Dispelling process robotization myths

By Simon Shah, Chief Marketing Officer, Redwood Software

Robotization can be an intimidating word (let alone process) for any business considering where best to make an investment with the aim of reducing operational costs. In itself, that’s not entirely surprising.

Traditionally, labor arbitrage through outsourced services would be the go-to solution – and one that’s simple to comprehend.

But where offshoring or outsourcing – or indeed offshore outsourcing – might have once looked like an attractive prospect, it’s declining in popularity as costs increase. In contrast, CybershoringTM – which means putting the outsourced processes in the hands of robotics and automation – delivers the ability to rapidly scale processes without exponentially increasing costs.

However, robotization can be a confusing space to understand if you don’t have expert insight. In this post we aim to dispel some of the most common myths about true, process-based automation and robotization.

Myth #1: Back-office robotization can only deliver automation levels of around 30%.

The confusion around this one is understandable but not applicable to Redwood RoboticsTM software.

Let’s break the actual activity down a little. Traditional RPA replicates human tasks and, with that, all the inherent inefficiencies baked into those processes. By simply doing the work faster, for 24 hours a day, automation levels of up to 30% can be achieved, in theory.

However, we think simply replicating inefficient existing processes through UI integration isn’t sustainable. There’s a better approach.

Instead, during the planning phase, we break every process down to its core and eliminate unnecessary steps and human interaction wherever possible. Then, we look wider across the entire straight-through process and ensure that all the activities within processes are fully orchestrated. By using this approach, and not simply integrating at the desktop level, levels of 70%-100% automation are achieved.

Myth #2: It will take ages to develop and deploy. And even longer to see a time-to-value return.

While desktop-based UI virtualization dominates traditional RPA, it’s also a solution that demands significant development lead time in order to build out processes that are of medium or high complexity. We’re not talking about the simple proof of concept processes. In turn, that can also lead to a longer time-to-value return and a higher overall cost of robotization.

By contrast, Redwood’s process-based approach uses a plug-and-play approach that delivers a catalog of robots pre-programmed with business process ‘know-how’ and these are built, maintained and supported by Redwood. Additionally, where custom robots are required, building them is relatively simple.

In many instances, our deployments go from planning to a phased live deployment in just a few weeks, not many months.

Myth #3: It’s expensive and complex to manage robots

Redwood draws on a huge catalog of robots with pre-built knowledge of how to connect directly to applications, what to do within those applications and what to do after those actions are taken. This brings a number of advantages but two of these are easy creation and management and the ability to scale quickly. As Redwood robots can be swiftly repurposed and redeployed as requirements change, they’re simple to manage and don’t require a technical team or hundreds of software licenses, as with screen-scraping tools.

Additionally, there’s no need for complex automation control towers manned by humans, as with many traditional RPA alternatives. On average, a Redwood deployment with hundreds or thousands of process and sub-processes requires the equivalent of less than a single full-time technical employee for ongoing oversight.

Myth #4: Automation is only useful for specific functions and department

Automation can be considered anywhere where there is still manual effort used to perform repetitive rules-based tasks. The more structured a process, and its related sub-processes, the higher the overall percentage of automation that can be achieved. By its nature, removing repetitive, manual tasks that are highly structured makes automation incredibly well-suited to finance tasks. But that’s by no means the end of the story.

We recently discussed what robotization means in the context of HR and employee lifecycle management but it’s also just as applicable in the context of managing a highly complex supply chain or IT operations.

The challenge most automation solutions fail in this scenario is ensuring hand-off between different systems, cost centers and processes that still need human decision-making input. This needs to be clearly and efficiently orchestrated while providing a clear audit trail and maintaining all other regulatory requirements. Redwood robots deliver all this and more as standard.




Categories:   Automation   Robotics   Robotic Process Automation  
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