RPA: The Juice is Worth the Squeeze


ATPA work station robot


Robotic Process Automation (RPA) allows companies to implement software “robots” with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities that imitate actions of human users. RPA is helpful to handle high-volume, repeatable tasks.

How different it is from a typical process automation

Process automation implementations use longer time and lengthy processes, for example deployment of  ERP’s or BPM, and may disrupt the existing IT initiatives with a wide range of systems, tools, database and third-party product integration issues. Robotic process automation implementations are not IT-centric but human-centric–the robots are actually the virtual equivalent of human users.

RPA Market Research and Prediction

A report by Transparency Market Research predicts that the global IT robotic automation market will be worth $4.98 billion USD by 2020.

According to a recent report by McKinsey and Company on emerging and disruptive technologies, it is estimated that automation technologies, such as robotic process automation (RPA), will have a potential economic impact more than $5 trillion by 2025.

RPA sample use cases

No doubt that implementing RPA will improve overall client satisfaction when the motivation is focused more on process improvement over cost-elimination.

The main issue with RPA, in today’s market, is this misconception that customers will make significant headcount reductions in the short-term.  With outsourcing, the cost savings are staged carefully over a 5+year engagement as work is moved to cheaper locations, better technology and processes are introduced, in addition to automation, and the processes are re-mapped over time to allow for work to get done, ultimately, with less people.

Simply bolting on RPA without developing a plan to transform the work, pulling several other value levers, in addition to the patching of processes and digitization of manual work, is likely to deliver a strange mismatch between expectations and reality, with a group of stakeholders all making efforts to claim some sort of ROI that can be claimed for their group.

A better approach is to identify the end goal of Smart Process Automation (SPA) with RPA being the point of the spear. SPA deliver high value to the organization and should be included as a key component of a broader strategy to automate and streamline work, that includes : people, processes, analytics tools, SaaS platforms, outsourcing models, well designed and developed governance procedures, are needed as part of the Smart Process Automation transformation plan to successfully deliver Smart Platform Automation platform within the organization that will meet all stakeholders expectations and deliver the ROI to justify the investment in time and resources.

Here is what we know for sure: IT processes and apps are clearly the biggest beneficiaries of RPA. The juice is worth the squeeze for cash-strapped CIOs and CFOs who for many reasons need to extend the life of those IT systems that just don’t integrate with each other. Keeping old Cobol systems up and running a few more years adds to your technical debt. However, RPA is highly effective at prolonging the life of legacy systems by recording actions and workflows to give these things a new lease of life, allowing for technology investments to be made elsewhere. RPA add great value in this use case!

About the Authors

Mahesh S. Athalye

Mahesh is a Sr. Client Partner at UST Global, with 25 years of global experience in helping clients to meet their business and IT goals. Mahesh is a Digital & Social media adviser for Georgia Thrombosis Forum. He is on the Technology Association of Georgia’s Board of Directors for FinTech Society and Board of Director for Another Level of Excellence – STEM career exploration for the youth.

Mahesh can be reached at: Maheshathalye@hotmail.com

Michael Halbert

Michael Halbert has been providing high value solutions to Atlanta clients for 20 years. Michael is an independent Sales Consultant with a passion to help clients find with best delivery process for; Software engineering, Smart Process Automation leveraging RPA, Digital Transformation, QA-DevOps. Michael is on the Technology Association of Georgia’s Board of Directors for several Special Interest Groups such as Mobility, and Product Development. Michael has a passion around Smart Process Automation as this technology is truly game changing for every organization.

Michael can be reached at: mhalbert@bestdeliveryprocess.com


Organization Type: Business Enterprise
Article Type: Best Practices/Case Study
Industry: Big Data/Mission Critical Services
Location: Greater Atlanta

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