The robots are here – Is this just a fad created by media hype?

Deloitte’s online survey The robots are here found that there has been a significant rise in the number of organisations investigating, piloting or implementing Robotics Process Automation (RPA), and this is set to continue given the speed at which it can be implemented and the potential returns against initial investment. This shows a noteworthy improvement from where the survey series started in 2015, The robots are coming

Although still in its infancy, RPA is a viable solution for organisations with:

  • Multiple ERP systems with multiple work-arounds
  • Significant levels of manual processing and exceptions
  • None or immature shared services

RPA offers a multitude of benefits; both financial and non-financial, from cost reduction to flexibility to scale up capacity in the future. In our report, The robots are here, lie cases of companies who have realised significant non-financial benefits of RPA.

In South Africa, many organisations have included RPA in their strategic planning process with the aim to achieve greater efficiency. The Banking and Financial Services Industry (BFSI) has quickly adopted it as they have realised that their quest to achieve operational excellence can no longer be achieved through legacy IT systems alone. Whilst some industries have been quick to adopt RPA, others have been slower – this is seen in the case of Public Sector. RPA can prove to be quite invaluable to Public Sector, particularly around enabling and fast-tracking smarter cities.

What about the humans?

Humans hold still hold an important role; whilst robotics will provide freedom from mundane and repetitive tasks, the roles of human specialists will need to be redesigned once the capacity has been created to be more cognitive and value-based. Organisations implementing RPA will need to have a stakeholder support and change management drive to help with the transition and implementation.

Thinking about RPA, and want to know more about it? Contact Ajit Paul.

Click here to download The robots are here report and explore RPA further.

About the author

Deloitte South Africa

Deloitte is one of the country's leading professional services firms in Southern Africa, and is dedicated to assisting companies succeed in the business environment- whether it be through our tax, audit, consulting or financial advisory services.

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