4 Obstacles to Robotic Process Automation in Financial Services

4 Obstacles to Robotic Process Automation in Financial ServicesWhile almost any business can benefit from robotic process automation, there are certain industries that are particularly ripe with opportunity. One such field is that of financial services. With such a high volume of daily transactions and mountains of require documentation, being able to leverage the power of automation to streamline operations and maximize efficiency while also cutting costs is the key to maintaining competitive advantage. Yet, there are still a great number of institutions that have yet to jump on the RPA bandwagon, and one or more of the following obstacles are what’s typically standing in the way.

It’s not a business priority.

In the IT realm, automation has long been regarded as a godsend and is widely used across most industries. Extending those technological capabilities and benefits beyond the IT department and into a broader business process tool hasn’t been quite so openly embraced. This is due in large part to a lack of knowledge and a failure to grasp the full spectrum of benefits that robotic process automation can present.

In reality, RPA has the potential to transform the financial services industry, dramatically enhancing how businesses are run and improving services levels both internally as well as at a customer level. It is flexible enough to fit with just about any business model and can scale up or down to meet the changing needs and demands at any given moment. Furthermore, the vast majority of routine daily tasks can be handled by machine, which makes for a much faster output that is free from the risk of human error.

Traditionally, financial institutions lack agility.

It’s somewhat paradoxical if you think about it, considering how frequently we hear of mergers and acquisitions in the financial sector, but in truth, banks and other institutions have traditionally lagged behind in terms of the ability to quickly adapt and respond to changing market forces. Furthermore, the increasing and evolving demands from a new generation of customers are forcing financial companies further out of their comfort zones. The thought of adding one more change – adoption of a new technology – can seem nothing short of overwhelming.

The beauty of today’s robotic process automation tools is that they are specifically designed to be robust yet lightweight and flexible. They don’t require a significant amount of training and they can be managed by just about anyone, regardless of technical know-how. As a result, institutions can have a significant portion of their tasks and workflows automated in just days, a far cry from the cumbersome software changes of the past.

Existing applications and systems aren’t compatible.

Another reason many financial service firms have not yet begun using RPA is because of the misconception that their legacy systems won’t be able to handle the transition. While this may have been true of certain products that were introduced to the market in years past, today’s robotic process automation software tools have been specifically developed to be compatible and fully integratable with just about every system and application currently used in the industry today.

What’s more, the right RPA tool can actually make your entire operations more cohesive by bridging gaps, eliminating silos and creating a much more unified infrastructure.

Concern over compliance and governance issues.

Without question, the financial industry is one of the most heavily regulated fields in the world. Institutions know that strict compliance with government and other regulatory bodies is absolutely essential and that failure to do so – no matter how miniscule the incident – could bring about monumental consequences. This fear has caused many leaders in this sector to avoid adoption of extraneous technology, which is how RPA is often viewed.

The robotic process automation solutions of today are actually ideal for highly regulated fields such as finance and insurance because they offer the enhanced ability to view, track and report any changes to business processes. Automated tasks are managed and controlled using a centralized dashboard. Furthermore, all tasks, workflows and processes can be documented and tracked for auditing purposes. Lastly, the right RPA product will be built with the utmost security in mind.

With the growing volume of data looming and rising costs associated with managing a successful financial services firm, banks and other institutions have no other choice but to take advantage of the technology that’s available to them. Recognizing the main concerns that may be holding you back and understanding the reality behind these misconceptions can make adopting and implementing RPA a much smoother and positive transition for everyone.

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Are You Falling for These 5 Common Misconceptions About Robotic Process Automation?

Are You Falling for These 5 Common Misconceptions About Robotic Process Automation?Over the past decade or so, the buzz surrounding robotic process automation has continued to grow increasingly louder. Along with greater awareness, however, there have also been a number of myths, misconceptions and outright untruths being perpetuated which have led to many otherwise savvy professionals feeling leery about adopting this innovative technology. As a result, organizations across the globe are missing out on the many incredible benefits that RPA has to offer. That being said, we’ve identified 5 of the most common misunderstandings and the real truths behind each of them.

RPA will replace humans.

One of the biggest misconceptions about RPA is that it will eliminate the need for human workers altogether. This thought process has bred fear and caused a great degree of resistance, particularly among those in the IT field. In reality, RPA is meant to complement human workers and make their jobs easier and more efficient. Will that mean some jobs will be replaced by robots? Sure. But for the most part, adoption of this technology will ultimately create new and better opportunities for people to pursue.

