The future of business is a digital workforce. The term digital workforce is used to describe a variety of robotic and automated solutions to drive productivity efficiencies in the workplace.

The World Economic Forum estimates millions of jobs will be taken over by automation by 2020. In the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, companies are now actively thinking about a digital transformation strategy to maximize the benefits of automation. Using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) you can build a strategic and easy-to-implement digital workforce that will combine automation and data analysis to produce compelling results.

Introducing an RPA-powered digital workforce in daily operations allows companies to reduce costs, increase efficiency and workplace productivity. Here’s a handy reckoner to help you plan the road map and put in place a digital transformation strategy.

Identify automation opportunities

automation opportunities

You should begin by examining your organization and its processes to seek automation opportunities. If the idea of automation is still new to your organization and needs a significant buy-in from stakeholders, you could start off with a smaller process that will give you quick results at very little cost and then scale up from there to larger, more complex processes.

You will need to think about where automation can help you reap the biggest gains. You can decide which of the repetitive and tedious human tasks can be tasked to RPA, freeing your employees to do more strategic and face-to-face interactive work. You could have processes and departments within your organization where you can opt for complete automation or have your skilled employees working alongside RPA-led software robots that take care of the mundane tasks.

Now, companies can quickly build, deploy and manage software robots with a non-disruptive RPA platform that suits and is compliant with your central enterprise systems- within a very short time. A software robot costs a fraction of the price of an onshore worker and can work 24/7, with no errors unlike their human counterparts. The robots can interact across all your data sources – websites, portals, email systems and so on. RPA allows you to scale up automation and deployment as required during peak cycles as required.

Strategize your automation

You can use RPA to strategically plan your automation.

  • Think about who will lead the RPA implementation in your organization – business or IT teams.
  • Design the right kind of pilot RPA program that will best showcase the breadth and the control of the software tool.
  • Consider the options of choosing between a cloud-based RPA solution or an on-premises solution. Cloud services tend to be more cost-efficient and faster to implement but choose the one that is right for you.
  • Check that the workflow is optimized before automation. Identify bottlenecks and streamline the process as far as possible.
  • Consistently check in with the workflows to ensure it is running smoothly and whether they can be streamlined further.

Govern your digital workforce

The 2018 Forrester Wave Robotic Process Automation Research Report indicates that by 2021, there will be more than 4 million robots doing routine office and administrative tasks in large-scale organizations. This indicates that governance of this new digital workforce is going to be a key process that will gain traction among companies undergoing digital transformation.

The Forrester Wave Report suggests companies should think about governing RPA software robots like they would human employees.  This means tracking bots through their life cycle, tracking the manager, the performance, as well as documenting any additional training the bot undergoes, through a central control room.

Governance can also include documentation of processes to ensure that the ‘tribal knowledge’ or original process knowledge that was known to the human employee is not lost with automation.

Change now

Large organizations will have to adapt to automation sooner than later. Robotic Process Automation is now seriously being considered as the technology of the present, rather than the distant future. Business leaders can stay ahead by considering the benefits of starting an RPA-led digital workforce that will help them stay ahead of the curve and take the first steps towards their company’s digital transformation.