Automation has been increasing everywhere with robotic process automation (RPA), seen as a catalyst for positive digital transformation. According to McKinsey, by 2025, robotic process automation will have an economic impact of nearly $6.7 trillion.
With RPA, companies can simplify mundane tasks to drive continuous business improvement and execute repetitive, rule-based information processes, allowing employees to focus on operations, which require their specialized skills and attention.
Therefore, choosing the right RPA software is crucial for business continuity day-to-day . In a space getting crowded with RPA players, there are things one must consider while choosing software.
How to choose the right RPA tool
To select the best RPA tool, we need to remember the company's objectives and requirements. The following provides the guidelines for choosing the right RPA tool.
- Ease of use: Users, both technical and non-technical, should be able to create process automation tasks easily (either with limited training or no training at all). It should be functional on both the end-user side as well the technical side. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose of implementing an RPA.
- Easy to integrate: RPA involves complex codes that run behind the scenes. One of the main features of RPA is that it does not overhaul legacy systems; it is built and integrated on top of existing systems. Thus, lowering the costs of implementation.
- Scalability: Spikes in operations are unpredictable. During times like this, your RPA software should allow you to scale up to complete the processes in the same time. This flexibility in scaling up or down when demand calls for increased output is a critical feature to look for. An ideal solution must be able to run tens of thousands of robots (automated robotic processes) from a cluster of enterprise servers.
- Next-gen capabilities: Your RPA should provide comprehensive next-generation capabilities to address your organization’s intelligent process automation needs adequately. Avoid “point” RPA solutions that lack integrated capabilities and require third-party integrations.
- Speed and simplicity: It is better to avoid a solution that requires you to wait for weeks for a custom coding effort. The solution should be simple enough for a business to design and test new robotic automation processes in a few hours or less.
- Enterprise-grade security: Ensure that the RPA solution protects every layer to secure your data and organization. It should strongly encrypt all communications, including granular, role-based access control and management, full integration, secure storage of credentials, comprehensive audit logs of all user and system activity, and changes to the data.
- Analytical reports: The software should be able to gather, organize, and analyze data to provide a detailed analytical report. This will help identify bottlenecks and areas of improvement to fix or improve optimize operational efficiency.
How to implement RPA
Once an RPA solution has been selected, an organization needs to devise its approach for implementation. RPA implementation comprises of several key steps. The following four-step guide will help you understand how to strategize the deployment, development, and launch of an RPA application.
#1 Pick the process you want to automate:
Diving right into automating all processes at the very beginning may not prove successful for enterprises seeking an RPA implementation. First, identify a process that requires automation and run a pilot project. Carry out a thorough assessment by understanding the process and analyzing if the automation is showing signs of improvement for your enterprise. Examine the potential risks and expected values that can be derived from automation. If the pilot succeeds, you can choose other processes to be automated.
#2 Reskilling the team
While automation instills that humans don’t need to overlook processes, a limited form of human supervision ensures the process has no complications or pitstops during the journey. Explain to the team how robotic process automation works and the key takeaways it will bring to the enterprise, such as filtering out redundancy or improving productivity. Through this process, you can identify skill gaps and conduct training programs so they can adapt to the change effortlessly.
#3 Select the right vendor
Every enterprise has unique needs. Choose an RPA vendor that conducts a detailed evaluation and offers customized solutions that fulfill your requirements with a successful RPA implementation. Here is a list of parameters to remember while selecting a vendor:
- A tentative cost and time required to deploy the software bots
- Ability to scale bots to handle spikes and financial complexities
- Data encryption service to ensure privacy and confidentiality
- Alert systems if a process error occurs or a data breach
- Performance monitoring software to record and track actions taken by the bot
- Excellent technical capabilities that can adapt to changing needs and expectations
#4 Define Objectives
This is one of the most crucial steps to be considered while implementing RPA. Carve out a plan that defines what you wish to achieve through automation. Formulate a proper roadmap on your KPIs, end goals, and how you will implement RPA for your enterprise through a structured approach. As a part of your pilot project:
- Identify the pre-requisites for driving process automation.
- Design a framework with a vendor
- Develop an appropriate solution with a process map
- Document, clarify and mark the specific parts automated
- Carry out candid assessments to highlight inconsistencies and gaps in the RPA implementation
- Iterate and resolve the processes repeatedly
- Configure bots to handle changes
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