What are the RPA use cases for Europe?
by Shubhen Sarangi, on Jan 30, 2019 8:40:18 PM
Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is typically used in case of rule-based, high volume processes of data entry and transfer between two or more systems.
No doubt add-on capabilities in the form of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) / Machine Learning (ML) increase the breadth and depth of its operations. Still, with due acknowledgement to the advanced automation provided by such add-on technologies, in our view RPA by itself has its own niche area and considerable scope to be better leveraged in the most.
As RPA is a very “horizontal” technology, it has found early adoption in industries such as banking & financial services, insurance, pharmaceuticals, telecoms, manufacturing & logistics, and government organizations, where the number of rule-based transactional processes is high. Similarly, it is the tool of choice in horizontals such as business operations, managed services, shared services (finance & accounting, human resources, procurement, and business services), departments involving high amounts of paper processes, departments involving transfer of data from and in between multiple sources, and information silos.
European businesses and shared service organizations (SSOs) having been early adopters of RPA & other Intelligent Automation technologies have reaped the advantages of leveraging efficiencies of scale by adopting automation early. An SSON report recently indicated that the number of SSOs deploying or testing RPA has grown from 18% to 66% in the last year. The top three areas where RPA is being currently leveraged in Europe are:
#1 SSOs, Global in-house centres, or Captives
These organizations function on the basis of data augmentation from various sources including legacy systems, Excel sheets, Word documents, PDFs, etc. Here, RPA is leveraged at scale across many business groups spread across different locations.
European SSOs have been at the forefront of RPA and intelligent automation adoption. They can easily be considered to have highly mature Intelligent Automation adoption as this fits in very well with the efficiency and service quality mandates on which these organizations are run.
RPA helps reduce wastage in the form of error, rework, and duplication, which creeps in during hand-offs between teams working in different shifts in SSOs.
#2 Managed Services
They typically manage IT services for their clients. They have to access multiple modern as well as legacy systems while doing tasks, such as updating information. Where each manual task takes about 6 – 8 minutes, RPA performs the same task in 45 – 50 seconds. In context of the total number of calls handled, the time saved amounts to 100s of hours per month across the business.
#3 Data Migration Services
Businesses typically have to deal with high volumes of data or Big Data at the same time logging in and out of a plethora of systems. RPA helps to automate these high volume low complexity tasks while improving speed, accuracy, and productivity. It is our experience that such adoption of RPA and better housekeeping as well as preparation of data is vital for deploying more advanced Intelligent Automation technologies such as AI & ML.
Use cases in the above areas though look simple form majority of the RPA adoption scenarios across Europe and the other developed regions of the world. It is finally the skill of the vendor that helps the business expand their RPA usage smoothly given their existing IT infrastructure layout.