In their recent webinar, “Robotic Process Automation: From Hype to Reality,” Frances Karamouzis, VP Distinguished Analyst at Gartner, Inc., highlighted Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software or intelligent automation services for representing the most tectonic shift that has been seen lately. The focus of the webinar:
- RPA software’s place in the landscape of automation
- Time and cost of use
- The players in the value chain
- Where to start with RPA
Gateway to Success
Also known as gateway technologies or surface tools, RPA software is the point between mimicking (tool) and tasks (application) within Gartner’s “Intelligent Automation Mapping.” The company estimates that there are 2,000 to 2,500 instances of clients using RPA, and it’s growing very quickly.
Comparing a robot, or automated employee®, like RPA to a self-playing piano, Karamouzis calls the data technology the low-hanging fruit of intelligent automation services because it’s low risk and low cost. All those lows add up to high access and eventually high impact for organizations and their operations. As mentioned in the presentation, “The real secret sauce is replicating [RPA] to multiple tasks. The more tasks you can find the better the ROI.”
How to Get Started
Before implementing RPA software, Gartner recommends organizations profile their processes, tasks and then their data. Repetitive processes, such as manual interfaces where systems don’t communicate with each other, are top targets for automation.
Robotic technology is shifting the operational focus from labor to value. Companies used to go offshore for labor because, first and foremost, it was cheaper. Now organizations are choosing to automate because it’s better: the cheaper-faster-better formula has been flipped on its head. The “tectonic shift” or new disruptor is what Gartner calls “automation arbitrage,” the latest stage in the evolution of the labor force to improve operational efficiencies. RPA’s low cost, ease of use, and accelerated ROI put it front and center for many organizations as a way to improve and then elevate their business operations.