Will Robotic Process Automation Replace Millions of Jobs?
An employee for any organization is the primary source of work. After the third industrial revolution, independent contractors have helped industries in various sectors in enhancing employee population. With this revolution, lots of laborious and repetitive manual work, which was time-consuming is automated with the help of machines.
This trend resulted in the rise of RPA – Robotic Process Automation and Intelligent Automation. This technology allows manual tasks into automated ones. This fundamental shift in our society doesn’t seem to slow anytime.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an intelligent automation or smart automation that is programmed to perform a series of tasks. These tasks include data manipulation, triggering responses and creating necessary communication with other processes and systems, which traditionally used human intervention for the respective.
The only major difference between the traditional IT automation and RPA is that the RPA system has the ability to learn and adapt itself with the changing circumstances which the traditional IT automation lacks.
Market vendors are using RPA to enhance lifecycle automation management, workload management, SLA-based automation, credential management, Citrix automation and adding new data APIs. In turn, these enhancements attract industries looking for security as well as higher operational capabilities.
According to the survey by Nasdaq, in 2018 70% of companies are already using this technology (RPA) in their operations. We would also be seeing new rising opportunities for the establishment of robotic process automation in the market globally. This shift could be seen with the adoption of cloud-based and robot-based solutions.
Impacts that Robotic Process Automation Have -
With too many problems, the retail industry requires business processes reorganization. Thus, RPA solutions can be the best fit to resolve issues in retail like the rising cost of production, tech-enabled shoppers, an unreliable supply, implementing new technologies from payment to the payroll system and labor availability. Online sales in the e-commerce business in the United States is expected to get double by the year 2023 reaching approximately 20-25% in the retail sector.
The most recent and impactful introduction in the technology, RPA is helping companies to look beyond the human capabilities to manage processes and productivity more accurately. Robotic process automation is attributed to rising in various sectors like healthcare, electronics, retail, education, services, and government.
On a global scale, the compound annual growth rate of RPA is predicted to be around 50.5% worldwide by 2020. Moreover, McKinsey & Company suggest that the overall economic impact of RPA could potentially be as high as US$6.7 trillion by 2025. Promising more potential for useful business insights, there have been talks about RPA replacing humans in some job roles. Will people see temporary, short-term job losses?
Some say that automation would lead to newer work opportunities with some reskilling and readjustments in the workforce while others fear their jobs.
There are predictions that these automation processes will increasingly focus towards business transformation. The processes which are predicted to get disrupted by RPA include Finance & Accounting, Human Resources and call center/IT service desk. A good example of it is JP Morgan – they are leveraging RPA and AI for automated trade execution, this technology has helped them to execute client orders swiftly at the best price.
RPA technology is helping companies seeking to produce high-quality products & services for the customers, offers an optimal working space for employees and boosts their productivity as well as revenue.
RPA is helping in enhancing Human performance –
With the integration of RPA in admin tasks such as invoice processing, CV checking or customer support, has allowed humans to re-think and work more strategically on higher-value tasks. Forrester Consulting conducted a study that showcased the benefits of integrating RPA in various businesses and organizations. The integration of RPA automation allows employees to engage in fruitful interactions with each other, substantial time required to perform tasks that require human expertize.
A great example of a company which is benefitting itself through RPA is EDF Energy. This firm is the largest supplier of low-carbon electricity in the UK. EDF use to perform the task manually, which could be performed automatically, reviewing each entry when added into their ERP system. With a family of 12,500 employees, EDF Energy automated this process which in turn saved them nearly two weeks’ work time, £100,000 in software license and development cost, which could be reinvested in the business and workforce.
This example is a true motivator for every organization or every center agent to integrate RPA in their processes for a significant boost in speed, accuracy, delivering increased job satisfaction and rapidly access multiple data sources in real-time.
With empowering human performance, RPA is flexible yet cost-effective. Many businesses have an ineffective and expensive back office which could be transformed into cost-effective and truly functional meeting the needs of any business. RPA helps in the smooth flow of business reducing work pressure on humans and not replace them.
Final Thoughts –
RPA is being leveraged in many operations to reduce the manual work pressure on humans. There is no doubt that human workers will always deliver the strongest and the most creative as well as innovative solutions which the robots can not deliver. Yet, robotic solutions can lead to a massive cost, time and effort saving. Robotics should serve as a hand to guide and program manual processes to fit the purpose. In this rapidly changing world, new skills and attitude is required and employing robotic process automation could prove to be an effective co-worker.