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RPA: Bringing Greater Productivity to Enterprise Processes

By Dick Weisinger

Big Data, Machine Learning, and Data Analytics dominate headlines about technologies being adopted by enterprises, but a study from KPMG found that the top enterprise investment isn’t in any of those technologies, it’s in  Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Forrester Research forecasts that the market for software robots will grow to $2.9 billion by 2021.

Jeff Wong, global chief innovation officer for Ernst & Young, said that RPA saves employees “from repetitive tasks that they tend to enjoy less, and freeing them up to do more meaningful, thought-intensive more focused human work.”

Michael Martuccio, network design engineer at AT&T, said that “the time spent gathering that information, formatting it, setting up the data and making sure everything was in the right place was more time consuming than analyzing the final report.”  But after deploying a bot to help him, Martuccio commented that “my time isn’t spent compiling and conditioning data anymore, it’s spent analyzing it.”

We’re just at the beginning of deploying RPA bots. A panelist during a discussion of RPA recently commented that “70 percent of enterprises don’t know how to spell RPA just yet.
RPA penetration is ‘decimal points versus the opportunity’ (by decimal points, we’re talking .1 percent).”

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One comment on “RPA: Bringing Greater Productivity to Enterprise Processes
  1. ‘RPA saves employees “from repetitive tasks that they tend to enjoy less, and freeing them up to do more meaningful, thought-intensive more focused human work.” ‘ – Indeed, numbers keep showing that robotic process automation is expanding globally, in the sense that more and more job types are becoming amenable to automation (here is a Mc Kinsey article from 2018 which is relevant in this respect https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-organizations-and-work/skill-shift-automation-and-the-future-of-the-workforce). This is likely to lead to a dramatic change in the global workforce. The employees no longer have to carry out boring, repetitive, monotonous tasks, like populating Excel files with raw data, because the bots can do it faster and error free. They are therefore clear to engage in more valuable jobs. Consequently, their level of job satisfaction is likely to improve.

    Very much in line with Michael Martuccio’s comment, I’d like to emphasize that the workforce change that many worry about means that human employees will be displaced only from the tedious, repetitive tasks that everybody dreads, in fact.

    What’s left then? Well, use of judgement to supervise and guide the fast and flawless bots’ performance. Or use of creative resources to engage in the kind of human-to-human communication required by customer service.

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