Is Becoming an RPA Developer a Good Idea in 2022?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an incredibly valuable asset for businesses as we stride towards a more technologically reliant business world. It allows employees to free up their time of mundane and repetitive tasks, by automating them. Once employees have more free time from these tasks, they are able to utilize their time into more value producing actions. Furthermore, studies have shown that automation can improve the mental health of employees by removing the aspects of their jobs that they really do not enjoy.

Despite this, is it worthwhile starting a career as an RPA Developer in 2022? Let’s consider some points which you may want to take on board when considering whether this is the right career path for you:

Demand of RPA

There is a general perception that RPA can cause job losses as it replaces human work. In reality, this isn’t true and will infact create jobs going forward as demand for RPA grows. We foresee the demand for experts and RPA developers skyrocketing in the coming years as it is further adopted.

Currently due to the demand of RPA developers, the average developer is earning around $105,000 in the US and £45,000 in the UK. The salaries that an RPA developer can demand will likely increase as the benefits from RPA grow and the demand for bringing in entire RPA based teams increases over time.

What Role would you consider?

There are a variety of roles within the area of RPA which you could establish your career in. Firstly, there is a primary RPA developer who will create the core automation processes within an RPA platform. Then, you could be a process designer for a business who creates/designs the plan of action for the developer to follow. Alternatively, many businesses will soon require a project manager to go through the process of projects being automated, and handhold the processes from start to finish.

Clearly there is a variety of potential careers within the area of Robotic Process Automation.

Putting your knowledge into practice

There is a very wide variety of benefits an RPA developer can bring to the table. Furtheremore, they can bring these benefits to a wide variety of industries. This means that a career in RPA provides a broad spectrum of options for developers. This means that you have the ability to cherry pick the industries which interest you the most. Whether that be finance, insurance, healthcare or something else. There are a myriad of options out there.

Benefits of a Career in RPA Development

A career in RPA Development allows you to join a growing business area, which provides a stable and growing salary over time. Despite the high salary opportunities, becoming an RPA Developer does not have an overly high understanding threshold. This means that it is quite widely open to many individuals, and there isn’t a high barrier of entry.

RPA as a general statement is quite simple to get to grips with and then obtain a career in it. There are a wide vareity of different jobs and industries you can work in. Many people will really appreciate the variety of choice in this career path.

How to start a career as an RPA Developer?

If you have decided that you wish to have a career as an RPA Developer, the next stage is actually getting a job in the industry of your choosing. The first step is of course to learn the skills necessary to become an RPA Developer. One option here would be to take a few courses on a platform such as Udemy. Secondary to this is deciding on an RPA platform to specialise in. Some of the main options are as follows:

  • UiPath
  • Automation Anywhere
  • BluePrism

You could also look to get a certification in one of these RPA tools as well. This will likely greatly aid your search for a job as an RPA Developer. In order to improve your knowledge in these areas as well, many of the tools provide online contests and hackathons to challenge yourself.

Once you are confident with all of the above, it is time to start looking for roles. To some extent, getting a job is a combination of having the right skill, but also being the right person for the job. More often than not businesses are looking for certain personalities which will get on well with their current employees, and integrate well within the team.


Hopefully you now are now clear on whether it is a good idea to start a career as an RPA Developer in 2022. Furthermore, if you still think that this career path is exactly for you, you will know the plan of action in order to get a job in this area. If you have any further doubts about your career path as an RPA developer, then please feel free to leave a comment and get in contact with us and we can see how we can help.

do you need to code to use rpa

3 Reasons You Do Not Need to Code to Use RPA

Something which can lead businesses to shun the idea of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the belief that you will need to learn to code to use it. The reality is that at best you might need some very limited programming skills. Even without any coding knowledge, you can still utilize RPA to an effective degree.

Do you need to know a coding language to use RPA? RPA does not require any specific coding language skill to be utilized. Some RPA platforms can be combined with a coding language (EG Python) to gain extra benefit. However, the vast majority of an RPA platform can be used without this knowledge.

The whole foundation of RPA has been set up in order to fulfill these main objectives:

  • Your average person can learn how to use it
  • Coding is not a necessary skill
  • Processes can be automated quickly and effectively

Most RPA systems are built on a foundation of just understanding the system that they use, and most importantly, understanding the process of which you are trying to automate. From the ground up these platforms have been built to appeal to a mass market and be easy to use. There are some highly complex tasks that may require the addition of programming languages, but these are likely to be niche requirements.

Do you need to know how to code to use RPA?

The short answer is that no, you do not need to know how to code to use RPA.

By having a platform that would require programming knowledge, companies are aware that this would require extra manpower. They would need to hire or outsource the knowledge to programmers to resolve any issues. This is why RPA can be so valuable to a company. Once an employee is comfortable with the system, the vast majority of issues can be resolved in-house by people who do not specialize in any coding languages.

There can be some seriously advanced RPA without the need for any coding at all. Part of the selling point of many RPA platforms is that they can complete advanced tasks without any custom programming whatsoever. One platform worth mentioning is Automation Anywhere, who really push forward the point of the ability to achieve a lot without the need for any programming knowledge.

