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Pros and Cons of Robotic Process Automation

Pros and Cons of Robotic Process AutomationRobotic process automation is being touted as one of the most innovative tools in the modern workplace. And while many businesses are already singing the praises of effective RPA technology, some remain hesitant over whether such tools are really worth the investment. As with any other business decision, weighing the various advantages and downsides can help make the process of determining whether robotic process automation is right for you easier and more efficient. That being said, let’s take a look at a few of these pros and cons below.

Pros
  • Improved Efficiency – The beauty of RPA is that it is designed to alleviate human workers of their mundane, repetitive daily tasks. When technology handles these tasks and workflows, the process runs much quicker and subsequently more efficiently.
  • Greater Productivity – When technology does the heavy lifting, as is the case with RPA, output can be significantly increased. Furthermore, knowledge workers will be freed up to apply their skills and experience to more important projects that drive innovation and growth.
  • Elimination of Human Error – Even the most careful human worker can make an occasional mistake. Unfortunately, sometimes these errors can prove to be incredibly costly. With robotic process automation technology, this risk is eliminated, resulting in greater accuracy.
  • Cost Savings – While implementing robotic process automation does require an upfront investment, the overall increase in efficiency and productivity as well as reduction in human errors more than justify the expense.
  • Lower Turnover – When your human employees are no longer bogged down by boring, repetitive and mundane tasks, satisfaction levels will naturally rise. Furthermore, workers will appreciate the ability to participate in more high-level projects, also lending to greater employee satisfaction and retention.
Cons
  • Monetary Expense – Budgetary restrictions are among the biggest reasons why businesses opt not to implement RPA.
  • Lack of Technical Ability – Many people believe that in order to leverage robotic process automation, the end user must possess significant technical know-how. This misconception often holds them back from reaping the many benefits that are available to them.
  • Major Change – Adopting a new technology requires change, but with the right tool, the impact of that change is much less noticeable and disruptive than many realize.
  • Redundancy – Another common concern of those resistant to RPA is the fear that robots will replace human workers, when its main purpose is to actually support humans in the workplace.

In reality, almost all of these so-called disadvantages of robotic process automation ultimately stem from lack of understanding and fear of change. When these obstacles are adequately addressed, the benefits of RPA can fully embraced and realized. For instance, becoming educated on the various options, objectively weighing the many benefits, accurately assessing ROI and addressing the irrational misconceptions of employees can help make the adoption of automation a much more positive experience.

Are you ready to take that first step? All it takes is a simple download. Get started today and experience for yourself how powerful and effective the right automation tool can truly be for your employees and your business.





eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate




Humans Managing Robots: Robotic Process Automation in Action

Humans Managing Robots: Robotic Process Automation in ActionWhile robotic process automation has been touted as the be all and end all of workplace optimization, in reality it’s not necessarily the magical quick-fix that many in business leadership envision it to be. It’s much more complex than that. Will it ultimately lead to greater efficiency and productivity levels? Definitely. Robotic process automation is certainly poised to dramatically change the way we work, but it’s not as though we’re going to be turning our jobs entirely over to machines. To be truly effective, RPA still requires a certain degree of human management.

Human input and oversight is critical for RPA to be successful. In a perfect world, it would be great to simply plug and play, putting the robots in place and just letting them do their thing. But that’s not what you’d do with human workers, right? Just like your employees, the robots you implement must first be told what to do. The tasks, workflows and processes they’re employed to do must be built and communicated, and that’s where humans come into play.

The good news is, with the right software solution, this is relatively straightforward (i.e. it doesn’t require any advanced coding or programming skills). Regardless, however, building and implementing a complex RPA process still time and attention. The most important step is determining what processes can and should be automated to achieve maximum efficiency, and this cannot be done without human input. It’s also equally important that the process be tested regularly, particularly during the building and implementation process, to ensure that it’s working properly. Again, this requires human intelligence.

Those who have already been successful at adopting and leveraging robotic process automation within their organization recommend establishing a dedicated team to oversee and manage the automation process. It shouldn’t be assumed or expected that IT will simply add RPA to its list of other functions. Those in charge of RPA should specifically be assigned the duties of managing and modifying workflows, allocating the appropriate number of robots to daily tasks, prioritizing work and, of course, dealing with exceptions as they arise. The latter part in particular demonstrates the important role of humans in ensuring that RPA runs as smoothly and effectively as possible.

