Increasingly, companies are looking for ways to automate repetitive internal processes, but most can’t simply rip and replace the systems that they have in place and go for the latest and greatest AI technologies. It’s simply too risky, disruptive, and expensive.

That means they typically look for more iterative ways to achieve their automation goals. One software category that is helping is called Robotic Process Automation or RPA for short. In fact, Gartner released data in June that found RPA is the fastest growing enterprise software category, having grown at a 63 percent rate in 2018.

That still only accounts for $846 million in total revenue, which is small potatoes compared to most enterprise software categories. However, it’s growing quickly because it gives businesses a shot at automating existing systems, and that’s an attractive notion for a lot of companies.

For now, the US, Europe, and Japan are the top markets, and UIPath, Automation Anywhere, and Blue Prism are the top three vendors, according to Gartner. The number 4 vendor, NICE recently did a survey and found that employees are still spending a ton of time each day on repetitive tasks, which they don’t exactly relish.

Automation can help

Keeping in mind that this was a vendor survey, which can sometimes have built-in biases, NICE surveyed over 2,000 employees and managers in the U.S. and U.K. and found that half of respondents spent more than half their days on repetitive tasks.

These tasks include pulling data from various systems, filling in forms, checking for accuracy, and so forth, which perhaps unsurprisingly are just the types of tasks that RPA tools tend to excel at.

It enables companies to take advantage of their existing technology tooling by adding a layer of automation on top of what already exists. There are a number of scenarios where this could come into play, such as order processing or accounts receivable, where portions of these tasks could be automated, leaving humans to do higher level tasks.

Barry Cooper, President of NICE’s Enterprise Product Group sees it as a way to improve customer service. “Brands will only succeed if they provide employees with solutions that help them focus on customer service and alleviate them of repetitive tasks,” he said in a statement.

RPA offers a way to introduce automation into companies that might not otherwise have looked at it, believing it to be too complex or too costly. It might not be a panacea, but as an MSP, it may be something worth exploring and understanding.

TruMethods MSP Improvement Plan

Photo:  PopTika / Shutterstock.

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Posted by Ron Miller

Ron Miller is a freelance technology reporter and blogger. He is contributing editor at EContent Magazine and enterprise reporter at TechCrunch.

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