The past year has been significant for robotic process automation (RPA). The discussions and chatter have not only picked up significantly surrounding robots, automation, and financial efficiencies, but companies are also starting to put real dollars into action. In fact, a recent study by Deloitte found that 53% of organizations have started their RPA journey, a number that is expected to increase to 72% by 2020.
We’re in the middle of a fourth Industrial Revolution, one that will see the rise of the digital workforce. We invest in technology to solve problems but, in short order, things around us change; it’s complicated to upgrade, buy, or build technology to cope with the change. This causes us to fill gaps with human intervention because we are still the best innovators on the planet. RPA helps to fill those gaps, quickly bridging between technology, process, and people with bots.
But before companies embark on a specific RPA path, they first need to consider the implications of a digital workforce and how this will impact their overall business. The focus should be on desired outcomes and business goals and not on the technology. RPA can handle the manual, data-driven, tedious tasks that are commonly handled by human workers. However, processes utilizing RPA have been limited by the human cognitive factors. Bots just aren’t as smart as humans (yet)!
As companies identify the goals they hope to achieve, there are three things we should expect to see from RPA in 2019: