There is an interesting discussion initiated by Peter Schooff @bpm.com
— Peter Schooff (@PSchooff) August 8, 2017
Every Organization has two types of workforce – Head-Down Workers and Knowledge Workers
• Head-Down Workers, perform their duty based on Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) – this gets monotonous and routine job over time.
○ Example: If we consider a Customer On Boarding Process, it will be a performed, by opening the same form over and again, filling in the details, validating and verifying the IDs and submitting it for approval. The Reviewer, on the other hand, will go through the form details and approve or reject. There is NO EXTRA INTELLIGENCE required for dealing with such a scenario. It is a defined and a streamlined process A-B-C or A-B-D.
• Knowledge Workers, on the other hand, apply intelligence for their judgment and actions. It may or may not be a standard procedure.
○ Example: If we consider an Underwriting or Healthcare Claims Fraud kind of a scenario. Even though there are standard procedures defined, but still a Person has to validate it based on the customer’s past history, transactions, relationship, health conditions etc etc, before taking a judgment for approving/rejecting a request.
If we map it to automation techniques/terminologies for enabling Workforce Productivity. It will be something like
[Head-Down Workers] : [Robotic Process Automation] : : [Knowledge Workers] : [Cognitive Intelligence or AI]
The journey to AI (“Nirvana State” which every enterprise strives to achieve) can be broadly classified as:
→ BASIC COMPUTING [scripts + repetitive steps in a single application]
→ ENHANCED COMPUTING [rpa + monotonous repetitive job across applications]
→ COGNITIVE COMPUTING [machine learning + analytics]
Detailing it further:
- Basic Automation :
- Human with tools | structured data sets | Goal: Labour Efficiency
- Robotic Process Automation [RPA] :
- Human augmented with Robots | unstructured + patterned data sets | No Decisioning (targeted for Head Down Workers) | Goal: Labour Efficiency
- Autonomics :
- Robots augmented with humans | unstructured + patterned data sets | Goal: Labour Elimination
- Cognitive Computing :
- End to end robots with human oversight | unstructured + NO patterned data sets (targeted for Knowledge Workers) | Goal: Labour Elimination
- Artificial Intelligence – AI :
- Fully automated with NO human involvement | unstructured + NO patterned data sets (targeted for Knowledge Workers) | Goal: Labour Elimination
To precisely answer the question:
Robotic Process Automation has a great impact to business in scenarios where manual/mundane and routine activities are being performed. The task force allocated for mundane activities can be utilized for more intelligent activities.
Some of the typical use cases to cite Customer Onboarding (AML, Credit Check, KYC etc); Loan Processing; Payment Processing; Financial Reporting (periodic); Reconciliation checking process; Multiple sources of data extraction & reformatting etc.
Simply put – Robotic Process Automation is primarily targeted for “Keyboard Warriors!!” – showing vengeance with every keystroke for form data entry
In addition, most of the RPA tools have a concept of “Control Room” – a dashboard similar to a helicopter cockpit with all the levers for the Robotic Process Automation defined for all business scenarios. This helps the Business have control and have a hawk eye on the system, than presuming that control & automation has completely slipped from their hands. Control Room also helps Business to have an incremental approach to enable RPA processes in a staged manner by capturing the ground info than going with a big bang approach [which may be risky – as in some cases emotional/sentimental things are involved]
Interesting point by Siva in the discussion thread:
“Applying RPA to a broken process just makes a bad process run faster”
With recent news on Introduction of “Robot Tax” [link]. The next impact area for Robotics will be the Financial space and enterprises will hunt for Financial Advisors 🙂
The ROBOT TAX is primarily to compensate the unemployment in the market as a result of automation and meet demands for public/Govt initiatives/programs like bridge/healthcare/road development etc.
What’s your take?? Any thoughts!