It might help with what keeps you up at night!
What is RPA?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software is a powerful tool for performing manual, time-consuming, rule-based office tasks more efficiently by reducing cycle time and lowering costs more than other automation solutions. We estimate that 45% of work activities could be automated, and this automation would save $2 trillion in global workforce costs.
Digital labor offers a real opportunity for companies as they look to adapt their operating models to the current market climate and must face new business issues. CEOs and companies are looking for new tools, made possible by advances in robotic process automation and related technologies, to automate a wide range of activity without the need for complex programming.
The impact of RPA on a company’s operations and competitive positioning is significant on a number of fronts: economic value, workforce advantages, quality and control improvements, and flexible execution.
Some of the greatest benefits of RPA are the ease of deployment and speed and agility it confers on the enterprise while bringing immediate positive impact on ROI, a 24/7 productivity capacity, immediate cost-saving results, and a near-perfect compliance rate.
Why RPA changes the deal?
RPA allows separate business units within a company to customize solutions which rapidly digitize processes, delivering significant and sustainable value in short timeframes while reducing overall risks. By building and deploying intelligent operations at the business unit level, managers can support repetitive processes without conforming to centralized standards for those processes. Therefore, while achieving efficiencies and cost savings, the company preserves flexibility. Many of the actual processes operated within organizations can at the very least benefit from the digitalization of their multiple different instances and the elimination of many fixes, tweaks and updates that creep in over time. This is especially common in finance and accounting, HR administration and claims processing, but can also be found embedded in several different functional parts of the organization. Beyond process digitalization, RPA offers the company the opportunity to fundamentally rethink how things are done and redesign the ideal process end to end. Any company that chooses to embrace this disruptive technology and the opportunities it promises must be prepared to manage the significant technological and cultural challenges that will ensue. Leaders will need to face fears that employees may have about their future roles by explaining the shift to tasks that are higher in value or exception-driven, including low-volume transactions requiring complex processing, innovation, analytics and preparing unstructured data.
RPA deployment also means that more of the company’s transactional work currently outsourced to third parties can come back in-house or remain in-house, allowing companies to maintain ownership of their processes and controls.
Why RPA will help you sleep better?
Digital transformation through RPA is very often associated with cost optimization and replacing labor with machines. However, it mostly likely acts as a value creator which drives accuracy and compliance in the business and enables employees to perform their tasks better. Leaders need to change their perception that digital is more than cost optimization to maximize value from their RPA initiative.
The key factors for a successful RPA transformation (and for sleeping like a baby thereafter) are the following:
Automate as much as possible. Evaluate current processes with an end-to-end, cross-functional lens and maximize automation across processes.
Focus on front-end processes. Maximize the use of automation during initial steps of a process and work in coordination with other departments or functions since upstream process improvements have a magnified impact on downstream steps.
Maximize productivity. Evaluate process dependencies between the traditional and digital workforce and schedule RPA solutions intelligently to optimize uptime while not overwhelming production systems.
Aim for 100% auditability. Consider applying automation to processes to create a complete digital trail and improve controls for tasks that are otherwise too labor-intensive to fully audit.
As companies increase the scale of automation within the enterprise, they will steadily improve their automation algorithms and continue to see new applications for RPA to create sustainable and long-term transformational change and competitive advantage. In other words, RPA can help these companies organize themselves for the future. It’s the next step toward cognitive computing, artificial intelligence, and a more autonomic enterprise; our expert can accompany you all along this journey!
 PwC, 20th CEO Survey Canadian Insights: http://www.pwc.com/ca/ceosurvey
© 2018 - 2020 PwC. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.