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.
Thanks to the proliferation of digital technology, many established corporations have been disrupted by start-ups who have embraced technology to gain a competitive edge. Giants such as Blockbuster – who had the opportunity to buy Netflix for just $50 million in 2000 – have gone defunct, while the latter’s market cap recently passed $100 billion. So how does your corporation avoid the same fate? What distinguishes the disruptor from the disrupted?
Business optimisation aims to streamline the individual processes within a company to achieve the same end results in a shorter space of time, using fewer resources, less financial outlay or minimising the occurrence of human error and bottlenecks. All of these inefficiencies can slow down your business, costing it valuable time and money, and optimisation seeks to analyse your existing model and tweak it for improved performance going forwards.
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.
Machine learning represents an exciting new opportunity for business owners and entrepreneurs to streamline operations, optimise customer experience and free up their human workforce for more profitable uses of their time. Unfortunately, the intricacies of the technology mean that many CEOs, CIOs and COOs are left scratching their heads about how to implement a functional, successful system in the first place.
With a staggering 23 billion connected devices as of 2018 – 127 more every second – the Internet of Things (IoT) is seeing a rapid rise to prominence. IoT devices are increasingly being amalgamated into automated systems, and this can be leveraged to improve business efficiency.
“Long-term success requires faith – faith that your efforts to plan and execute the process will lead to the desired outcome.” Tony Dungy, first African-American football coach to win the Super Bowl. Coach Dungy’s words ring just as true in business as in football.
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 guilty too).