If CIOs are not already looking at RPA as a digital enablement to their digital strategy, they are already behind the eight ball a little bit
A bank slashed the time it would approve an application for credit from 21 days to 11 minutes, by deploying robotic process automation (RPA).
With RPA, the bank was able to process all paperwork and data for credit, criminal and employment checks, to determine whether the bank should be lending more money to a customer.
For David Snell, an independent sourcing advisor, this case study is just one of the ways RPA brings “positive disruption” to industries.
“Its potential to positively disrupt the workplace is incredible, while its potential to disrupt the outsourcing market is far reaching,” says Snell, who was New Zealand country manager for Alsbridge (now part of Information Services Group).
He argues RPA and related automation technologies should already be on the agenda for CIOs.
“If CIOs are not already looking at RPA as a digital enablement to their digital strategy, they are already behind the eight ball a little bit,” Snell tells CIO New Zealand.
“Early adopters are already starting to see significant benefits and not only in their own operations,” he states.
He predicts there will be a rise in the uptake of RPA, because of the net benefits of potential productivity, cost savings and better CX (customer experience).
Apart from banking, RPA has practical applications in insurance, healthcare and manufacturing according to a white paper written by Craig Nelson, Alsbridge managing director and now partner at Information Services Group.
“RPA is a disruptive and game-changing technology that presents an opportunity to adapt, change and achieve significant results,” writes Nelson.
Though before embarking implementing RPA, ICT managers need to assess the interests of key stakeholders, their current and desired states of operation, their existing talent pool and senior executive willingness to sponsor the integration of human and virtual labour, according to the paper.
RPA sponsors, Nelson believes, must be prepared to address three questions:
- How will work processes change?
- How will skills requirements change?
- How will the organisation change?
Big data challenge
Snell, on the other hand, links the take-up of RPA to the challenges of data management.
“Getting data into the right place in a usable form is massive and it continues to be a big challenge for a lot of the organisations,” he states.
“Unless you are able to feed that data in those powerful algorithms, you really are not going to get the results that will give you some predictive capabilities.”
For Snell, the most important part of an RPA deployment is change management.
“The technology is not difficult,” he states, but there will always be “people, politics and an appetite for change” that will be involved in the deployment.