Robotic process automation in the Covid-19 response

  • Covid driven move for automation
  • Process for implementing Robotic Process Automation
  • Tips for implementing RPA successfully

What is Robotic Process Automation?

Robotic Process Automation is the technology that allows anyone today to configure software, or a “robot” to emulate and integrate the actions of a human interacting within digital systems to execute a business process. RPA robots utilize the user interface to capture data and manipulate applications just like humans do. They interpret, trigger responses and communicate with other systems in order to perform on a vast variety of repetitive tasks. Only substantially better: an RPA software robot never sleeps and makes zero mistakes.

Covid-19 Driven Move for Automation

For many businesses, customers have already migrated to digital and employees are working fully remote. The customer needs and behaviour have been altered significantly and it is unlikely this will go back to the old normal. The changes implemented by some businesses are only the first phase of changes and we will likely see a wave of more automation in companies to support new digital channels for customers, employees working remotely and more.


The pandemic has been considered an inflection point for digital transformation and automation. Automation initiatives were put on hold before the crisis and it was during this period that many leading businesses realised that they were necessary to ensure business continuity. Many critical businesses saw an urgent need to push these transformation and automation initiatives for operations like patient data collection, health alerts, government approval for support, contact tracing and more. As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in April, because of COVID-19 “we have seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” This also revealed major flaws in existing processes and resources and created a need for optimal use of resources.

Process for implementing RPA

Successful implementation of RPA starts with concrete problems and use cases and understanding what kind of automation will help your use case. This is stage 1 of the automation process. The key lessons here are 

  • Focus on long term objective of each business process rather than individual tasks
  • Start with business processes that are highly strategic but are less complex. This helps build and demonstrate early success internally and externally.
  • Employees fear replacement and therefore it is important to align strategy between employees and management. This helps identify bottlenecks and improves overall productivity. 
  • Work closely with IT during deployment to ensure security of the system and avoid long-term risk

Stage 2 focuses on deployment. Most companies during this phase focus on repetitive tasks. Stage 3 focuses on iterative improvement learned during stage 2 and involved optimising automation functions and expanding to other business processes.

Businesses during this phase revisit their existing internal processes, generally with the help of a process mining or discovery tool. With better visibility in their internal workflows, executives can evaluate the necessity of the RPA already deployed and the potential need to re-engineer or redesign the process. A few trends we have seen with corporates at this stage are shifts in focus towards:
  • Purchasing end-to-end business process verification and orchestration solutions to highlight potential bottlenecks and to empower users to design processes with modules powered by machine learning or natural language processing (NLP) for unstructured data.
  • Leveraging process mining tools as the management layer for both work and automation.
  • Increasing architecture flexibility to enable API driven processes and improve overall agility.

Tips for implementing RPA successfully

 It’s essential to set the right targets at the outset and regularly measure progress against them. 

With the excessive increase of RPA, here are some of the tips for a successful implementation of RPA which helps to boost productivity, enables better control and compliance for the business, and helps to exploit the gross output.

  • Analyze the working system of the enterprise comprehensively for the effective deployment of RPA. 
  • Communicate with the team regarding robotics process automation services to build trust. 
  • Set explicit goals and objectives, alongside the team, for the project to comprehend its benefits and scope. 
  • While opting for automation, focus on long term utilization and operations.
  • Conduct a cost-benefit analysis and calculate ROI to evaluate the economic potential of the RPA based project.

Successful deployment or implementation occurs when the automation is repeatable and scalable as work becomes more complex. As the automation project shifts from lower-level, mundane tasks to significant functions such as orchestration and resource allocation, this is a strong sign that automation is augmenting the productivity of the team. 

Have a look at this case study to see how we have recently helped a client by building a robotic process automation solution for their manual sales process.

Here’s another case study of a robotic process automation solution for document processing that we have built for another client. 

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