You can automate everything with RPA.

On the other end of the spectrum, many early adopters of robotic process automation falsely believed that 100% of the workload within their organizations could be seamlessly transitioned from human to machine. While it’s true that some companies have been able to automate up to 80% of their processes, there will almost always be at least some areas where human resources are still necessary (further supporting the previous point). For best results, RPA should be implemented in small increments, testing, modifying and slowly increasing, thereby optimizing the technology to its fullest capabilities.

RPA is only for IT.

Small to mid-sized companies often forego adoption of automation because they believe it’s only ideal for larger firms with dedicated IT departments. In truth, RPA can be applied to almost any repetitive, manual task, workflow or business process – regardless of whether it’s housed under the umbrella of IT or not. Additionally, the right RPA product should be affordable, quick and easy to implement without requiring a great deal of technical know-how. In other words, perfect for businesses of any size or industry.

All RPA solutions are the same.

This is, perhaps, one of the biggest misconceptions surrounding RPA, or automation in general. While the basic concept is consistent across the board, the tools themselves are often vastly different, as are the companies that develop and market them. It’s also important to point out that more bells and whistles an RPA tool has doesn’t necessarily make it better. It’s all about what fits best with your needs. That said, when evaluating robotic process automation solutions the key things to look for include: ease of use, time to deployment, cost of ownership, scalability, ROI and support after the sale.

RPA is a passing fad.

Last, but not least, many have resisted jumping on the RPA bandwagon because they simply don’t believe it’ll still be around in the relatively near future. After all, how many other technologies have come and gone over the past several decades? The reality of this lies in the growing demand for companies in every industry to find ways to minimize costs, maximize efficiency levels and remain competitive. RPA is the ideal solution to each of these objectives, which indicates that it’s a technology that’s here to stay and will only continue to improve as time marches on.

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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.

  • 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.
  • 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.

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How Robotic Process Automation is a Game Changer for Outsourcing Fees

How Robotic Process Automation is a Game Changer for Outsourcing FeesWe’ve all heard the rumblings: how robotic process automation (or RPA for short) is going to eliminate human jobs. How someday in the not-so-distant-future robots will become the quintessential “heartbeat” (ironically) of the future workplace. And while experts agree that RPA will most certainly change the way work is done, most also agree that humans are here to stay. One area that RPA is having a particularly huge impact on, however, is outsourcing. Here’s how.

The first and most significant way that robotic process automation is revolutionizing the way outsourcing providers conduct business is in terms of efficiency. Businesses of every shape, size and industry have been leveraging external resources to handle their IT services for decades now, and the playing field is extremely competitive. Aside from price, the one key differentiator is service level. Those providers who are able to deliver the best support at the most attractive price win out.

To achieve this goal, outsource providers need the ability to perform at the highest capacity levels while also minimizing cost. Robotic process automationo helps accomplish this by allowing technology to do the heavy lifting. Not nly does work get done faster, but it’s also much more accurate. As a result, external service providers are able to offer their clients maximum productivity at a remarkably affordable rate that is not only better than handling IT in-house, but also more competitive on the outsourcing realm.

Of course, along with the enhanced performance comes a significant change in fee structure. Because robotic process automation is making the jobs of outsourced professionals easier and more efficient, the savings these providers are realizing will inevitably begin being passed on to their customers in the way of lower fees. And not just as a one-time adjustment, either. Thanks to the promise of even better RPA technology in the near future, many outsourcing firms have already begun offering new service agreements that extend multiple years and guarantee continual decreases at future intervals.

New customers will likely reap the greatest benefits of RPA efficiency, at least in terms of lower fees. This is because existing clientele are typically more dependent on their outsourcing partners, which can be used as leverage to keep fees at a higher level for renewal contracts versus brand new ones. Disengaging and starting over again with a new provider solely on the basis of cost is often not a feasible option. That said, there should still be a significant reduction in future contract pricing if negotiated properly.
Without questions, robotic process automation is a game changer, particularly for the outsourcing industry. With increased efficiency levels, satisfaction will continue to rise even as operating costs continue to decrease, inevitably changing the landscape for both sides of the equation.

