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I Robot, and the rise of Robotic Process Automation

7 July 2019

Issac Asimov’s “I, Robot” series of short stories tells of a future where carefully programmed robots are (mostly) mankind’s liberators from a world of drudgery. But what was once science fiction is rapidly becoming science fact.

In the context of Outsourcing & Shared Services (check out our first blog to find out more about OSS), Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software is the most widely adopted technology after cloud computing. RPA allows businesses to improve recurring, standard and mundane tasks based on rules. According to Gartner, 72% of outsourcing organization are considering implementing or have already implemented RPA, citing performance improvement, error reduction and speed to market as key adoption drivers.

RPA adoption brings many benefits across functions such as IT helpdesk, Finance, Procurement and HR. For example, automated RPA software is revolutionizing the delivery of customer services. All companies are aware of the ever-growing importance of the customer experience, and the fact that consumers expect instant response and resolution.  Available 24/7, with a significantly higher handling capacity than a traditional customer service agent, lower maintenance costs and faster response times makes the case for adoption compelling.

For talent management providers, RPA has the power to free up weeks’ worth of consultants time which would usually be spent completing manual processes. For example, while it would take a consultant several hours to search different databases looking for specific skills matches, RPA software can do this ground work much more quickly and efficiently. High volume, standard, low value tasks can be outsourced allowing consultants to spend more time completing complex, challenging (but rewarding) tasks, such as assessing cultural fit and managing the interview process This not only enhances productivity but also increasing employee satisfaction and the candidate experience.

So its not such a leap of the imagination to see “Robbie” the RPA driven virtual assistant increasingly being part of our everyday lives and finally freeing us up to enjoy more creative and satisfying jobs.