RPA 2019: Take the Robot Out of the Human
Recently UiPath released a study (2019) that indicated that 70% of organizations believe that an RPA robot enables their employees to have more human interaction. This statistic isn’t surprising. I would venture to guess that it could come close to 100% as adoption of RPA increases. To me this is the number one reason why RPA will continue to grow. Businesses will realize its value from an accuracy and cost savings standpoint and a way to better utilize their employees.
If you look at the way the Information Age was ushered in and the evolution of humans interacting with computers to do their jobs, there was very little process redefinition involved. I was implementing Healthcare Information Systems in the 90’s. Many of the processes in an institution were paper based (i.e. charts, prescriptions, orders etc.). Instead of rethinking these processes, the goal was to digitize them. There wasn’t any thought on whether these were efficient processes. No one though on how they impacted the ability of someone to effectively do their job.
Taking this forward to the current day, the common experience when seeing a doctor or interacting with a nurse or specialist is that most of their time is occupied with data entry into the various applications they are required to use. Human interaction is removed from the equation. This takes away from the original intent of the visit, to fully assess you as a patient. The same story repeats itself in any other “customer service” type positions. The work involves a professional interacting with a customer while using a computer.
I am going to take this thought a step further to examine the “high value knowledge worker”.
This person can be defined as someone who exhibits high expertise in their functional area (i.e. Accounting, Human Resources and Law etc.). Their time is valuable, and it costs the business money if they aren’t fully utilized. We recently had a client whose VP of Finance would spend the better part of 8-10 hours a week merging a spread sheet and entering corresponding data into their P2P application. That is a lot of time for someone at that pay grade to spend on this type of activity. Because of the importance of the output, this person was required to do this to ensure that the appropriate decisions were made, and the process was done correctly.
Enter in RPA.
The process itself was well defined. However, there were very specific business rules that needed to be taken out of this person’s brain and implemented within the software bot. While there was significant re-work and additions as each additional scenario was uncovered, the process followed the typical time period in which a process can start to generate an ROI (1-3 months after putting it into production). As a result, this process is no longer part of this person’s day and they can use their knowledge to serve the organization more effectively.
There are many success stories such as the ones described. RPA is no longer reserved for the back office but something far more powerful and reliable. In my opinion “taking the robot out of the human” is the best description of the impact of this technology. The contrary being that robots are going to take over and humans will be controlled by them. In 2019, there is no reason for humans to perform medial repetitive tasks. If a bot can do it just as well. This is the next stage of evolution for humanity, to truly utilize technology for the reason it exists, to serve us.
Peter S Camp is the CTO and Founder of CampTek Software. He has been developing RPA Applications for over 15 years. For further questions, discussion or inquiry about CampTek Software Services, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.