During the past two centuries, machines have increasingly taken on routine physical tasks that previously required human intermediation. Fast forward to today and software solutions such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are automating and optimizing routine transactional tasks normally performed by humans, with substantial benefits for employees and businesses.

RPA is one of the buzziest trends in modern enterprise tech, and with good reason. By automating repetitive transactional processes, companies can boost productivity and limit overhead. While RPAs are different from advanced cognitive agents like Amelia, they are making a substantial impact in corporations through scaled execution of routine business tasks.

Enterprises have rising expectations for the use of RPAs. According to a recent survey by Deloitte, the average respondent was targeting 20 percent of their company’s operations for RPA. However, this is only part of the picture. Among companies that were further down their RPA journey (those who were “already scaling robotics”), the average target was as high as 52 percent of capacity. Those companies also reported gains in both increased productivity and decreased overhead costs. According to the survey, “86 percent of respondents indicate that their expectations of productivity improvement from RPA were met or exceeded, while the same is true of 61 percent in relation to expectations on cost reduction.”

There’s a lot of potential for this technology. Here are three ways that RPA technology can reinvent your business.

Expanded Work Hours

Humans are amazing, but they can’t function 24 hours a day. However, when a company brings RPAs into their organization, tasks can be executed 24/7 far beyond normal business hours. Once a company designs an RPA, they will more-or-less be able to “set it and forget it” and keep elements of their organization running around the clock. The ability to be productive outside of business hours will benefit customers — and place the RPA-haves at a considerable advantage over the have-nots. Furthermore, the ability to have always-available processes is a must have for companies with a global footprint of partners, clients, value chains and employees.

Scaled productivity

When you integrate RPA into your organization, a company gains the ability to execute tasks around the clock (as described above), but also at machine speed and without errors. This means that a single “bot” can do the work of thousands of humans. The end result is productivity that doesn’t just grow incrementally, but one that accelerates exponentially. Just as electric- and steam-powered machine automation greatly amplified productivity throughout the second industrial revolution, RPAs amplify transactional tasks to boost productivity.

Free employees from routine tasks

As with all forms of automation, there are various levels of benefits. Enterprises benefit through increased efficiencies and customers benefit from rapid execution of services. However, there is also a discernable benefit to employees who are able to offload menial, routine tasks. We’re not talking about RPAs replacing humans, we mean that RPAs will make their uniquely human skillsets more valuable. When paired with automations, a human will be freed to use their people skills (e.g. creative problem solving, negotiation, selling and human-to-human “soft skills”), which are becoming increasingly in demand thanks to just this type of transactional automation.