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Tips for Managing Your Robotic Process Automation Control Room

Robotic Process Automation RPARobotic process automation is revolutionizing the way business operations are run in just about every aspect. The concept is simple, yet profound and highly effective. RPA utilizes software to automatically execute a broad spectrum of tasks, typically those in IT which are routine, repetitive and a waste of time, money and resources when handled manually. Within RPA is a functionality known as a control room, which allows human workers to oversee the work being completed. To follow are a few helpful tips for successfully managing your robotic process automation control room.

First, we’ll begin with session management. This is the function that allows a user visibility into which resources (robots or virtual machines) are currently available. Those that are free can then be allocated to run a specified automated process. The session management portion of the control room provides insight into basic information, such as the task being completed and the time it’s taken. Successful session management will involve analysis of logs for each resource and ongoing monitoring to ensure that all processes are being completed without issue.

Next, the robotic process automation control room will also feature a work queue. This is used to identify, list and prioritize pending tasks that are waiting to be picked up and completed by a robot or virtual machine. Once completed, the results should then be recorded and stored. For best results, the controller should routinely extract all items processed over a specified time period, determine how many have been completed successfully and identify any exceptions.

Exceptions that are identified should then be further broken down into the categories of system exceptions (i.e. unintentional system failures) and business exceptions (i.e. events that the business may prefer not to have worked). As a result of this process, the data gathered can provide valuable insight into how the automated solution is performing and which areas, if any, could be enhanced for better results. All of this can (and should) lead to improvements to operational areas throughout the business.

Finally, there is the topic of scheduling. Once the robotic process automation solution is fully operational and running at peak performance, the control room can be leveraged to schedule the processes that can be carried out without the need for human intervention. Here is where additional processes, such as administrative tasks, can be scheduled and carried out.

Gaining a deeper understanding of the functionality of the RPA control room will help IT leadership determine what level of skills are required to oversee it. Ideally, those in charge of managing an RPA control room are analytical, highly organized and have the keen ability to plan the use of each resource to maximize efficiency. While a high level of technical knowledge isn’t necessary, a basic awareness is required. Having the right person in charge will further enhance the benefits RPA brings to the business.

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How Robotic Process Automation is Revolutionizing the Managed Service Providers (MSP) Industry

How Robotic Process Automation is Revolutionizing the Managed Service Providers (MSP) IndustryToday’s managed service providers are being expected to meet increasingly complex client needs and maximize efficiency while also keeping costs down. In the age of digital data, this is no easy feat. In fact, staying competitive these days is something that most businesses are struggling with as the world evolves rapidly around them. Robotic process automation (RPA) is proving to be the ideal tool for helping service providers in every industry achieve the competitive edge needed to realize ongoing success.

For those who are unfamiliar, robotic process automation is an advanced technology that allows computer software to take on the routine, repetitive tasks that were once handled by human workers. This software, or “robot,” is capable of capturing data from existing systems and applications and then using that data to process transactions, trigger various responses and effectively communicate with other tools and systems.

RPA has been making the news of late, mostly in general terms. Many noteworthy news outlets have been hailing the capabilities of this technology for use in traditional office roles. While there are still some who view robotic process automation as a threat, most people are recognizing that it’s more of a tool to make the lives of human workers easier, not to necessarily replace them altogether. Yes, some jobs will be eliminated, but that should make way for newer, better opportunities for people.

One key area that RPA is starting (and will continue) to shine is in the service provider industry. Given the saturated market in this highly competitive field, finding a leg up is challenging. Prices can only be lowered so much before profits take a hit and hiring additional staff to keep up with increasing demands just doesn’t make fiscal sense. Robotic process automation provides the ideal solution.

Automation enables service providers to keep staff levels lean while still producing optimum output at maximum efficiency levels. Essentially, it allows businesses to do more with less. Furthermore, highly skilled employees are able to put their expertise to better use focusing on more critical business matters, since menial day to day and even complex processes are being shifted to automation.

Another important component of the service industry is the ability to maintain exceptional quality of work to keep customers happy. When robots are introduced, productivity can increase exponentially without the worry of quality taking a hit. Human errors are also eliminated, which can actually increase the quality of service being performed. Finally, RPA provides the ability to scale up and down in an instant, based on business need.

As the business world continues to evolve, the demands placed on service providers will only continue to rise and become more stringent. Robotic process automation is the answer to not only handling those pressures, but exceeding expectations again and again.

