The Challenge of Incorporating RPA Into A Small Business
As a CEO or COO of a small business, you are probably aware of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). You’ve probably read about it in a business magazine, so you are aware that big businesses are utilizing it in their every day operations.
The technology probably intrigues you, but you figure that it is something that is too complicated to incorporate into your business. The time to get employees up to snuff with the new technology may appear to be too great and you aren’t sure exactly what segments of your business can benefit from its use. In addition, perhaps you think the cost is too prohibitive. You are aware of manual processes and figure that would sufficiently do the job. You’ve probably been using this technology in your business already and probably figure that it will always work.
But in the coming years your business will experience growing pains. Hopefully, you will become larger as the years go by and have to deal with more and more customers and hire more and more employees to achieve your business goals. The larger your staff becomes the greater chance that there will be miscommunications between employees and departments. More reports will have to be generated to keep more and more people in the loop. As your business grows, there will be new opportunities that will require the use of new technology. The result will be a mixture of different applications and systems that lead to chaos that only one IT employee or an IT department can manage. Hours are squandered, there is an increase of human error and ultimately there is a bottleneck to your growth.
However, if you start to utilize RPA or Business Process Automation (BPA) now, then your business will streamline. With RPA all of your business operations can be managed and monitored from a single source. Human error is eliminated as your staff grows and your goals expand. Moreover, as the days toward your business’ future come and go, employees you already have who have knowledge of the technology can assure that the evolution of your business is smooth, not disjointed.
What is RPA?
So what is Robotic Process Automation? It is the use of robots and/or software to automate your business operation. It helps manage such segments of your business as transactions, data manipulation and mining, direct response customer service, and utilizing and communicating with other digital systems.
The technology can assist your business in so many ways. For example, it can write a response to an email, manage up to thousands of bots that are programmed to achieve specific tasks, and automate tasks. This includes tasks that may be considered mundane for humans to do and also perform tasks that may be too complicated for humans to perform, but permits a cooperation of human and software to reach business goals.
Today the RPA market is small. However, it is growing in leaps and bounds. For example, spending on RPA software will reach $1 billion by 2020. That means it has and will grow at a compound annual rate of 41 percent from 2015 through 2020. It is predicted that by 2020, 40 percent of large businesses will have accepted an RPA software tool. For many companies, it could be a bridge to artificial intelligence.
When integrating RPA into your business operations, you need to consider this:
- Set and manage expectations. Having success with RPA immediately is possible, but it is also important that it run at scale. Some advise that you start into it with reasonable expectations based on your companies current operations.
- Consider business impact before return on investment or reduced costs. Early one it can be used to improve customers’ experiences.
- Be prepared to get your IT department involved early.
- Make sure that the implementation of the technology is properly designed and can be properly managed for your business’ needs. For example, make certain that the technology communicates properly with your various systems.
- Don’t get ahead of yourself. As your RPA system automates data entry and monitor software operations, an awful lot of data is generated. This can entice an IT department to try and leverage the data evolving an RPA project into an ML project.
- Planning control should not be neglected. For example, as the IT manager changes password policy makes certain that the system adjusts.
- Make certain that all appropriate departments of your business is involved in the creation of the RPA system as well as changes.
- Make sure that the personnel or human resources department is involved because RPA because its implementation will cause initial upheaval for employees in their daily routine.
Benefits of RPA
There are a number of benefits to integrating RPA into your business operation.
- It’s good for growth
- It conserves IT resources
- Provides an opportunity for humans to concentrate on other aspects of the business.