Furthermore, just like their human counterparts, robots will require routine performance reviews. Obviously this won’t require tact and two-way interaction, but rather its purpose is to improve the automated processes whenever and wherever possible. Once up and running, the robotic process automation team will need to oversee processes at various intervals, fixing anything that goes awry and identifying areas of potential improvement. Additionally, human input is required to go through, analyze and leverage all of the data and documentation reported by the robots.

So, while the ultimate purpose of robotic process automation is to streamline operations, it’s not meant to replace human workers. In fact, at least as of the time of this writing, this wouldn’t even be possible. In reality, RPA is meant to enhance and improve the work environment for humans and only with their support, input and management can the true benefits of automation be realized.

Curious about how RPA works and whether it would be a good fit for your organization? Request a free product demo today or download your own trial of eyeShare to experience it for yourself.





eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate




The Role of Robotic Process Automation on the Banking Industry

The Role of Robotic Process Automation on the Banking IndustryOver the past couple decades, banks and other financial institutions have really had to step up their game. In order to remain competitive in an increasingly saturated market – especially with the more widespread adoption of virtual banking – these firms have had to find a way to deliver the best possible user experience to their customers. Internally, the challenge to maximize efficiency and keep costs as low as possible while also maintaining maximum security levels has also increased. To answer these demands, robotic process automation has become a powerful and effective tool.

Similar to many other industries, the financial field is heavily reliant upon documents and the many legacy systems that have been employed to help manage them most effectively. There is are a great deal of records involved in the life cycle of a banking customer, from the initial application to account management documents to deposits, withdrawals, loan documents and a whole myriad of other day to day transactions that inevitably generate documentation.

Until robotic process automation was introduced as a solution for the financial industry, banking professionals struggled to connect the many legacy systems being used in order to manage and retrieve the information needed to do their jobs most effectively. And given the massive number of mergers and acquisitions in the financial world, this problem wasn’t going away. One of the greatest benefits of RPA, however, has been the ability this technology provides to integrate with and bridge these legacy systems, creating a much more uniform approach to data management without having to start from scratch. It’s been nothing short of revolutionary.

Beyond this, robotic process automation has also dramatically streamlined a wide variety of back office processes that once bogged down bank workers. By shifting much of these tedious, manual tasks from human to machine, banks have been able to significantly reduce the need for human involvement, which has had a direct impact on everything from performance and efficiency levels to staffing issues and expenses.

The volume of documentation required for financial transactions can also lead to slower processing times. In many instances, a process could be stuck in limbo for days, weeks or even longer as it awaits approval. And with humans at the helm, errors are inevitable – some of which could prove incredibly costly to the institution, both financially as well as reputation-wise. By automating these back office functions, these delays and errors can be all but eliminated, creating a more productive, efficient and accurate process.

With robotic process automation, bank employees will know where information is at all times and be able to access it at the click of a button, all thanks to the robot software running behind the scenes. Additionally, employing RPA can create a much more transparent environment in which data for every single transaction is properly recorded, categorized and stored for quick and easy retrieval and review at any time on demand.

Another area where RPA is beneficial to the financial industry is in compliance. Like the insurance field, banks and other financial institutions are required to constantly maintain a high level of regulatory compliance. Employees must constantly check information against industry and government regulations and also stay up to speed on any changes, which can and do occur quite frequently. Because robotic process automation handles all of the documentation and eliminates errors, audits become much less cumbersome. Furthermore, this technology is capable of being altered rapidly, making it ideal for a field that evolves so often.

In conclusion, today’s banking firms are facing increasing demands to maintain as lean an operation as possible while also delivering exceptional client experience at the lowest costs. Robotic process automation is making it possible for financial institutions to achieve these goals and remain competitive in a sometimes-turbulent, ever-changing environment.

Find out how RPA can transform your firm into a incredibly efficient, cost-effective and highly profitable operation today. Click here to download your free trial of eyeShare to get started today.





eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate




How Robotic Technology is Transforming the Managed Service Provider Industry

How Robotic Technology is Transforming the Managed Service Provider IndustryIn the managed service provider industry, robotic process automation is becoming the norm rather than the exception. In fact, many firms are working both sides of the fence – assisting their clients to implement robotic technology while also leveraging it internally as a tool to maximize efficiency, boost productivity and reduce costs. It can be said that RPA is virtually revolutionizing the industry by eliminating much, if not all, of the manual work associated with IT and business services.

