With RPA being such a powerful tool that solves many business problems, it is understandable that people have many questions and with the abundance of information out there we realised it could feel like a bit of a mine field. We therefore wanted to offer delegates a platform on which to talk freely and directly about RPA in an open, face-to-face setting, see how the software works first-hand, discuss the business drivers and, most importantly, ask those probing questions that search engines can’t answer.
In the age of digital optimisation, it’s no surprise that businesses are always on the lookout for ways to tighten up their operations, streamline processes and improve efficiency, both in terms of time and money. Robotic process automation (RPA) is one of the key technologies that has risen to meet this demand and as the bedrock of all digitised operations in your company, it’s logical that the IT department should be one of the first to embrace this new innovation.
There has been an explosion of automation technologies in every area of life and business over the last few years – and concurrently a shockwave of questions, fear and excitement, optimism and pessimism, about how this will impact society, particularly work.
Demand for robotic process automation (RPA) solutions continues to escalate. Research firm Forrester predicts that RPA market growth will reach USD 2.9 billion in 2021, up from just USD 250 million in 2016. But before you put software robotics front and centre of your business optimisation strategy, there’s a caveat. According to the same Forrester report, “to be sustained, RPA must offer more than plugging gaps in legacy systems”. Like any technology, RPA has its capabilities and shortcomings – and these need to be understood in the context of your business as well as the broader process automation landscape.
Robotic process automation has been getting a lot of sensationalised media coverage lately with threats of mass unemployment making the headlines several times. The thing is, whilst it’s exciting to think of shiny robots joining you at the water cooler, that’s not what RPA is about! It’s quite boring actually, compared to the flashy computer-generated images of robots you see floating around today (of which we are guilt too).
Robotic process automation (RPA) is an exciting opportunity, but as with any emerging technology, it’s easy to think it’s “probably too expensive” for companies on a tight budget. Rolling-out software bots across an enterprise, across all processes and to fulfill many tasks can be quite an investment, yes, but there are also more realistic ways of getting started.