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Five Industries Reaping The Rewards of The RPA Revolution

Robotic Process Automation, commonly abbreviated to RPA, is a game-changing technology that allows routinized, repetitive tasks to be automated — thereby freeing up the human operators who would previously have had to waste countless hours on them.

These tasks, which can vary from automatic report generation to data migration from one application to another, mean work being done more quickly, more efficiently, and with fewer errors. And, most notably, by a bot that’s able to work 24/7 without the need for weekends or vacations.

But while that might cover the question of “what is RPA?,” the applications of these bot tools differ depending on the industry. In this article, we’ll take you through five examples of how RPA is shaking up a wide range of sectors. 

Although this list isn’t comprehensive, it will nonetheless serve to illustrate just how varied RPA can be when it comes to helping solve problems in the workplace.

1. Healthcare

It goes without saying that healthcare is critically important. While no-one wants to replace doctors or other healthcare professionals with automation, there’s no doubt that RPA has a valuable role to play when it comes to the healthcare field. 

This can take place at every stage of the patient journey. For example, RPA bots can help schedule online appointments, and check insurance details. It can then be used to help handle the paperwork associated with visits, such as ordering additional laboratory tests or discharge instructions. After the appointment, it can then bill patients, book follow-ups, submit insurance claims, and more. 

These kinds of healthcare applications are the perfect illustration of what RPA can do: Handling the time-intensive, repetitive tasks, while freeing up human operators to focus on more important, patient-focused tasks. That’s good news for medical professionals — and the people who rely on them, too. 

2. Financial services

The banking and financial services industry is one of the world’s most critical sectors, making up around 20-25 percent of the world economy. RPA has myriad potential applications in this market, whether that’s automatically generating reports, helping with the onboarding of new customers, assisting with loan processing and mortgage lending, aiding with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) measures, or countless other tasks. Perhaps most importantly, RPA bots can aid with assisting with compliance protocols, potentially saving banks and other financial institutions from possibly crippling fines. 

The world of finance may be complex, but many of the tasks that take place on a regular basis can be automated to some degree. Whether that’s freeing up bank employees to focus on “relationship banking” with customers or private equity professionals to free up more time to get to grips with the inner-workings of businesses they’re assessing, RPA has a valuable role to play in this sector. With an emphasis on ‘valuable’.

3. HR

But wait, isn’t the H in HR short for “human”? Yes it is, but that doesn’t mean that RPA doesn’t have a role to play in the world of HR. RPA can be used to carry out various HR functions — ranging from screening resumes for job applications and then shortlisting candidates to keeping track of employee attendance to compiling reports on travel and expenses documentation to aiding with the onboarding of new employees. 

According to research carried out by Ernst & Young, some 93 percent of the time that is spent by HR employees involves carrying out repetitive tasks. The same research also says that approximately 65 percent of the rules-based processes involved with HR can be automated. This frees up employees to focus on more important tasks — like putting the human into human resources.

4. IT operations

RPA technology falls under the broad IT banner so it’s little surprise to hear that Robotic Process Automation fits neatly among the various computer-centric initiatives businesses have to deal with on a regular basis. As pertains to IT-specific tasks, RPA can help create assistance tickets for customer service requests, aid with software updates, and assist with tasks like password resets. At a time when IT departments are more likely than ever to be stretched thin, this use of RPA bots is crucial when it comes to freeing up human experts to focus on more challenging, bespoke tasks.

5. Customer service

In a more competitive business environment than ever, customer service has never been more important. Fortunately, it’s something that RPA can assist with. One notable example of how this can take place is through the use of an RPA-powered chatbot that’s able to aid with answering customer queries far more rapidly than an overworked human operator may be able to. 

Not only does this free up human operators to focus on other tasks, but it can also greatly reduce the length of time that customers have to wait to get their questions answered. In the event that an RPA bot is unable to answer a particular question, it can automatically direct particular queries to the right person, thereby acting as a useful filtering system.

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