robotic process automation

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RPA in APAC financial service industries have untapped opportunities

When Robotic Process Automation (RPA) first made its debut, many industries felt the technology was a game-changer in solving tedious tasks employees found themselves working on.

Over the years, RPA has evolved to complete more tasks. In fact, some organizations now have an RPA assigned to each employee to speed up mundane tasks, allowing them to work on more important workloads. The overall revenue of the global market was US$ 2.9 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach US$ 10.3 billion by 2023.

However, recent findings from Blue Prism show otherwise. According to its survey report, RPA In The APAC Financial Services Sector, while there is growing momentum in automation efforts by organizations across the Asia Pacific (APAC), there is still significant disparity of RPA adoption within Asia Pacific’s financial services industry.

Now, Blue Prism defines RPA as the software that enables digital workers to carry out step-by-step tasks or business processes within existing systems and applications, much like a human would.

In APAC, Australia leads the way with 78% of organizations currently using RPA solutions and technologies while India is second with 49%, followed by Hong Kong (47%), Malaysia (44%), and Singapore (28%).

The survey report also highlighted that only 34% in Singapore and 50% in Malaysia indicate familiarity with RPA. This is in comparison to 85% in Australia, 82% in Hong Kong, and 75% in India.

For Robert Dewar, Vice President, Financial Services, APAC, Blue Prism, while RPA adoption across global industries grew at tremendous speed, this report revealed the disparity of RPA adoption within the APAC financial services industry, indicating a long roadmap before the region reaches RPA and Intelligent Automation maturity.

This is because, despite the relatively high adoption rate, the report shows that RPA adoption in the APAC financial services industry varies in scale and there is still some way to go before it reaches RPA maturity. Within the region, the use of RPA adoption remains largely a tool to improve efficiency and cut costs, rather than a catalyst for driving digital transformation

“Presently, the use of RPA adoption remains largely a tool to improve efficiency and cut costs, rather than a catalyst to accelerate digital transformation. As markets look to scale up to enterprise RPA and Intelligent Automation deployments, we aim to empower companies to fulfill their vision for strategic business automation and achieve faster better organizational outcomes,” commented Dewar.

Is robotic process automation tedious?

The report showed that organizations had encountered the following challenges when either discussing the possible implementation of an RPA program or deploying an RPA program:

  • 62% felt there was still data and privacy concerns to using RPA
  • 59% were still trying to identify the right processes for RPA
  • 53% were still finding the right talent to manage RPA deployment and operations
  • 43% had budget constraints

At the same time, of the 47% of organizations that had not implemented RPA, only 30% felt that their current technology set up is sufficient to suit their current needs and were concerned about the risks of implementing RPA. Hence, assessing the potential business value that is being left at the table by these organizations is a prerogative if digital transformation strategies are not implemented or scaled quickly enough.

For the 95% of organizations that have implemented robotic process automation,  it has improved overall business operations. RPA can have a transformative effect on businesses, and it seems that the financial services sector is no exception. From increasing speed and efficiency to freeing up employees to concentrate on higher-value tasks and upskill themselves, RPA has a host of benefits for today’s financial services workplace.