50+ RPA use cases

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In this piece:

As digital transformation makes way for digital evolution, a state in which automation and digitization are continuously being iterated upon and optimized, many organizations find themselves dealing with situations nearly as challenging as those they were looking to improve with automation in the first place.

The influx of new applications, data and processes, especially in the absence of clear communication, change management and thoughtful integration, can create gaps in automation and in integration with legacy systems. This may result in employees creating manual workarounds for new inefficiencies, security weak spots and process gaps.

To avoid frustrations like these, it’s important to identify the preliminary use cases for any new technology, as well as fast followers and future-state use cases. It’s tempting, when considering use cases for a new investment, to zoom out and look at everything the solution could possibly handle — “Imagine the ROI!” And while this approach may work to get a new implementation approved, it’s not the best way to roll out said implementation.

Look to robotic process automation (RPA) as an example. While there are hundreds of RPA use cases specific to dozens of industries and departments (and implementing many of them is likely in your organization’s future and in the future of automation in general), it’s impossible to roll them all out immediately.

To avoid the reduced efficiency, security and accuracy that can result from trying to tackle too many use cases too quickly, it’s important to implement RPA in the right places, in the right order.

“RPA has become a differentiating factor within automation as an enabler of digital transformation.”

$Frost & Sullivan$

Back up … Why RPA?

When you’re looking to maximize ROI from digital transformation and begin automating quickly, RPA is a great place to start. Because RPA automates high-volume tasks, it can begin saving you time and labor hours right away.

For example, notes a Frost & Sullivan whitepaper, “A routine regulatory audit may require large volumes of data to be pulled, categorized, summarized and reported. To conduct this through a manual process may take hours or days, and the potential for human error puts an organization at risk for regulatory compliance infractions. An RPA-based system can use a virtual agent to consistently conduct this process and create the report, but with greater accuracy and in a much shorter time frame.”

According to the whitepaper Frost & Sullivan Research Suggests RPA Tied to Company Success, Profitability, “RPA has become a differentiating factor within automation and an enabler of digital transformation.”

While the technology has been around since the early 2000s, its usage “has accelerated with other automation-enabling technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning,” Frost & Sullivan says.

“Frost & Sullivan research suggests RPA tied to company success, profitability”

> Download the free Frost & Sullivan visual whitepaper now

Used at its fullest capability, a modern RPA platform like Hyland RPA enables your organization to:

Deliver a completely digital experience

When used alongside Hyland content services and intelligent capture, Hyland RPA can move your organization from paper-based to completely digital.

Increase accuracy and efficiency

When individual bots run the next available task continually, with no human intervention required, you’ll decrease the risk of human error, downtime based on resource availability and working hours, and the total time to completion.

Improve employee and customer satisfaction

As the bots work on mundane and repetitive processes in the background, employees can focus on more engaging and strategic work, boosting their morale. These employees can then devote more thought and attention to the people your organization serves, ultimately resulting in higher customer satisfaction.

Improve information security, compliance and disaster recovery

The ability to access and process sensitive data without human involvement reduces the risk of exposure and enables defensible audit trails and chain of custody. RPA can also improve business continuity and disaster recovery as copies of core processes can be backed up and restored off-site.

> Read more | How to improve information security in 6 simple steps

Improve process visibility

All the actions a bot takes are recorded, beginning to end. These audit trails can be used to debug any errors and optimize process execution.

Get more value from existing investments

Because Hyland RPA easily integrates with Hyland platforms and the systems you use today, no extra installation, integration or support costs are incurred, and the systems you’ve already invested in can perform tasks and processes more efficiently and accurately.

Two women sit at a round desk, working on their laptops on an RPA initiative.

Where does RPA fit?

In surveying more than 400 IT and business decision-makers about their organizations’ level of adoption of and interest in RPA, Frost & Sullivan found that while implementation varies greatly across (and within) organizations, and different industries approach RPA with varying priorities, there is a universal “typical RPA journey.” That is, companies overwhelmingly find success by implementing RPA in the same departments in the same order:

  1. Information technology (IT)
  2. Human resources (HR), finance and accounting
  3. Case management and/or records management
  4. Manufacturing and warehousing
  5. Customer communications and sales
  6. R&D, vendor and legal contracts

Here’s why: RPA automates structured, rule-based, voluminous and repetitive digital tasks where human effort does not add business value.

So, the best use cases to start with are those that are structured, rule-based, voluminous and repetitive, and where human effort does not add value. And of all functional business areas, the most rules- and data-heavy in most organizations are IT, HR, finance and accounting.

