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The role of RPA in digital transformation

Updated: Feb 27, 2023

Digital transformation and RPA

Over the last few years we have seen a rapid growth in digital transformation to enable us to work anywhere in the world, to digitalisation solutions, enhance experiences and streamline the way we work. A part of digital transformation you may have heard of is RPA (robotic process automation).

RPA in its most basic form looks at manual processes and how we as humans conduct tasks to see what tasks can be transformed into digital processes and conducted for us. Its about automating those repetitive tasks.

So, lets delve into RPA a little more to truly understand what it means, gives some examples of RPA and see what benefits it could bring.

What is RPA

Robotic process automation is software that will learn the actions of a task and execute this based on rules. It can take the repetitive tasks you conduct and perform these for you. Using RPA means that it can perform these tasks 24/7 with no human error involved.

When looking at RPA for your business start to understand the day-to-day tasks that people are performing. Recording the steps they take to perform a task and how often the task is performed. From here you will start to get an idea of what can be automated.

Don’t just think of the big changes you can make look at the everyday tasks. For example, if you have customers interacting with you on social media channels they might ask similar questions on a regular basis. A chatbot may be the solution here to interact and answers questions, this saving you time. If the customer doesn’t get the answer they are looking for then it can come through to a member of staff.

Examples of RPA

RPA is happening in many different industries at different levels.

Retail is a prime example of where RPA can be found. The above example of chatbots on social media can really help eCommerce businesses and be extended to their websites as well. You may also find RPA helping to analyse and automate pricing structures, process customer feedback or assist with warehouse tasks and inventory management.

RPA is good at handling data so can play a crucial part in really understand your customers and increasing satisfaction. It can help to analyse customer purchases and from this recommend alternatives, upsell opportunity or cross sell. It can also gather customers into groups who show similar patterns of behaviour and enable you to target customer groups with increased knowledge.

Healthcare is also another good example of where RPA can be used, helping to relieve pressures by working smarter not harder. This enhancing the patient care and experience.

RPA can help to free up healthcare staff from repetitive tasks to focus on higher priority activities and more face-to-face interactions and patient care. Although it doesn’t haven’t to stop at clinical facing roles, non-clinical teams such as HR and finance will also see benefits from RPA.

The collection of data from equipment and regular checks is a great example that can be automated. RPA can connect to these systems and check on a regular basis the levels, functionality and use. Alerts can be set to provide warnings and a simple dashboard display is much quicker for staff to glance at rather than logging in an out of systems.

Non-clinical teams in healthcare can also benefit from data management tasks. This could be data updates and validation or the extraction and collation of data. Identifying duplicate records and merging these can also be done through RPA removing human error and speeding up a time-consuming process.


You should be starting to realise the benefits of robotic process automation by now and be picturing how this can help your business. When embedding new processes like RPA always remember to take a baseline of the task and clearly describe the task before you make the change. Then once the change is made you can analyse how the change has been implemented and the benefit it brings.

Here are a few examples of benefits you might see through RPA:

  • Accuracy – RPA can increase accuracy of a task by reducing the human error. The system will be programmed to follow certain steps and will continuously repeat these in the same manner.

  • Cost savings – you will be saving time by removing repetitive tasks from staff and freeing them up to conduct more important and profitable work.

  • Staff satisfaction – nobody wants to do these repetitive boring tasks so by removing them you not only see cost benefits but increased staff satisfaction as they perform more rewarding work.

  • Increased knowledge – through the use of digital systems we can start to capture more data, report on this and then increase our knowledge and understanding of our business and market.

  • Customer satisfaction – delivering a better customer experience through access to information at any time, reduction of error and a quicker turnaround.

  • Process improvement – inefficient processes can be redesigned and recreated to drive better efficiency and delivery.

Deloittes research shows that 15 minutes of work from a person will take a robot 1 minute. Read more on the Deloittes research.

RPA: The next step in digital transformation

RPA is undertaken by software to mimic the human interaction and automate processes. It interacts with digital systems to conduct a basic and repetitive process and removes the need for human interaction.

Robotic process automation shows to have many benefits to assist digital transformation, streamline the way we work and improve the overall experience of what we are delivering. As more companies see the benefits and return on investment into RPA its clear it will become more mainstream and help to accelerate digital transformation in the coming years.


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