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How Robotic Process Automation is Innovating the Insurance Industry

How Robotic Process Automation is Innovating the Insurance IndustryThe insurance industry has always been one in which growth, profitability and competitive advantage have been significant challenges. This is becoming increasingly true as we steamroll full speed into the digital age. Today’s tech savvy consumers are changing the way they interact with insurance companies, trading traditional agent-based service for a more modern, real-time, virtual experience. Robotic process automation provides the ideal solution for this need.

To demonstrate this, let’s consider the following real-world scenario. A consumer in need of auto coverage goes on his or her mobile device and does some comparison shopping of various insurance companies and plans. Once the choices have been narrowed down, this consumer will then request a quote from each company. From there he or she will accept the most favorable quote/policy and complete the transaction with a purchase.

This may seem simple and straightforward to the consumer, but in reality it requires a complex workflow which involves generating a quote and then underwriting and issuing the policy. That workflow must execute seamlessly in order for the customer to be satisfied. What’s more, all of this must be handled instantly, electronically and without human intervention. Furthermore, if the customer isn’t brand new, there may also be the issue of bridging legacy systems.

In the past, such a scenario would be quite challenging for even a well-known, established insurance company.

Enter RPA. Robotic process automation can effectively link systems and relevant data, solving the issue of integrating existing legacy platforms. This greatly improves efficiency while also addressing the need to manage costs. Companies don’t have to worry about implementing an entirely new system in order to remain competitive. From the consumer’s perspective, the entire process of purchasing an underwritten policy is quick and seamless, thanks to behind-the-scenes automation. Even the billing set up can be handled by the RPA tool.

For the insurance industry as a whole, robotic process automation can provide more overarching and widespread benefits. Greater innovation will lead to better service, which creates a healthier, more competitive environment for all the players in the market today. With RPA, time-to-market will also be decreased, which will ultimately result in lower expenses overall.

The insurance industry has always been one wrought with a number of intrinsic challenges. Those challenges have only increased in the digital age. Robotic process automation can offer all the answers to these issues and will continue to revolutionize the field as new situations and needs arise down the road.

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Leveraging Robotic Process Automation to Attract, Retain and Motivate Your Staff

Getting a Leg Up on the Competition with Robotic Process AutomationLike it or not, most jobs include a number of tasks that are repetitive, mundane and not very enjoyable. In years past, these tasks were a necessary evil, but today – thanks to the more widespread adoption of robotic process automation technology – these menial day-to-day functions are being eliminated. As a result, companies that have embraced and implemented RPA are finding that it’s giving them a competitive advantage, particularly in terms of attracting and retaining top talent.

Firstly, by taking away the need for human workers to conduct mundane tasks, you free them up to focus on things that they find interesting and engaging. For instance, some of your employees might prefer interacting with customers or applying their problem solving skills to resolve important business issues. With robotic process automation handling the busy work, those team members can focus on what they’re passionate about. This drives morale levels up and naturally improves productivity.

Another way RPA can bolster HR efforts is a reduction in sick time. While it’s normal to expect employees to take time off when they’re not feeling well, in some organizations, these numbers are higher due in large part to the nature of the work being performed. Being on duty for longer hours and/or having to meet increasing demands to produce a greater output can easily lead to a rise in employee illness and burnout. Robotic process automation removes this barrier.

There is also a significant cost savings to the business itself when the need for overtime and hiring temporary employees is eliminated. As a result, the monies that would have been earmarked for these expenses can then be put toward hiring and engaging highly skilled personnel. Being able to pay competitive rates can further help a business attract the type of employees that will further improve performance and growth.

The technology behind robotic process automation can often be enough of a selling point for a potential candidate for employment. With the Millennial generation poised to take over the workforce over the next several years, tech-savvy applicants will be looking for prospective employers that can offer them the best working environment. RPA can be the differentiator that makes one organization stand out amongst the rest.

Finally, as a result of all of these benefits, employees that are more satisfied and engaged thanks to robotic process automation will tend to be happier and perform better overall. This can naturally lead to improved service levels, both internally as well as externally with customers.

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5 Tips for Choosing the Right Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Product

You may already be aware of the many benefits robotic process automation can have for businesses, both large and small and across any number of industries. Figuring out which product is right for your particular company is a whole different ballgame. To help you make a more informed decision and ensure that you end up with the RPA product that best suits your needs, here are 5 things to keep in mind.

