
- Employees used more effectively.Bots can take over more mundane and simple tasks freeing up employees, at least part-time, for higher-value projects. Also, employees moving away from their typical, mundane work may be more engaged as they switch to thought-provoking and engaging tasks. A focus on higher value projects can lead to revenue or additional cost reduction opportunities.
- Drive process improvement. Automation inherently improves processes given it reduces operational risk and data output variability. RPA is a repeatable process that allows you standardize and reduce the number of errors. People get bored and make mistakes at a much higher rate than bots.
- Better customer experience. Now that RPA is freeing up resources, employees can focus on improving the customer experience. With bots working around the clock, customers will experience faster response times and less delays due to errors.
- Upgraded scalability. Once RPA is implemented and you gain experience with day-to-day handling, you can quickly scale it across the business to handle other tasks. Having freed resources find other tasks that can be automated will make it even more scalable.
- Enhanced security. Security is top of mind in any organization. Bots have a clear advantage over humans, although you still need to be mindful of RPA security. Bots won't forget to log off, enter a log, or post their password in a vulnerable spot like a human would.
- Improved operational analytics. Even though a human's activities can be tracked through systems, they'll never be able to be tracked as well as a bot. With additional data, you'll be able to analyze and highlight areas for improvement. Data can also support any regulations or governance activities as well.
- Finance industry. Financial services businesses are discovering a variety of benefits with RPA. For some IT Central Station members, the payoff from RPA comes from being able to access systems without having to develop an API. According to a BI and Data Warehouse Developer who uses Kryon at a financial services firm with more than 500 employees, “We cannot get into this legacy software. There are no APIs. It would cost a lot of money if we wanted to develop something like an API. This software enables us to overcome this API problem, automate things, and do it relatively quickly. It's low-cost development.” A Head of Automation who uses WorkFusion at a financial services firm with over 10,000 employees similarly found that “the most valuable feature is having the technology to interface into systems where we didn't otherwise have an API or some other kind of service or access. The benefit is in creating solutions where we don't have a backend API to call.”
- Banking industry. Privacy stood out as a benefit to William K., a Sr. RPA Developer who uses Automation Anywhere at a bank with over 5,000 employees. He noted, “When you're dealing with a bank's information, there are additional complications of privacy concerns. If we can keep that in-house and have a bot or automated code take care of it, then there are fewer human eyes on the private information as well. It's a resource saver, it's a money saver, and it helps us with security, keeping more human eyes away from private or touchy information.”
- Healthcare businesses. Healthcare RPA use cases resulted in time and cost saving benefits for an Engineer who uses Automation Anywhere at a healthcare company with over 10,000 employees. Streamlining processes helped save time, in particular. He said, “A manual process can be one where an email is sent and then another email is sent to get the approval, and they have to wait one or two weeks until that email comes back. That full manual process can take three weeks while the automated task takes about 30 minutes.”