25 February 2021

Every organisation has people, processes and technology working together to deliver results within core business areas. These processes can often be mundane, labour-intensive, and repetitive, which can present organisational challenges related to cost effectiveness, operational efficiencies, data quality and employee satisfaction. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) provides a solution for these challenges.

RPA is a software that uses robots (‘bots’) to automate and orchestrate high volume, repetitive tasks that would otherwise require humans to perform. These bots can emulate many, if not all, human user actions, including filling in forms, extracting data to generate reports, browser scraping, completing transactions, transferring data across applications, and more. By converting manual processes into automation scripts that can run continuously, RPA provides a range of organisation-wide benefits:

  • Optimises workflows and use of resources to achieve more efficient operations, increasing productivity and allowing staff to focus on more high value tasks.
  • Reduces local workarounds, bespoke information outputs and knowledge loss between different phases in a process.
  • Simplifies and standardises processes, decreasing reliance on paper forms and records.
  • Improves data quality by removing the risk of human error from data entry and validation.
  • Enables teams to feel engaged and empowered in adopting digital approaches.
  • Increases employee satisfaction by automating mundane, repetitive tasks, in turn improving people’s experience of work and increasing their sense of productivity and satisfaction.

RPA is a rapidly growing industry. According to Gartner, RPA software revenue is expected to reach US$1.89 billion (A$2.4 billion) in 2021, an increase of 19.5% from 2020. This growth can, in part, be attributed to COVID-19, a time in which large organisations globally are looking to digitally empower critical business processes through resilience and scalability, while recalibrating human labour and manual effort. Research vice president at Gartner, Fabrizio Biscotti, notes:

“The key driver for RPA projects is their ability to improve process quality, speed, and productivity, each of which is increasingly important as organisations try to meet the demands of cost reduction during COVID-19.”

Whilst RPA can be easily adapted and applied to a variety of industry sectors, from healthcare to banking, there is no doubt of the benefits that it can provide to the utilities industry, where companies are handling thousands of installation, maintenance, and repair jobs daily. RPA provides these businesses with an opportunity to create efficiencies and cost savings, that can be passed onto clients and customers.

One of Texture’s key clients, SA Power Networks (SAPN), has already started to see some of these benefits in only a short space of time and with minimal funding. I am now working with the Automation team on a business case to secure dedicated project funding that will allow RPA capability to be operationalised – building awareness across the organisation, developing a scalable framework, and embedding it into long-term roadmaps. 

Digitisation, automation, and AI are the way of the future, and RPA plays a significant role in taking the next step. It is certainly a trend that isn’t going away anytime soon. I look forward to being a part of the RPA journey and seeing first-hand the benefits that the software can provide.

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