Businesses of all types and sizes are investing in the latest technologies as part of their digital transformation strategies. Organizations must use the technologies at their disposal to overcome common challenges in their industries. Examples of popular technologies companies use include artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotic process automation (RPA).
What Is Robotics Process Automation?
RPA is a type of business automation software capable of automating digital tasks. It programs virtual “bots” with specific rules or scripts for simple actions. Businesses commonly use RPA solutions to automate back-office operations, such as accounting or customer service.
According to Fortune Business Insights, the global robotic process automation market is expected to reach over 50 billion by 2030. RPA-powered bots will become commonplace in the modern workforce in the coming years.
How Robotic Process Automation Affects Small Businesses
Although small businesses may spend a different amount of money on technology than their larger competitors, they still face the impact of the rise of RPA. Some companies in the RPA space even offer free or low-cost RPA solutions to make them more accessible to SMEs.
Here are some of the positive effects RPA has on SMEs.
It seems as though SMEs investing in robotic process automation would be counterintuitive because it could raise costs. However, some jobs within a company can be taken over by bots, reducing the need for some employees.
While this would be a disadvantage to the workforce — as it could cause workers displacement — it can benefit businesses. Additionally, as RPA becomes more widely used, the costs associated with implementing it will drop. When adopting such a solution, the goal is not to replace all employees with robots, but to implement technology that frees up time for operation-critical tasks.
Improves Employee Productivity
The business world will soon become hyper-automated, and robotic process automation will help lead the charge. Although some workers may need to upskill to keep up with RPA, it’s widely known that RPA and other automation technologies work best alongside humans — not instead of them.
Robotics do not replace human employees but mimic some of the same activities humans perform to do their jobs well. Therefore, RPA can significantly improve productivity in the workplace. As mentioned above, it takes over trivial tasks to free up team members to focus on more important, meaningful projects.
Helps Scale Business
Since RPA bots can easily integrate into an organization’s existing systems, the company can scale more efficiently without increasing costs, which can help it grow. Scalability is a vital characteristic of some of the most successful businesses. Since robotic process automation can help a company scale, it’s often regarded as a wise investment. Without RPA, SMEs may face more challenges while trying to scale themselves.
RPA can positively affect companies that adopt it because it offers a good return on investment (ROI). According to research from Gartner, RPA can recoup the cost of implementation in as few as three months and offer labor savings from 25–40 percent.
One reason why RPA yields a high ROI is that it can save companies money long term. In industries such as insurance and banking, it’s crucial to follow evolving regulations and compliance requirements. RPA can keep track of new or changing conditions so human employees don’t have to. In the long run, this can save organizations money.
Helps Garner New Talent
Another positive aspect of RPA is that it can help companies improve their recruiting efforts. Modern employees like to work for companies that are willing to invest in new technologies, and RPA is no exception.
If a candidate knows a job they’re applying for leverages automation technology, they could feel more eager to work for said company. RPA can also help with various HR responsibilities, such as scanning resumes, scheduling interviews or calls, and more.
Consider Implementing Robotic Process Automation Into Your Small Business
When companies adopt RPA solutions, the benefits they can reap are too significant to ignore. It’s becoming increasingly popular for companies to take advantage of all RPA has to offer, whether back-office tasks or working alongside employees. It’ll be interesting to see how RPA continues to impact the small business landscape and if more small businesses worldwide decide to adopt and implement RPA into their operations.