1. Ease of Use

First and foremost, you want a robotic process automation product that will be easy and efficient for your employees to use it. Otherwise, you’re defeating the purpose of implementing RPA in the first place. Look for a software provider that has experience in the RPA realm and offers either a demo and/or free trial period.

2. Core Developer Capabilities

A good RPA product essentially runs complex codes behind the scenes. That product should provide back-end developers with the following core competencies:

  • Ability to integrate seamlessly with other major software platforms
  • Out-of-the-box functionality
  • Extensive range of supported inputs and outputs (i.e. email, text, xls files, etc.)
  • Software provider support

3. Scalability

One of the key benefits of robotic process automation is the ability it provides an organization to effectively adapt to the changing needs of their workforce on a whim. To that end, you should look for a product that has the capability to scale up when demand calls for increased output and back down again as those needs wane.

4. Analytics

Another advantage of a good RPA product is the ability to collect, organize and analyze workflow metrics to identify areas where improvements can and should be implemented. This essentially allows an organization to truly optimize operational efficiency.

5. Multi-Faceted

Finally, a quality robotic process automation product should be functional on both the end-user side as well as the technical side. As an organization, you may decide that one of these two areas is more important than the other and adapt your evaluation accordingly, but both sides should always be part of the selection process.

Ultimately, your decision as to which robotic process automation product is right for you will also depend on many specific circumstances that may be unique to your business. The five criteria above, however, should at least provide you with a starting point from which to build.

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4 Common Challenges with Robotic Process Automation Outsourcing

4 Common Challenges with Robotic Process Automation OutsourcingRobotic process automation is one of the biggest advances benefiting businesses today. The ability to shift a large number of tasks to technology as well as scale up or down instantly based on need is helping companies of every size become more efficient and subsequently more competitive. The problem is, when you choose to have this handled anywhere other than in-house, things don’t always go as smoothly as anticipated. If you’re thinking of outsourcing RPA for your firm, here are 4 common challenges other companies have faced so you can prepare for them ahead of time.

Time-frames and Red Tape

Inevitably, if you are going to rely on an external resource for your robotic process automation, there will be plenty of contracts, legalities and other red tape to deal with. There is also a longer time frame for getting up and running because the process almost always involves competitive bidding, provider evaluations, negotiations and then the actual implementation.

In-house robotic process automation, on the other hand, does not come with nearly as many burdens. Additionally, because it is built upon a much deeper knowledge of the business in question and can be tested and improved over time, the results are typically much more favorable.

Technological Limitations

Because outsourced RPA requires providers to offer a robust, enterprise-level global solution that can scale to support the highest capacities, the robotic software technologies these providers rely on may be somewhat limited. This isn’t to imply that the offering is a one-size-fits-all approach, but rather that there aren’t nearly as many options to choose from as there are emerging technologies.

Handling robotic process automation internally provides a greater degree of flexibility and the luxury of choosing from a wider pool of platforms based more on what your business needs are and which product has the best features for meeting those needs.

Roles, Responsibilities and Job Security

When an organization chooses to outsource RPA, the resulting shift in the roles and responsibilities of existing IT personnel can be quite disruptive. Many day to day tasks will no longer be handled in-house, and without adequate work to go around, downsizing will likely be a necessity. This can lead to an overall dip in morale across the entire organization, which is never good for business.

Conducting robotic process automation in-house, on the other hand, creates a completely different dynamic in the workforce. While efficiency levels will go up, operating costs will drop dramatically. Those employees who were once responsible for the tasks that are now automated will still be valuable to the company, it’s just that their roles will evolve. Furthermore, they will be freed up to take on more challenging work while the costs associated with keeping everyone on board remain constant or may even come down.


Since outsourced automation means that human processes and activities will be reduced, the benefits to the business will naturally be more outcome-based rather than focusing on full-time equivalent (FTE). As a result, the delivery model will need to be closely reliant on customer business processes. This can complicate the internal governance process because any unanticipated changes could potentially impact automated workflows.

Because of this, workflow governance and compliance structures must be designed to incorporate complete transparency of any and all business process changes. Without an adequate plan in place ahead of time, a potential disruption could cause significant problems for the business as a whole. These challenges are mitigated when robotic process automation is handled in-house.

If you have questions about whether handling robotic process automation within your organization might make more sense than outsourcing, we’d be happy to discuss your specific needs. Contact us today!

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