RPA is designed to automate rules based, high volume processes in a business, this is done by using logic and structured inputs to configure a ‘robot’ and give it the ability to interpret application processes. These can be used for manipulating data, processing transactions, triggering responses and communicating with other systems.

Many companies are looking towards robotic process automation (RPA) in order to reduce costs, enhance employee roles and streamline operations in their business. RPA allows companies to automate the mundane processes that often take up a lot of their employees time, this works well with processes that are rules based as the robot can simply be taught the rules and then be almost left unattended to carry it out.

What are the benefits of RPA?

It is typically quite easy to implement these bots and they are also low cost, they do not require custom software or deep systems integration, making it a smooth path to take for many companies. It is believed that by 2020 employee requirements in business will be reduced by 65% due to automation and artificial intelligence, by that year it is thought that 92% of European companies will have deployed RPA. The current percent of large enterprises who have implemented an RPA software tool is only at 10%; however, it is predicted that it will have risen to 40% by 2020 alongside an RPA market value of $2,467.0 million by 2022.

What are the pitfalls of RPA?

It is well considered that RPA has the ability to put many people out of jobs; however, key thought leaders in the RPA industry would disagree, as discussed in the blog Does Robotic Process Automation Take Jobs Away From Real People? It has been described that for every bot 2 new jobs are created.

Some companies have found the process to not be as easy as they expected, the bots may not always use the same platforms and therefore need reconfiguration which hasn’t already been done pre-emptively. Moreover, the completion of a bot could be completely thrown off creating far more work for just a minor change to an application.

As bad as this sounds; looking back in history there have been many instances where progression has instigated job losses. Due to the demand of coal reducing, coal miners ceased to exist; there is always a next step in evolution. In regards to RPA there will always be the need for someone to validate the processes when put in practice at a company and furthermore someone will always be needed to design, develop and maintain said ‘bots’.

What opportunities are there?

With the rise of RPA in the current industry, there is far more demand for jobs such as automation analysts, RPA developers, or consultants, RPA lead or analyst, head of automation etc. In the UK the average salary for automation jobs sands at £55,000 pa, with the potential to grow as the demand grows for these skill sets. The contracting market demonstrates an average daily fee of £550 per day.

GSK Case Study

Starting in 2018 GSK planned to implement their RPA platform, however it did not happen as fast as expected. By june 2018, the company expected to have 300 bots but only 3 were live. On the other hand the director of global applications said that it’s not about establishing a platform but RPA fitted within the company’s internal processes.

The key questions asked were; What does it take to build a robot? What is the GSK process for prioritising what should be built first going to be? They created a full time team relating to RPA to show their serious approach to the technology.

The company started with three teams. One of which was responsible for prioritising, controlling and making sure the bots that were developed were congruent with GSK’s business processes. A team set up with GSK Consulting partner Tata to aid with internal capabilities. Then there was Genpact, the business process outsourcer that GSK uses in its financial services group.

They tried to engage via their clients through finance, real estate and supply chain. ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for you to take some cost out of your business’.

“We said, ‘We can help fund the transformations that you want to do. You apply RPA, a bot may have a life span of, say, 18 months and, in that 18 months, the savings you make can actually fund the transformation you want to do. In other words, the savings from implementing labour-saving bots alone ought to be able to pay for the digital transformation projects that various parts of the business might be planning. Then, once the digital transformation is completed, the bots will no longer be necessary.”

It is not known if in fact this is or was the case.

Digital Workers?

Most organisations start with developing “Bots”, these “Bots” cater for a rules based process automation. However, when these “Bots” are combined to create an end-to-end enterprise process a clear value can be demonstrated. This is called a “Digital Worker”, a digital worker can come in the form of AP Automation, Supplier on-boarding, New Employee on-boarding, PO Processing and Accounts Reconciliation.

HighIQ State:

We believe that to deliver results for your business, RPA needs to evolve to the next generation. We go beyond basic task-based bots to role-based digital workers that replicate the capabilities of a human employee. We call our next-gen pre-built solution the IQWorker™. Our unique AI-driven technology differentiates IQWorkers™ from other digital worker solutions, enabling unrivalled exception handling and validation capabilities. IQWorkers™ think, analyse and act in your business environment like a skilled human worker:

• Working in an organised way without missing tasks, while maintaining a full audit trail of work performed.

• Operating consistently with high accuracy.

• Applying AI capabilities to solve complex problems and improve skills by receiving training.

• Able to work both with near-Independence and collaboratively with humans on the team.

How can Vertex help?

As an experienced Technology Recruiter, we have invested time, effort and money in developing a team to specialise in this arena. We are one of the first recruitment agencies to have a team dedicated to RPA recruitment and are even introducing bots into our own process!

As we have in-depth knowledge of the products and processes, candidates and clients can benefit from having a well informed conversation. We have a wide talent pool, enabling us to fill RPA roles quickly and efficiently so be sure to get in touch with any requirements. On the other hand, as a candidate with experience in RPA we are sure to be able to find your perfect role.