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Opinion | How companies can make the most of bots

Even complex processes can be automated with pre-built bots that are configurable

We live in a culture of instant gratification with a plethora of options to choose from and this is redefining customer experience. Whatever room for error existed before our digital nativity has now disappeared.

For business enterprises, this presents a complex challenge, as catering to the evolving needs and expectations of consumers while remaining competitive, has become harder than ever. Many organizations are turning to robotic process automation (RPA) to manage complex repetitive tasks and allocating substantial resources for its effective deployment.

To stay relevant in the age of digital transformation, business organizations have started augmenting their human workforce with armies of digital counterparts comprised of bots that can automate high-volume processes at speeds which humans cannot match. Various industry verticals have witnessed increased conversations about how the democratization of RPA has completely changed businesses and processes.

However, when organizations opt for home-grown approaches to automation, they expose themselves to the twin risks of security and governance.

It has become accepted wisdom that while RPA offers immense benefits, its adoption requires investment and expertise. In-house teams can often struggle to create a sense of harmony between different business processes and fail to put security measures in place for disaster prevention or recovery. This contributes to delays in realizing the value from automation for organizations.

We are seeing the emergence of universal bot marketplaces. The reason: In today’s shared economy, services and expertise are sourced from a community of providers. It’s no surprise then, that organizations are adopting co-owned strategies for implementing RPA. Imagine a scenario wherein you could visit an online marketplace and access an army of digital workers to automate diverse processes. Such marketplaces already exist, and organizations are reaping the results of pre-built, verified and ready to deploy crowdsourced bots.

The most interesting aspect of bot stores is that even complex processes can be automated with pre-built bots that are modular and configurable, rather than rigid, monolithic blocks of automation.

Enterprises can look for RPA bots under search criteria such as process type, industry, application, cognitive ability and more. As a result, combining the digital and human workforce has never been simpler. This influences human workers to focus on tasks that involve creativity and ingenuity. Research firm Forrester’s report states that by 2021, more than four million bots will be performing administrative and sales tasks, and the market will be worth more than $2.9 billion. What this gives human workers is the invaluable benefit of time.

Bot stores also enable organizations to mobilize bots faster. Consulting firms and system integrators can also leverage digital worker marketplaces to scale engagements and offer more value.

Thus, organizations can accelerate automation while improving return on investment and reducing time to value. They can also achieve consistency across processes and easily upgrade or downgrade versions as needed. Digital transformation is a journey that all organizations must embark on, and the bot economy is a catalyst that can turbocharge your route.

Ankur Kothari is co-founder and chief revenue officer of Automation Anywhere.

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