There’s no doubting that robots can transform the efficiency of certain business processes. When deployed properly, they’ll perform routine and repetitive tasks far quicker and more accurately than their human counterparts. Furthermore, there are no salary increment discussions, no holidays to cover and no pension or healthcare plans to fund.
Of course, there are start-up costs and overheads to consider. Robots need to be designed, built and deployed. They also need to be monitored and updated. The evolving governance requirements are also an interesting development as we start to identify:
Who takes responsibility for service delivery
Who updates them in line with changing legislation and regulatory requirements
The new dependencies that are created within and between organisations
Robots will certainly strip out a layer of process cost through automation, but it’s also worth considering some of the additional advantages that we are starting to see from RPA:
Zero attrition – they are very loyal employees. Robots are happy doing the same task again and again and again. They show very little frustration at a lack of career progression. They work long hours and take very limited amounts of holiday.
Reduced employment costs – talent acquisition is expensive and a continuous challenge. Deploying a robot for routine tasks significantly reduces the cost and time of recruitment. Ongoing HR costs will also be cut. Robots do not need 1-to-1 performance reviews, and you don’t need to enrol them in pension or healthcare schemes.
As robots become more widespread, we are starting to learn more about the extra benefits that they offer and how to deploy them even more effectively. It is changing the way that we think and the way that we work. I wonder who is shaping whom?