With that in mind, and with a focus on these departments, it makes sense to look for the opportunities in your unique organizational processes by asking the following questions:

  • Where are your employees reporting frustration or low job satisfaction?
  • Where are you spending unreasonably for off-hours support or a seasonal spike in workload?
  • Where could a simple manual error result in disproportionately heavy consequences for the business?

Here are some digital transformation-specific examples:

System migration

Legacy systems are often incompatible with modern applications and initiatives, and upgrading these systems is a crucial piece of your digital evolution. But migrating information to modern applications is both time- and resource-consuming. In IT, manual system migration requires employees to engage in massive volumes of tedious tasks that could result in error, inefficiency and low morale.

System integration

Seamlessly integrated systems are key to automating entire processes, not just individual tasks. Ironically, though, the act of integrating is often undertaken manually. But it doesn’t have to be. This is a fantastic use case for RPA.

Transfer and management of sensitive information

Having humans process sensitive or protected information can increase the risk of intentional or unintentional data exposure or regulatory violation. Why have employees copy and paste sensitive information between systems when RPA can handle it?

Once you’ve seen the benefits of automating and optimizing digital processes by automating mundane, voluminous tasks in IT, finance and human resources, you (and your stakeholders) will want to see what else RPA can do across the organization. How far you take your implementation is referred to by Frost & Sullivan as RPA intensity.

RPA intensity, or the number of departments in an organization that use RPA, correlates positively with the organization’s profitability. That’s right: The more processes you automate, the more you profit.

(Nearly) universal use cases for RPA

No matter which industry you’re in, you may find that following Frost & Sullivan’s typical RPA journey, beginning with IT and the back office, gives you a good framework for introducing the technology at your organization.

RPA IT department use cases include:

  • System migration
  • System integration
  • Server monitoring and alerts
  • Application monitoring and alerts
  • Batch processing
  • Master data creation
  • Password resets for approved users
  • Data backup
  • Data restoration
  • Credential creation

RPA accounting and finance use cases include:

  • Purchase to pay, including vendor master creation and maintenance; requisition and supplier requests; purchase order creation; and purchase order management
  • Order to cash, including quote management; order retrieval; and invoicing
  • Account closures
  • Customer onboarding
  • Invoice downloads
  • Vendor and purchase order “not found” alerts

> Learn more | 4 signs your financial organization may be ready for RPA

RPA human resources use cases include:

  • Payroll
  • Time and attendance management
  • Recruiting process tasks
  • Employee onboarding
  • Employee offboarding

82% of organizations plan to implement RPA in at least one new department in the next 24 months.

$Frost & Sullivan$

Industry-specific RPA use cases

Whether you work for a hospital, a university, a tech company or a local government office, choosing a feasible initial implementation for RPA is crucial. Starting strong means you’ll continue strong. But you won’t realize the full value of a modern RPA suite by keeping it relegated to the back office forever.

The Frost & Sullivan survey found that 82% of organizations plan to implement RPA in at least one new department within the next 24 months. Here are just some of the ways they plan to do so:

RPA in healthcare use cases include:

  • Expediting cost estimates
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Appointment reminders
  • Claims denials
  • Discharge instructions
  • Prescription instructions
  • Audit procedures
  • EMR maintenance
  • Patient pre-arrival instructions and communication

RPA government and public sector use cases include:

  • Home care support
  • Rental increases
  • Housing benefit claims and exchange
  • Council tax and direct debit instruction
  • Change of address forms
  • Business rates empty property exemption
  • Business rates refund processing
  • CRM de-duplications
  • Licensing and temporary event notices
  • Permit application approvals and denials

RPA insurance use cases include:

  • Auto insurance claims processing
  • Life insurance claims processing
  • Data validation in claims processing
  • Previous car insurance
  • New customer data entry
  • Underwriting and risk management
  • Bank statements and payment checks
  • Contract creation
  • Contract verification

RPA higher education use cases include:

  • Attendance tracking
  • Teacher substitution plans and requirements
  • Student onboarding
  • Student admissions
  • Student offboarding
  • Tuition and payment tracking
  • Financial aid applications
  • Course registration
  • Credential management
  • Student assessment and grading

Hyland RPA case studies

Learn what success looks like for Hyland RPA customers:

Seeing is believing. Try Hyland RPA risk-free for 60 days, no strings attached! Build your first bot by following a complimentary, step-by-step tutorial.

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Neha is a product marketing professional at Hyland Software with proficiency in business process automation. She has over a decade of global experience working with leading consulting and tech firms spread across North America, EMEA, and APAC.
Neha Jha

Neha Jha

Neha is a product marketing professional at Hyland Software with proficiency in business process automation. She has over a decade of global experience working with leading consulting and tech firms... read more about: Neha Jha