Until comparatively recently most companies perceived Robotic Process Automation(RPA) as a way to take cost out of the business, mainly by shedding junior clerical heads whose roles could be largely replaced by bots.
This was largely true in our experience in the Financial Services industry, always a leading edge adopter of new technologies, and under constant pressure to run more lean in order to pass ever more stringent stress tests.
But in the last few months we’ve noticed that our conversations with execs have moved on; it’s now not so much about cost-cutting as efficiency and compliance. Where once it was “How do we reduce staffing using RPA?”, it’s now “How can we be more effective and efficient as a result of RPA?”.
And happily this means that the positive side of the Robotics debate seems to be winning - not a dystopian future landscape of corporate employees forced into the Gig Economy on Zero Hour Contracts, but one in which employees are relieved of repetitious drudgery and allowed to focus on more productive and rewarding tasks.
In addition, it’s good to see other verticals like Pharma starting to embrace RPA - in areas like Pharmacovigilance with real benefits in enhanced compliance and patient care.
Of course CFOs can more readily appreciate and quantify the benefits of cost-cutting and shedding heads, but a focus exclusively on cost-cutting is pretty much a recipe for just going out of business more slowly. In one of Imagine’s most memorable aphorisms “No-one ever shrank to greatness.”
Success with RPA comes with its adoption as an agent of positive change, enabling necessary innovation and digital transformation. Successful users wield RPA more as an architect’s pen than a surgeon’s scalpel.
John Masters leads Extra Technology\'s Marketing Team. His remit is increasing awareness of, and demand for, our offerings.
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