As our working lives have changed, we have also seen the increased use of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) across every sector of the economy. It has made the difference between organizations being able to continue operating and falling apart. A new report delves into the way in which RPA has turned a corner and is now one of the most important technologies available to us as we continue to deal with the crisis.
In her foreword to the report The robots coming to our rescue. How work changed forever in 2020, Jacqueline de Rojas, President, techUK, writes:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, automation has allowed businesses to continue responding to the needs of society at a time of huge and global disruption; most importantly, it has helped us to face into and solve new and emerging challenges. It is no mean feat to be able to support a globally dispersed workforce, which remains under pressure to respond to unrelenting and growing demands. The crisis has accelerated digital adoption and shown us just how dependent we are on digital technology to keep business and society functioning.
This explains the rapid growth of robot use we have seen the last year, and which will proceed at a much quicker pace in the coming years. The solutions that have been found include for example new software robots to manage en masse requests. If thousands of people are all cancelling the same subscription or making the same request for an insurance policy, robots can undertake the repetitive process, not a human.
Software robots are used to assist employees in complex tasks requiring a human intervention, shaving minutes off each transaction. When scaled across an enterprise, this adds up to significant savings. Also. maintaining business continuity with existing software robots that continued regardless of the lockdown. Robots made sure business-critical or revenue-generating operations ere kept going when entire teams were struggling.
According to the researchers the future of automation looks bright. The pandemic has moved the use of the automation forward by five to ten years, and what would have taken months to roll out has taken weeks. Therefore, it is a good time to implement automation owing to the need to maintain business continuity. It is allowing more people than ever to take on more rewarding work. It is likely to be adopted by SMEs as much as enterprises. People are used to digital assistants at home (Alexa and Siri) and expect them from big organizations. SMEs will be next.
You can find the report here: The robots coming to our rescue. How work changed forever in 2020