Manish Bharti is president for India and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) at UiPath.
The ‘new normal’ is here and businesses need to start transitioning to the new work culture.
This means ensuring business continuity both now and moving forward, amidst uncertainty. How well businesses do that will determine how fast we overcome the challenges staring at us.
Let me break down business continuity to explain what it means in the current situation.
Business continuity can be the immediate requirements of keeping the lights on, ensuring seamless workflows, enabling faster customer responses, addressing a sudden surge in volume or demand, and/or fulfilling unexpected customer requirements. Or, business continuity can be complex and involve meeting long-term requirements around revamping operations for distributed work, reinventing supply chains, and reimagining business models.
Today, many organizations find themselves needing to push the boundaries on many of those fronts. Automation can be a key lever in enabling current (and future) business continuity.
The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic could well be the watershed moment accelerating the adoption of automation technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA). It has underscored the need for businesses to ramp up their automation plans with a renewed focus and urgency. It will not be surprising to see some enterprise-wide automation initiatives getting underway.
In many ways, the push has been triggered by the growing clout of RPA in the context of risk mitigation and business resiliency plans and not just as a cost optimization tool.
We are already seeing RPA in action, helping businesses respond to the challenges and demands of the new normal.
Take, for instance, the case of Federal Bank, one of India's leading private sector banks. When the COVID-19 lockdown forced the majority of its employees to work from home, automation kept the bank’s key processes running as usual.
The bank has over 120 processes automated on the UiPath Platform, enabling the organization to continue delivering banking services even during the lockdown. One can't imagine what economic chaos would occur if the banking systems were dysfunctional due to the absence of humans physically in those banks (as was the case when employees had to work from home).
Let me give you a few other perspectives from different industries.
Gemini Edible Oils is leveraging RPA for contract and sales order management to ensure business continuity. The two processes are critical to the company’s functioning and automation ensured that the contracts were getting processed and the sales orders generated on time even when only 30% of the staff were able to come to the office due to the lockdown.
Digital marketing company Wunderman Thompson MSC is managing its increased communication and real-time reporting loads due to remote working with software robots. The bots send targeted and real-time action steps over emails. Thus, the robots are helping the company’s workforce stay productive and efficient. The real-time insights on productivity trends and capacity help managers monitor their teams remotely.
Let's also look at how RPA is working right on the frontlines of the coronavirus battle in the healthcare industry.
Managing the data of COVID-19 patients is highly critical. Healthcare teams must work with governments to ensure this data is updated in real time for an appropriate response. The UiPath Platform is helping the Indian Health Department process data for quarantined people 10 times faster while increasing accuracy by 100%. This is helping the government make faster decisions for swifter action, which is key to fighting the pandemic.
Another unique example is Sankara Eye Foundation. With RPA, the foundation was able to process the employee salaries in due time, even at the peak of the nationwide lockdown.
We are helping the Indian government and several frontline organizations use automation to replace inefficient processes and speed up the COVID-19 response. UiPath is also assisting organizations around the globe in:
These examples are not just short-term improvisations in response to immediate challenges. They hold promising implications for strategic changes in the long term.
I cannot emphasize enough the strategic value of automation in helping businesses thrive in the new normal. It comes as no surprise that we’re seeing automation become a boardroom imperative in the post-COVID-19 world.
If you’re new to RPA, your next read should be Overview of RPA for the C-Suite: The Quick Guide to Getting Started.
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