Article: Why professionals need to upskill in Robotic Process Automation (RPA)


Why professionals need to upskill in Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

With multiple sectors now seeing the benefits of the role of RPA, the coming days will see a rise in demand for RPA tools.
Why professionals need to upskill in Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

The advent of digital transformation has significantly amplified the need for a rapid pace of innovation that would transform the way we lead our lives. One such technological advancement is Automation that has become the buzzword amongst organizations across sectors.  With this advancement of automation and emphasis on digitization taking over, there have been mixed reactions among professionals about whether this development will replace the human workforce or will create more jobs for people with relevant skillsets.  Reports also predict that 73 million more jobs will probably be lost by 2030 (as per a 2017 report by McKinsey Global Institute). The fear of losing one’s job in this rapidly evolving automated environment looms large; however, there exists a positive flipside to this. According to a Gartner report, automation will create more jobs than lost by 2020. 

Current scenario

Today, businesses across sectors are experiencing and acknowledging the benefits which automation brings to the table. Businesses are taking the plunge and integrating Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tools into the work system, thereby catalysing the digitization of the business and the growth of employees. RPA is an emerging favorite of technology used to automate business processes like data management, automated email replies and even the likes of application interpretation. RPA is a boon especially when it comes to the automation of repetitive and ruled based tasks which otherwise requires human intervention. In fact, a McKinsey report states that about 45% of activities can be automated, including the possibility of partial automation with regard to higher paying jobs roles like CEOs, financial managers and doctors. 

With multiple sectors now seeing the benefits of the role of RPA, the coming days will see a rise in demand for RPA tools. Introducing RPA tools into business functions leads to an increase in employee work efficiency, service delivery and an effective reduction in operational costs. This in turn becomes an indicator to the opening of newer growth avenues, thereby creating a demand for skilled RPA professionals within organisations and RPA software developers. 

Leading the way

According to reports, the global market size for RPA is expected to reach USD 3.97 billion by 2025. However, the current situation points towards a limited talent pool when it comes to RPA skills, strengthening the agenda of up-skilling and re-skilling of existing workforce in order to stay relevant in a dynamically changing ecosystem. Employees will have to imbibe skills in terms of the tools and workflows of RPA, thereby building strong problem solving and analytical skills. In fact, studies predict that by 2021, 55% of technology talent recruiters will focus more on digital,analytical and automation skills which foster innovation and business growth.  Furthermore, this will also spur the growth of jobs roles like RPA  developers, automation and solution architects, business analysts, and at the same time creating some entirely new job categories.

Need and adoption of RPA

RPA has created a significant entry into companies that are taking to artificial intelligence (AI)-powered applications. RPA bots have begun playing an active role in several internal organisational processes, especially in the sectors of Banking and Finance, HR and Product development. Finance and accounting related job roles involve several manually driven tasks which can be successfully carried out by RPA tools. This also aids in the increase in effectiveness and efficiency of internal controls which is priority for  35% of accounting organizations.  For audit related tasks, RPA has brought in a disruptive change that allows auditors to operate at a much higher level by making available the option of an automated  assembly line audit process. Moving on to HR, common tasks like payments and entering employee details can be automated via RPA tools, and not require much human intervention.  

The highlight of the integration of RPA in organisations is enabling workforce to engage and focus more on value-added tasks. Also, being a cost-effective technology, RPA is expected to give a positive ROI within 14 months of implementation (as per a PWC study). Keeping in mind the vast and impactful benefits of RPA, this is also suggestive of the forthcoming demand for the software, as well as skilled professionals for related job roles and thereby emphasizing the necessity to upskill. Going forward, professionals who are equipped with the right skills at the right time are going to stay relevant in this age of digitization and RPA is surely on the top when it comes to skilling for the future.  

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Topics: Skilling, #GuestArticle, #HRTech

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