Last couple of weeks we dedicated some space on our blog to explain the basics of RPA and what factors you need to consider before you start optimizing a specific process with RPA bots.
This week, we want to stay on the same topic but discuss it from a different angle. We want to underline RPAs role in the current world and how this tech is influencing and shaping “the new normal” when it comes to our work.
Back in 2019, a lot of people were under the impression that COVID-19 was going to be just a bump in the road that we were going to easily jump over.
Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and organizations that expected that the shift to remote work was only going to be a temporary thing when the pandemic first struck have realized that this is going to forever change how we work and do business.
Because of that, a lot of leading organizations have been scrambling to adopt remote working technologies.
Knowing that there’s no end in sight when it comes to COVID-19 and that remote work is here to stay, companies have started to focus on strategic, sustainable technological solutions that will set their infrastructure for success.
RPA and AI have proven themselves as worthy technological partners for these types of challenges.
If used correctly, both RPA and AI can be deployed to bridge short-term strategies with a more permanent infrastructure that accommodates organizations’ new realities.
When implemented strategically, automation software can not only help companies overcome the business challenges facing them today, but also bring them into the future.
The shift in how we work happened in a second and a lot of people and businesses struggled to adapt. We experienced all sorts of problems from loss of business, layoffs, and dips in productivity to the great resignation.
COVID-19 had a major influence on team morale as well.
However, people are resilient and big players started to figure out new systems that would increase productivity back again, improve morale, reduce employee turnover, and positively influence operational cost savings.
The first thing that needed to happen to turn the game back around was workforce and workload optimization.
As Deloitte’s Post COVID-19 Cost Optimisation report has been brought to light, “strategic cost optimization” needed to be seen as the no.1 goal for businesses that were looking to get their operations back on track.
In this scenario, workforce optimization and efficient division of labor become two major factors that we needed to address to turn things around.
For the first part, a lot of organizations have turned to RPA to help them remove blockers from their day-to-day work and eliminate mundane tasks from people’s plates.
If leveraged right, robotic process automation (RPA) can be deployed to bridge lots of short-term strategies with a more permanent infrastructure that accommodates organizations’ new realities.
RPA can prepare organizations for the remote-first world and help them remove unnecessary noise from their day-to-day operations.
Here are a couple examples of how RPA helps:
The initial shift to remote work hit all departments differently. The biggest burden fell on operations teams who got tasked with setting up employees in their new home offices while maintaining security over the organization’s data.
For months, their every day was filled with helping employees overcome technological challenges. They had little time to focus on things like digital transformation (projects that actually had a major impact on the core business).
Since this started to become a bigger issue over time, most tech teams started to rely heavily on automation to free up the noise from their everyday job and give them space to focus on more complex and important work.
They started to use robots within contact centers to help them quickly respond to support tickets, eliminating wait times for assistance and enabling employees to maintain productivity.
RPA tech offers IT teams to pull key information from employee requests, aggregate data from multiple sources as needed, and then, with the help of AI, figure out how to remedy the situation. If the task needs to be elevated to a human to solve, then the robot has at least already compiled all the necessary information for the IT team member to engage with, which helps them reach a solution faster.
Because robots can execute repetitive and time-consuming activities like data collection, IT teams have more time to work on digital transformation initiatives—like leading the charge on technologies that not only maintain business continuity but also empower the business to accomplish more.
Many companies had to quickly update their legacy systems to the context of the new digital-first way of operating. HR and Finance systems were the first ones that needed a lot of updating which frustrated a lot of businesses because these tasks turned out to be time-consuming and dull.
Overhauling these legacy systems is never easy. Whenever companies go down this path, they risk disrupting workflows and losing data.
However, RPA can help bring some gaps. Companies can use the bots to securely enable employees to work from their homes.
For systems that are unable to grant access to remote devices, RPA bots can be deployed to capture the data on those systems and then share it with employees. Having robots automatically pull data from systems has the added benefit of creating unified access to information.
A lot of companies store business data across multiple systems within the organization. Tracking down the right pieces of information tends to be a challenge in a lot of corporations, especially for employees that are physically present in the office building.
With RPA bots, these employees can save time and avoid unnecessary roadblocks. RPAs facilitate collaboration between widespread workforces. They possess the power to speed processes up and make them less of a chore for everyone involved.
They have the power to automate everything from Slack updates to call scheduling and note distribution.
Despite the pandemic and all the uncertainties businesses are now experiencing, hiring remains one of the top objectives. If you want to adapt to the new normal and figure out how to thrive in this day and age, you have to bring in talent that can help you go full-digital feel seamless.
However, that’s often easier said than done. New hires need support. They need someone to teach them about the company’s core values and most important processes before they can do anything useful. Since it has become impossible for most businesses to onboard people in person, industry leaders have started relying on RPAs to help their fresh talent get used to their new environment.
RPA serves as onboarding assistants. Someone to have “on your side”. New hires are no longer burdened to remember everything. They can use the bots to fetch all the “how to…” information they might need about specific company processes and policies. The bots can simply perform fast and accurately the clicks and keystrokes that are necessary. The outcome is surely going to be a lot less marred by new hires’ errors.
By “mundane work” we refer to back-office tasks like settlements, clearances, record maintenance, or regulatory compliance. Even though this is extremely important work, it’s usually very boring. Everything is templated and people find themselves in situations where they have to do a lot of stuff that doesn’t mentally engage them on any level.
In the case of highly regulated industries, such as telecommunications, media, or finance - keeping up with new compliance regulations is a big deal. And yet, the work is not something that people can enjoy.
RPA can help remove this type of work from everyone’s plate. The bots can be easily programmed to take over these repetitive back-office tasks because they’re rule-based. They can enable your employees to work safely from home and allocate their time and attention to more high-value tasks.
A lot of companies have been forced into remote work. The coronavirus pandemic has put a lot of pressure on a lot of companies to accelerate digital upskilling and rethinking key processes and standard operating procedures on the fly hasn’t been an ideal scenario for anyone.
However, top players have found a way to land on their feet quickly and use process automation software to help them with the adoption of remote work.
During these last 12 months, we at Share IT have helped a lot of businesses make things work with RPAs. If you’re interested in learning more about the exact type of projects we completed for our customers that struggled with digital transformation and how we utilized RPA bots to help them prepare for the remote-first reality - feel free to reach to us here and we can schedule a meeting to go over the details.