If you’re not yet familiar, robotic process automation (RPA) is robotic software that can be configured to execute repetitive tasks that were previously performed by human workers. RPA leverages a number of innovative technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data and smart machines to be able to mirror IT personnel. There are varying degrees of complexity and performance, from simple scripts and routine tasks to more flexible and sophisticated options, like cognitive RPA, which is capable of learning and adjusting all on its own.

The Business Case for RPA

Currently, those in the managed service provider market – particularly IT and BPO – seem to be taking the most advantage of robotic technology. These companies are using intelligent software to streamline operations, drive efficiency, improve service levels and keep costs at an absolute minimum. This is becoming more and more necessary as the industry becomes even more saturated. Additionally, they are assisting their own customers by introducing and helping to deploy robotics as a tool for automating business processes such as human resources and finance.

The main way robotics is transforming the industry, however, is in IT service delivery. Over the past several years, the technology being employed has dramatically changed, driven mostly by industrialization and other global trends. It’s been a natural journey with artificial intelligence, robotics and process automation at the forefront of change. Even big-name players, like Accenture, are now using the power of RPA so skilled workers no longer have to waste time and resources on repetitive manual work.

Another key motivator behind the widespread adoption of robotics in the managed service provider realm is that of savings, particularly on labor. With globalization, the field of outsourced IT has become as competitive as ever. Only those firms that are able to maximize their output and deliver the most cost-effective services will survive. Additionally, thanks to smart automation, there is less of a need to ship work overseas so managed service providers can instead offer domestic solutions at an affordable price, further reducing labor costs.

The New Face of the Managed Service Provider

One specific area where robotics is impacting how the managed service provider industry is run is in help desk operations. According to one estimate, shifting application support and maintenance requests from human to machine can free up anywhere from 25-40% of the help desk’s availability. RPA can be applied to anything from routine service requests, such as password resets and system access issues to more complex workflows like monitoring and reporting. Software robots can even be configured to handle such critical tasks as monitoring storage capacity and taking corrective action automatically, as needed.

In addition to improving efficiency and cutting labor costs, robotic technology can also provide a much less disruptive option for system integration. This is due mainly to the fact that software robots access and use applications much the same way humans do – through a user interface. The robots can connect to various systems and applications without interfering with the underlying software, making them a programmer’s dream.

Lastly, RPA initiatives are also typically faster and less expensive to implement. In less time, a managed service provider employing robotic technology can enjoy better quality output, faster processing times and enhanced reporting for analytics and audit purposes. And with the scalability to instantly adjust to changes in workflow and volume, the case for RPA virtually sells itself.

Are you taking advantage of the latest in robotic technology for your company or IT department? The good news is you can try it absolutely free for 30 days. Simply click here to download your free trial and start harnessing the power of RPA for your business today.



eBook: Top 7 Benefits IT Process Automation Provides MSP’s




3 Ways Robotic Process Automation is Changing the Workplace for Humans

3 Ways Robotic Process Automation is Changing the Workplace for HumansThanks to a combination of advanced technology and access to a growing number of affordable devices, applications and suites, the modern workplace is rapidly changing. Companies are now able to leverage intelligent automation tools to handle increased workloads, reduce errors, improve efficiency levels, manage staffing levels and, of course, save money in the process. What does this mean for human workers? Are people in danger of being replaced by machine? Not necessarily. In fact, here are 3 distinct ways that robotic process automation will actually improve the workplace for humans.

Removal of Mundane Tasks

Most people can list at least half a dozen tasks they are responsible for on a day to day basis that are, well, boring, repetitive and time-consuming. With robotic process automation, these routine tasks and rote workflows can be automated, taking them off the plate of human workers and shifting the work to machine. Not only does this improve morale of the workforce, but it also allows for more output with fewer errors, which benefits the company as a whole.

Better Allocation of Resources

When the menial day to day tasks are no longer a part of your employees’ schedules, they will be free to apply their skills and abilities to projects that support more complex and important business initiatives, such as marketing and growth. Talented staff can spend their time more wisely and focus on creativity and innovation – things that cannot be automated. This is beneficial for the business as well as the employees.

Competitive Advantage

When a firm is able to use robotic process automation to improve productivity and attain optimum allocation of human capital, it will naturally become more competitive in the marketplace. Think about it. The company that can produce more work faster at a lower cost and with fewer errors can dramatically improve customer satisfaction. And when intelligent workers focus their efforts on mission-critical activities, the company as a whole will be capable of outperforming its competitors.

What now?

