Robotic Process Automation (RPA) continues to make inroads within global businesses. According to a recent survey by Deloitte, 53% of respondents have already embarked on their RPA journeys, a number that the firm predicts will reach 72% by next year. It is also notable that unlike other enterprise technologies which only impact a particular business area (e.g. CRM or HRM software), RPA is role-agnostic and can transform all parts of a business.

This flexibility becomes increasingly evident as you dig further down into the aforementioned Deloitte survey numbers, which illustrate that companies are tapping RPA in pursuit of a number of different goals that are pertinent to different business areas: improved compliance (92%), improved quality/accuracy (90%), improved productivity (86%) and cost reduction (59%).

RPA can be used to automate both external customer-facing processes and internal employee-facing tasks, while subsequently lowering costs overall. Regardless of which department a process is located in, RPA can optimize it.

Executing at Scale Anywhere

RPA allows companies to execute rote processes at scale — no matter where those processes sit along a company’s value chain, or which department has responsibility for them.  Wherever you find repeatable, high volume (but not necessarily high-value) tasks, RPA technologies can increase output, while lowering MTTR (Mean Time to Resolution) and freeing human agents to address unique or complex issues.

For example, RPAs can be used by IT departments to automate highly repeatable tasks like password resets. Imagine an employee who is locked out of an important enterprise application. In a conventional corporate set-up, that person would need to contact an IT service agent for a reset, which may involve waiting for service desk employees to come online, or waiting in a queue behind other users. In any case, it will most certainly require that an IT agent spend time not building value in another part of the business or on another project as the password reset is handled (most likely multiple times a day).

With RPA, the employee would only need to fill out a web form or engage with a virtual agent to prompt an automation that would automatically send a password change link via email or SMS. RPA allows users to resolve their issues with no human intermediation and at a far quicker pace.

RPA Beyond IT

However, RPA value isn’t only confined to IT departments. Marketing teams can use RPA to automate mass communications with consumers such as post-purchase receipt emails. For example, once a customer purchases an item online or in person, a RPA bot can be designed to instantly send an email to the consumer with relevant information on other deals and calls to action, such as: “Thank you for your purchase of your new camping tent. Perhaps you would be interested in this sleeping bag that is 20% off this week?” Automated, yet personalized, communications of this type have been shown to add discernable business value.

HR specialists can also use RPA to inject efficiencies into more complex endeavors like on- or off-boarding. Case in point: A large telecommunications company was able to automate 100% of its offboarding tasks with IPsoft’s intelligent RPA system 1RPA, opening those services for 24/7 accessibility and decreasing MTTR by an astounding 81% (you can read more about this case study by clicking the link further down this page).

RPA is a powerful tool for business disruption that can automate tasks with machine efficiency. However, the most powerful part of the technology may just be its applicability throughout an entire business.

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