In today’s competitive, challenging, and demanding business environment, industries strive to intelligently and autonomously transform their day-to-day operations. Automating business processes with BOTs is therefore critical, and as such, will likely present significant opportunities for exponential growth in the near future.
Business BOTs, with their domain-rich features and capabilities, proactively identify potential IT failure points that affect business process functions and autocorrect them by applying business rules, thereby improving business outcomes. These BOTs target run-time issues in the execution of business processes and reduce manual efforts in detecting and correcting them. This leads to labour arbitrage, stops revenue leakages, and improves end-customer satisfaction while complying with applicable regulations.
Business process automation, which can be considered part of robotic process automation, leverages rule engines and associated decision criteria to assess and analyze interactions with associated systems in real-time or near real-time and enables straight-through processing of business steps based on condition-based business rules. Organizations benefit from automating their high-volume and complex business processes. Manual efforts are significantly reduced during both the execution of business processes and the verification of functional and business parameters. Moreover, BOTs can identify and auto-correct errors caused by IT system faults (coding defects, workflow errors, etc.) on a real-time or near real-time basis in a fraction of a second compared to manual processes.
Business processes, catered by legacy systems, custom software, COTs products, and ERPs, often have gaps that lead to errors. Any failure to spot-check such errors impacts business outcomes, causing revenue leakage/loss, and subsequent customer dissatisfaction. Business BOTs can proactively identify and auto-correct such cracks and thus minimize the impact on business outcomes.
Key potential benefits from implementation of Business BOTs
The key benefits of business BOTs include:
- Minimized manual interventions resulting in duplication- and error-free deliverables
- Speed: working 24/7, reducing processing times and increasing throughput of business processes
- Agility and scalability: ability to deal with high transaction volumes and scale up or down on demand
- Transparency: visibility of process and input data used with full audit trail
- Compliance with governance by embedding business requirements into automation rules.
Although business BOTs significantly improves business-process efficiencies and outcomes, they must be carefully implemented and rigorously tested in a controlled environment. In addition, the impact, if any of the associated systems and processes, must be assessed.
Whereas the opportunities and initiatives for implementing RPA, including business BOTs, continue to evolve, the value and potential benefits they offer cannot be ignored. Business BOTs, coupled with cognitive technologies such as natural language processing, chat-BOT, etc., will be able to meet growing demand for more efficient and user-friendly business processes by providing augmented automation solutions, including those that require judgment and help industries build automated decision-making capabilities.
Despite the fact that the focus and attention is more on meter-to-cash, customer service, field service management, procure-to-pay, and BPO operations, the potential of this technology will be far-reaching in the near future. It will enable industries to do more with less. Enterprises are therefore developing systematic, well-planned strategies for corporate adoption, piloting, and implementation of business BOTs; taking into consideration their maturity, business needs, priorities, risks, and challenges, in order to drive home a more efficient, agile, and outcome-based next-generation business model.