What RPA software is right for your business?
RPA software utilizes bots to automate tasks within software applications. Automating these tasks with this software frees up resources within the organization where human workers might be needed elsewhere, reduce the overall percentage of human error and saves time.
Many RPA tools have different functions and may require more integration to deploy. Choosing the right RPA software for your business has the potential to revolutionize the employee’s role within the organization. While researching the many tools that exist, it’s important to consider the level of integration that is required, its flexibility, the impact it will have on employees, and IT support.
Some RPA solutions may have some artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to improve bot decision-making or to train the bot in a virtual environment. Bots with these capabilities also typically have analytics features and a platform to control all the bots that have been deployed across the organization. Some other common features across RPA software tools include drag-and-drop workflows, workflow recording, offer prebuilt workflow templates to ease the development process, and integration with other business applications.
Some tools may also focus on unattended automation or attended automation that may require human intervention. These bots usually work in the background and work alongside an employee to assist in completing tasks. Rather than completely do the task, these are meant to simplify the process. Again, this is another decision that needs to be made when your team is analyzing what and how to automate certain processes. Ask yourself, “what features does the organization need to ensure this task is completed successfully?” and “what tasks need an unattended or attended RPA tool?” Many vendors have their strengths and weaknesses, so choose wisely for your specific use case and prioritize those must-have capabilities.
Get your IT team involved early in the process
Getting the IT team on board and understanding the company’s RPA strategy is a key component to a successful implementation and maintaining that strategy to ensure everything is working properly. They should be involved in key decisions such as if it’s a smart decision if the RPA tool should be hosted on-site, at a third-party data center or use specialized RPA hosting. They also need to identify which bots will need to be running around the clock, overseeing and refreshing strategies to meet regulatory requirements and RPA deployments. Having a joint team of people who are more involved in the business processes and those who are more knowledgeable and aware of the technologies’ capabilities will allow the RPA implementation to be executed successfully. When business leaders have a master plan to quickly execute RPA, there may be quite a few speed bumps along the way. The IT team can help prioritize what needs to be automated. A software bot can do great things, but if the process mapping isn’t well thought out, it just might be a disaster- and a very expensive one at that. Define expectations and communicate that among both teams so the whole organization understands the new processes. Different processes may require different levels of automation as well and will likely impact everyone in the organization.
Create a maintenance plan
Once you’ve defined which processes need to be automated and what RPA software will be utilized, it’s vital to consider how that process will be maintained and who will be leading those efforts. By implementing an automation solution, it will turn your daily operations on its head. It’s new, and your RPA performs those set tasks will need to be monitored, reported on, and maintained. When a process or systems is modified, that can break software bots that aren’t designed to automatically accommodate for those changes. Creating a maintenance strategy is going to be just as important as the implementation process so everything is running smoothly and effectively. One of the best things about an RPA strategy is that an organization will start to experience ROI almost immediately, but if the RPA strategy isn’t maintained properly, things can fall apart, especially if you eventually want to scale up once you have bots in place.
With RPA’s current growth rate, nearly every company will be using it in some form in the next five years, and will reach near-universal adoption by 2023, according to Deloitte. How organizations operate is something that is clearly changing and leaders are now looking to see how they can work smarter- cue RPA. It’s all about defining your goals and the opportunities your organization has within the RPA space in order to make the greatest impact.