Robotic Process Automation
Despite the huge levels of investment in core systems automation, off shoring and outsourcing and process re-engineering, organisations still often have a wide range of disparate systems that have been built up over time with manual processes applied to allow for the transfer of data and the application of manual processes to meet their needs. Examples include adding new joiners to systems via their front-end user interface, extracting files from multiple underlying systems and calculating accounting adjustments and processing journals, bringing in 3rd party data files and reconciling them against underlying transactions, the list is typically very long. These activities add risk due to the propensity for errors and reliance on individuals being available with the system knowledge, take up valuable time and costs money for activities that are often not value added and where staff could be better employed doing valuable analysis that helps drive the business forward.
RPA is the use of a software ‘robot’ as a programme that replicates the actions of a human and their interaction with the User Interface (UI) of a computer system. It is software that can run repetitive rule based processes as a human would do and allows for adjustment through the analysis of any exceptions. RPA does not require changes to your underlying technical architecture or implementation of interfaces as it works with your established security and control mechanisms.
RPA projects typically involve business resources but also IT and Risk who are involved to ensure overall IT governance is maintained as well as risk and compliance assessed.
The usage scenarios are very broad and typically include back office processing as well as client facing processes. The examples below are just a small set of potential areas for use of RPA:
The benefits of RPA are based on the level of automation benefit specific to your organisation but typically include the following:
* Everest Group Finance & Accounting Outsourcing Annual Report 2014
** London School of Economics Outsourcing Unit Research Paper Series – Robotic Process Automation at Xchanging, 2015
Process automation is a journey that requires careful consideration as you move towards industrialisation and building a Centre of Excellence (CoE) from a specific functional deployment to enterprise wide and will often advance to the use of associated technologies such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR) or Intelligent Automation with Machine Learning & Cognitive capabilities (text, visual, speech) where they have the ability to learn and adapt over time and where the capability finally becomes the virtual workforce that is treated as an operational capability in its own right. Use cases include customer feedback sentiment analysis and automated escalation, shared services feedback and time-based analysis, recruitment screening and prioritisation etc.
This integration to a suite of tools offering true digital platforms is now becoming reality with the partnering of RPA solutions like Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere and Uipath with solutions such as Appian, Captricity, Celaton, Expert Systems, IBM BPM and Watson and multiple others.
The initial phase of the journey typically starts with an RPA Assessment and potentially delivery of a POC where required which provides the following over a 2-3 month timescale:
Contact PMsquare today by emailing info@PMsquare.asia to discuss getting started on your process automation journey.