Success in today's complex global markets requires unprecedented levels of speed, accuracy and cost efficiency, beyond what a human workforce can achieve. We are living in challenging times yet packed with opportunities to re-analyse processes and prepare for a new approach; deploying technologies throughout digitisation projects to reduce costs and achieve leaner operations. Digital workforce, the term given to the continuum of technologies ranging from automating activities such as copying and pasting content from one system to another, right up to cognitive solutions that can 'think', learn and reason like humans, is no longer a consideration but a mandate. In specific situations, this has merely become a means for survival.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the concept of creating and implementing software 'bots' to automate business processes; ranging from transactional activities to more complex strategic undertakings, in a non-invasive manner. The 'Bot' replicates processes by automating tasks which are repetitive, time-consuming and prone to errors, directly within the user's interface. No significant changes are required to be made to any existing applications, as the bot can interact directly with any interface in the same way a human would.
As automation increasingly penetrates the tasks that are manual in nature, it is poised to dramatically transform the way work is traditionally done. It is highly impactful as it enables data to be collected, analysed, calculated and possibly submitted at a speed and scale far greater than human teams could achieve, hence the reason why organisations are turning to automation technology to transform their businesses.
RPA acts less as a replacer of employees and more as an assistant, allowing people to do their jobs faster, more thoroughly and more accurately, enabling the workforce to spend more time to focus on higher-value work. The digital workforce is not so much a threat to the human workforce; it is believed to be the next evolutionary step toward ever smarter, more productive and innovative employees. RPA excels in tasks that exhibit the following traits: simple, intensively manual, high volume, structurally repetitive, low exception volume, and prone to human error.
Quick benefits of Business Process Optimisation (via RPA):
- Productivity/Performance: Software robots work 24/7, and 365 days a year, do not take vacations, get sick, suffer from work/life balance issues, and perform tasks at digital speeds.
- Employee Satisfaction: Eliminating the mundane repetitive tasks allows employees to focus on strategic initiatives, thereby enhancing the business in a more profound way and enabling more job satisfaction.
- Scalability: Bots scale instantaneously at digital speeds to respond to fluctuating workloads. There is also no overtime, no hiring challenges, no training, and no severance.
- Auditability: Bots keep the perfect audit trail via the log file, which is built by the software that documents every action the bot would have taken and the corresponding resulting outcome.
- Quality/Predictability: Software robots always do what you tell them to do - when properly configured they do not make mistakes and thereby eliminate human error.
- Cost Efficiency: Digital workforce savings are estimated to be between three to ten times the cost of implementing the automation.
Are you ready to harvest the benefits and embrace automation to break transformation barriers, and make every employee an innovator?
This article was written by Jean Luc Farrugia, a Junior Software Developer within the KPMG Digital Solutions team.
KPMG. (2020). Business Process Automation, Re-imagine your workforce.
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