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5 Trends in Robotic Process Automation for 2021

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In the past few years, the majority of large organizations have invested in some form of automation. They’re looking to automation as a way transform business operations. According to Gartner, the global robotic process automation (RPA) software revenue is projected to reach $1.89B this year.

RPA is the use of software to automate high volume and repetitive tasks that previously required a human to perform. RPA enables the configuration of a “bot” or “digital workers” to capture and interpret tasks on existing applications such as processing transactions, transforming or manipulating data, triggering responses, and integrating with other digital systems. The most common use is leveraging RPA to enable employees to focus on higher value work by offloading routine work from human workforce to digital workers.

The ideal candidates for automation using RPA are human tasks that are repetitive, high-volume, rules-based, or prone to human error. RPA’s main value proposition is to alleviate the human workforce from performing mundane, highly repetitive, and data-intensive tasks, freeing them up to focus on higher value tasks.

RPA bots can mimic user actions, reduce human error, and drive efficiencies. The software is also relatively low-code, resulting in rapid time to market.


Why is RPA adoption accelerating?

COVID-19 has increased the need and justification for automation. Over the past year, enterprises need to execute digital transformation strategies to pivot to remote work, drive productivity, improve customer experience, and create new products, services, or communication channels. RPA software is playing a critical role in accomplishing this by automating end-to-end transactional processes that previously required humans to perform. It is also accelerating the ability to integrate with intelligent automation capabilities such as smart analytics and artificial intelligence (AI).

What are the benefits of RPA?

Organizations that adoption RPA software are benefiting from increases in efficiency and productivity by reducing repetitive and mundane human intervention within their operations. There is also significant impact to employee retention and reduction in the need to hire additional resources as a response to demand. In most cases, we are also seeing a reduction in the need for arduous new hire training. Additional benefits include:

  • Increased employee experience and engagement
  • Improved security and compliance
  • Higher quality services
  • Increased agility and reduced implementation time
  • Reduced costs
  • Improved data analytics and reporting

How do I know my organization will benefit from RPA?

RPA provides the opportunity to automate human tasks that are repetitive, high volume, rules based, and prone to human error. The following characteristics signify that you may be an ideal candidate for RPA:

  • Data queries
  • Calculations
  • Data entry
  • Data transfer to/from legacy systems
  • System integration to applications that lack an open integration method
  • The need for compliance audit capabilities
  • Task that involves sensitive data
  • Task needs to be completed quickly and/or the need to meet SLAs

This Year’s RPA Trends

With RPA continuing to gain momentum in the market, there are a number of trends to watch:

  • Next-level business workflows built on RPA. RPA is accelerating by automating routine, mundane tasks quickly and easily. Organizations are leveraging RPA and combining it with complementary technologies such as process orchestration and document intelligence to automate tasks.
  • Prioritizing manual workflows. This enables organizations to consistently move faster and innovate. RPA can help free up time, allowing the focus to be on more valuable, high-impact tasks or processes that are moving the business forward.
  • Connected ecosystems. Integrated intelligent automation platforms are driving digital transformation. Organizations are able to take things one step further and create ecosystems of technologies, applications, and services to give their teams access to a network of services, pre-built connectors, templates, and solutions.
  • Citizen developers. Officially defined as “non-technical users that create simple automations for themselves and their departments,” citizen developers play key roles in helping scale technologies within organizations. They’re not coding or developing, but instead finding ways to automate their daily tasks and processes. Business leaders and IT need to harness these individuals in order to transform business-critical workflows.
  • Artificial intelligence. Machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), intelligent optical character recognition (OCR), and image recognition embedded in intelligent automation platforms are empowering citizen developers to achieve digital workflow transformation to elevate productivity levels and accelerate work across enterprises.

Beyond RPA

One of the current buzzwords in the automation space is “hyper automation,” which is a smarter, faster, and more sophisticated version of RPA. By leveraging AI, ML, and existing RPA trends, hyper automation enables organizations to seamlessly process large amounts of data to optimize business processes across the business.

Hyper automation is the key to realizing value, and automates entire processes such as integration, DevOps, monitoring, and management, boosting productivity and efficiency and automating end-to-end workflows.

Why Perficient

Perficient is elevating the automation conversation and bringing RPA and other elements of automation to our customers. Our automation practice includes experts across the three core pillars of automation: process orchestration, RPA, and AI. This breadth of expertise enables us to help our customers realize the value of RPA across their entire enterprise and automate more than just a handful of processes. Contact us today to learn how you can further incorporate RPA into your business.

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Mwandama Mutanuka

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