Ok, so now that you know the reasons why you should embrace robotic process automation, the next logical question is….where do I begin?  There are many theories to answer this question, but in general, RPA can initially be applied in situations that meet the following criteria:

If/Then Scenarios – Robotic process automation is extremely effective when there’s a process that follows the “if/then” philosophy. In other words, you might program your RPA tool to automatically execute a certain command whenever a particular task is initiated. So, if a ticket is open to reset a password, then the appropriate process to resolve the issue should automatically run.

Self-Correcting Remediation – There are many instances that require action, but not necessarily from a human. Take, for example, server disk space. Without the proper amount of space, critical situations may impact the core functionality of your business. With RPA, scheduled workflows can be initiated to maintain and administer disk space levels.

Without question, robotic process automation is changing the way we work and will only continue to do so as more and more organizations jump on the RPA bandwagon. But while this technology will certainly replace the work currently performed by humans to some degree, the benefits to both the company and the employees will ultimately remain positive, at least for the foreseeable future.



eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate




Robotic Process Automation and IT Process Automation – What’s the Difference?

Robotic Process Automation and ITPA – What’s the Difference?If you’ve spent any amount of time in the technology realm, you’ve probably heard of the terms robotic process automation (RPA) and IT process automation (ITPA). Sometimes these terms are used interchangeably, but in all actuality, they are quite different in a number of ways. What are these differences and, more importantly, why do they really matter in the big picture? Let’s take a closer look.

For many people, the word “robot” instantly conjures up images of metal humanoid figures that can be programmed to mimic some of the tasks and activities commonly performed by humans. In reality, at least in terms of robotic process automation, there’s no figure at all. Rather, it’s a technology that leverages intelligent software to perform any number of ordered steps and workflows. The concept behind the term – that robots act like humans – is the same, but the way it’s carried out is different.

Given this definition, many are inclined to question whether RPA is really the same thing as ITPA. After all, both leverage technology to streamline operations, improve efficiency, boost productivity and effectively do more with less. While the two are certainly similar in nature, there are specific variances in their uses and applications that should be noted. For example:

They focus on different areas of the business.

For decades, IT professionals have struggled with maintaining peak performance at minimum cost while straddling a multitude of different applications and systems. These challenges stretch far beyond simple system integration issues and lie more in the area of optimization of operational processes. As a result, IT professionals have adopted certain process disciplines and universal methodology, the most noteworthy of which is the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). They’ve also turned to technology – particularly ITPA – to help close the gap.

Conversely, robotic process automation covers a broader set of simpler functions, exceeding well beyond the IT department and into just about every facet of the business, from accounting to marketing. Basically, RPA is being leveraged to make the jobs of the end-users easier and more efficient. ITPA, while its impact does theoretically reach outside of the IT department, is focused more on the needs and pain points of the company’s IT infrastructure.

Their functionality and features vary greatly.

Because of the grander scale and deeper needs that ITPA addresses, it requires a much more robust and sophisticated functionality. The processes being automated on the IT side of things are often much more complex than what’s required for robotic process automation. For instance, with ITPA, workflows that handle virtual server provisioning and configuration or that provide a closed-loop process for cyber security incident response will naturally require a more intricate level of programming.

On the other hand, robotic process automation serves the goal of streamlining the day to day operations of the end-user. This might be as simple and straightforward as automating a password input. Because the very nature of RPA is much less involved, the back-end programming does not have to be as complicated or complex.

RPA has a more polished user interface.

Again, because of the driving force behind each technology, there is a certain trade off allowed between a more enhanced UI and that of more advanced functionality. Because ITPA is more complex, its UI isn’t always as polished as that of RPA. This is due in large part to the personnel who will be using the technology in their day to day work. Highly skilled IT professionals will naturally find managing a robust ITPA tool easier than someone who has little to no technological experience.

Business users, on the other hand, typically require a more straightforward and user-friendly interface, which is why robotic process automation is more frequently applied at the end-user level. These tools are specifically designed to make leveraging automation as easy and painless as possible.

So, while the basic concept behind both technologies is similar in nature, the way these tools are developed and applied is markedly different. Of course, both have their own role in an organization and, when leveraged together can create a highly-efficient, cost-effective and hyper-productive work environment that will help the organization remain ahead of the competitive curve.

Are you actively taking advantage of how automation can help bring your business to the next level? If not, the time to start is now. Click here to begin your free 30 day trial today.



IT Process Automation Survival Guide