Robotics & Cognitive Automation – When RPA meets artificial intelligence
Robotic Process Automation is a way for rapid automation of knowledge work with up to six times faster break even than traditional BPM Suites or Enterprise Application Integration. The McKinsey Global Institute announces the automation of knowledge work as one of the twelve technologies, that have the potential to sustainably disrupt our future and lines it up with technologies like autonomous vehicles, cloud and renewable energy*. It fits into any enterprise architecture without the need for process, or technology re-engineering by providing inexhaustible virtual workers that become integrated into your organization as value-adding resources. However, the possibilities of RPA are bound to structure digital data with foreseeable business rules. This is, where cognitive automation comes into play, lending its capabilities to mimic human intelligence with data mining, pattern matching, natural language processing, machine learning, machine reasoning, and other skills. By extending RPA with cognitive capabilities, robots become dynamic and flexible virtual workers that execute tasks provided by cognitive components, releasing the real value of knowledge work automation.
What business challenges to overcome with Robotics& Cognitive Automation?
- Repetitive tasks with high transaction volumes binding employee potential
Despite growing digitization and digitalization, there are still many processes to be found in enterprises, where valuable employee potential is wasted to manually work off thousands of transactions, collecting data, applying business rules and entering data on applications. Robotics & Cognitive Automation release this employee potential by taking over repetitive, rule-based work and mimicking human decisions in data-driven environments.
- High processing time and poor quality of results
Especially in process environments with high time pressure and frequent repetitions, slips of the pen and other errors are a deeply human characteristic, that negatively affects the quality of process outcomes and leads to time-consuming rework. Robots work multiple times faster than humans and at the same time exactly follow their built-in business rules, automatically reacting to process exceptions and failure states. This leads to a massive increase in productivity with a high and stable quality of results.
- High processing cost
Recruitment and onboarding, training and education, payroll, shift allowance, HR administration, benefits programs and more – all those factors add up to an employee’s total cost of ownership and therefore are part of the cost for manual processing. High employee turnovers, especially in shared services or offshore centers, make these costs even more critical. Compared to that, robots provide you with stable and scalable capacity 24x7x365 without vacation, sick leave or any other diversion. All this for roughly a ninth of the cost for onshore labor time or a third of the cost for offshore labor time. Once the robots are implemented, a single operator manages an average of five robots, adding up to the capacity of 25 full-time equivalents. With growing capabilities of cognitive technologies and robots operating robots, this ratio will grow much further.
- High risk and lack of compliance
A robot does not have any interest in compliance or any other harmful behavior, exactly stays to the rules that it is provided with and is equipped with state of the art IT security measures. Every single step performed by a robot can be tracked and traced for audit purposes. This does not only increase compliance with regulatory and other policies but reduces operative risk to a minimum.
What are the challenges of implementing Robotics & Cognitive Automation?
- Catching on the disruptive market
As the market for Robotics & Cognitive Automation is heavily growing, there is a large number of software providers with different specializations and product strategies. While some of the vendors are pure RPA or cognitive automation players, others are building on their experience in one of the markets and strive to differentiate their business. Choosing the right selection of tools that match one’s business and automation strategy as well as process and IT landscape is therefore not an easy undertaking. It requires deep knowledge of different products, frequent market assessments as well as communications with the market leading providers to make a well-founded choice.
- Identifying automation candidates
Once an automation tool has been selected, its technical implementation is the easy part, while ones’ journey to Robotics & Cognitive Automation has just begun. Without a clear approach for process identification, assessment, and prioritization, companies will find themselves incapable of scaling up their automation due to missing automation candidates. The reason for such a missing approach can be manifold but the result is to idealize robot capacity, but negating the business case for automation.
- Establishing a governance structure
The success of Robotics & Cognitive Automation depends on a dedicated sponsor and the engagement of business as well as IT. Those stakeholders can be brought together in a Center of Excellence, establishing in-house automation capabilities that provide sponsorship, process expertise as well as IT and operational support. While there are different models for a Center of Excellence, Robotics & Cognitive Automation should be considered an operational asset that is driven by business. However, due to its impact on IT infrastructure, security, business continuity, and disaster recovery, it must comply with IT policies and requires IT infrastructure support in order to scale.
- Overcoming people’s resistance
While Robotics & Cognitive Automation can bring huge benefits to an enterprise, it does not only change process delivery but is a significant digital transformation that changes the organization as a whole and the way people work. Such a cultural change faces resistance if people are left behind the automation. Dedicated change and communications management are therefore keys to a successful RPA implementation.
- Shaping an automation strategy
In the face of the above-mentioned challenges, ad-hoc implementations of Robotics & Cognitive Automation are doomed to fail. Enterprises require a collective and communicated automation strategy, that is aligned with the overall business strategy in order to make the most of their automation and to realize its strategic benefits.
Why choose Elba Technologies as your trusted advisor?
- Vast experience in process consulting and business automation
The Elba Technologies team has a combined experience of XX years in process consulting and business automation, that reaches far beyond the rise of robotics for knowledge automation. Combining our expertise of other means for process automation with the uprising capabilities of Robotics & Cognitive Automation, we support your enterprise in making well-founded decisions and help you realize the optimum of your business automation.
- Specialized on Robotics & Cognitive Automation in the German (speaking?) market
As a specialized provider for Robotics & Cognitive Automation, Elba Technologies has a clear focus on bringing cognitive robotics into the German market by enabling our clients to grow into self-sustained automation experts. Our German-speaking advisors leverage their market experience to tailor automation solutions to your business demands and guide you through the establishment of your automation center of excellence.
- Advanced and flexible contractual models
With our consumption based robotics as a service offering as well as value-share contracting options, Elba Technologies allows you to shift your automation cost from CapEx to OpEx and brings Robotics & Cognitive Automation into your enterprise with minimal pre-investments. This ensures a fast and positive return on investment that can go far beyond traditional automation solutions.
- Extension of RPA capabilities with cognitive solutions
Elba Technologies does not rely on the capabilities of pure RPA but combines best in class RPA tools with state of the art cognitive solutions, making the robots more flexible and widening the choice of use cases beyond fully structured digital data.
- Technology independence and partnership with major market players
Elba Technologies is concentrated on optimizing the business value of your Robotics & Cognitive Automation and chooses the best combination of software to support this target. In order to be ahead of the market, we collaborate with the best in the class of RPA, cognitive solution providers and frequently assess the market to extend our business relationships.
- Unique Robotics & Cognitive Automation intellectual property
Elba Technologies develops state of the art apps to support the assessment of your process landscape, the identification of automation candidates as well as the management and operations of your robots. These apps are built on the unique intellectual property and lead away from excel driven advisory and operations to an enterprise approach