June 26, 2018
Robotic Process Automation: Why It Can't Replace Humans
In the past few years, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has really gained a name for itself in the automation field. Many see RPA as a technology that will eliminate human resources and replace them with less costly robots. If this were the case, it would follow that industries like banking, where cost-cutting is often considered a major priority, would benefit greatly from swapping humans with RPA. In our view, this is a misguided and shortsighted perspective, and such a move would be detrimental.
In actuality, RPA is a tool that can mimic human actions, but only those that include performing repetitive tasks and that aren't exposed to a lot of change. RPA isn't capable of dealing with lots of exceptions or inconsistencies, which is why it isn't the right application for every job. However, if applied right, it can bridge gaps in customer journeys and for businesses on their digitalization journeys. When executed smartly, banks can benefit from RPA and it can lead to positive business outcomes, especially as it frees people up for higher-value work.
Clients often ask us how we're handling RPA here at Appway, which is why we recently hosted the webinar, Unlock the Potential of Robotic Process Automation, together with our partner Synpulse. In the webinar, Synpulse presented a real onboarding use case where it automated activities via RPA and integrated a core banking system.
We also talked about some typical examples where RPA can offer added value, such as:
- Low productivity areas that have little impact on a company's overall performance and have stayed under the radar of previous automation initiatives
- Areas that have low workforce scalability during peak times and which often leads to recruiting and training of temporary staff
- Speeding up time-to-market of new products and services to compensate for lack of financial or IT resources
- Bridging process gaps because of a shortage of modern system integration interfaces
- Areas with high compliance risks where errors can't occur
The scenario that Synpulse demonstrated in the webinar, which included a demo showing how the robot completes its work, reflected all the examples in the list above.
The aim shouldn't be to automate every activity in a financial institution but instead to use different users, systems, and services efficiently and improve business performance. RPA can definitely be part of a successful business approach, and an open and flexible solution will be able to integrate with any RPA vendor of choice without restrictions.
Automation has been a major focus since computers and software first emerged, and it will continue to progress. It may be that at some point RPA is replaced by more intelligent automation tools. Our goal is to empower organizations to choose the automation approach and tools that best fit their business, and to help orchestrate a human and virtual workforce that drives optimal outcomes.
Jürg TrunigerProduct Marketing LeadAppway