I have no programming experience – can I use RPA?

Watch the video below for a useful answer:


Greatest In Demand RPA Tools in 2022

What is RPA?

RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation, and is a subset of the ‘automation umbrella’. This area of automation focuses entirely on the automation of business processes. In short, RPA is the area of automation which eliminates those repetitive tasks which nobody enjoys doing. From a business management perspective, it increases efficiencies, reduces errors, and in many cases will increase employee morale.

RPA is a bit of a blanket term, and can utilise a variety of technologies. This can include Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and more. All of these technologies are used in order to improve the way we can automate repetitive and mundane processes within a business.

The overall aim of RPA is to have a large impact upon operational efficiency within a company.

We speak often about the general public fear surrounding anything with the ‘automation’ label. However, as we’ve seen quite a lot in the past couple of years, there has been a massive surge in the demand for a new type of worker. An RPA engineer. Businesses are eager to find people who are able to manage and implement these technologies into their businesses.

Businesses which have a heavy focus on repetitive tasks can gain a very quick ROI through the implementation of RPA. Think of processes such as the automation of processing and approving invoices, or repeatedly entering data into spreadsheets. These are the types of tasks in which an RPA engineer would be able to relatively quickly create improvements for the business.

When compared to many other business solutions, RPA is actually quite simplistic to implement. It requires very little major change to the company, and once an engineer has created the process within an RPA tool, it is almost a “plug in and play” setup. Managers can think of it as re-delegating repetitive tasks to a robot, which will allow their human employees to thrive in an area which requires more human focus.

The Core Benefits of RPA

There is the obvious benefit that RPA brings, and that is cost savings. Time is money, and if you can reduce the workload for the team by 10 hours per week, that will compound to a very significant annual saving for the company. However, there are other less obvious benefits as well.

Productivity Increases

Process and worker productivity will increase with the implementation of RPA. It enables businesses to really optimize and improve processes, and utilize their employees in a more productive manner.

Employees who were previously executing these manual tasks will be free to work on other tasks which may produce more return for the company. At the end of the day, the work needs to be done, but if it can be automated, why not free your employees of that burden, and let them focus on more invigorating work?

And what happens when staff feel more excitement and enjoyment from their role? Productivity goes up, and so does…

Staff Morale

Repetition and a lack of autonomy is a surefire way to kill employee morale, productivity and creativity. Automation is often viewed as the enemy in the eyes of employees. However, the actual reality is that it can be a boon to their enjoyment within their career. Studies show that autonomy is one of the key drivers to employee satisfaction in their career. By eliminating the tasks which they “have to do” on a daily basis, it allows them to fill their role with more autonomy and work on more ad-hoc interesting projects.

Error Reduction

Humans make errors. Hence the term “human error”. RPA does not make errors, assuming all the variables that it has been told to do are as expected. A robot in an RPA setup with perform a task exactly as told, without fail. It doesn’t take breaks. It doesn’t get distracted. It doesn’t have family issues, or stress. There are a myriad of outside sources which can impact the performance of a human on a daily basis. These factors do not come into the equation for RPA.

In today’s business environment, a small error could cost a company millions. Therefore, if a process which is essential can be automated with more reliability, it seems like a no brainer that it should use RPA.

There is only one way an RPA setup can make errors, and rather ironically, that is if the human who set it up made an error. Therefore, the only way an RPA error occurs, is through human error. However, assuming everything has been set up correctly, robots will complete tasks with absolute perfect certainty every single time.

Digital Advantage

In the same way that brick and mortar stores were left in the dust if they didn’t create an online store as well, businesses not utilising automation will also be left behind in the future. By accepting automation and implementing it into your arsenal of business tools, you will leapfrog over the competition who are not using it.

RPA can complete tasks faster and more reliably than any human. Therefore, if there are two businesses who are competitors, and they both have 20 members of staff. Company A also has an RPA setup which is running data and reporting overnight while everyone sleeps. It is clear which company has the competitive advantage here.

Automation can run in the background while staff work their normal roles. It can also run overnight, while nobody is working.

A study by McKinsey showed that 45% of activities at work could/should already be automated using RPA technology.

Top RPA Tools in 2022


Automation Anywhere


Inflectra Rapise

Blue Prism

“RPA-Lite” Tools

The following tools on the list might not be categorised as core-RPA tools. They’re a little more simplified, and for the mass market. Fundamentally, they automate workflows, but an RPA tool such as UiPath will take a much larger scale approach. The following tools may be beneficial for those wishing to dip their toes into RPA, or those who work in a smaller company which does not require the large scale operational benefits of the aforementioned tools.


PowerAutomate is a Microsoft solution, which was formerly known as Microsoft Flow. This is included within the Microsoft 365 suite of tools, and therefore is arguably the most accessible tool on this list.

Fundamentally PowerAutomate is a great tool for linking apps together. Whether that be linking Outlook and Excel, or Google Calendar and Twitter.

Some examples of Power Automate processes:

  • When you receive an Outlook email attachment, save Outlook email attachments in your OneDrive
  • Set up weekly notifications of financial operations and sales insights from a CRM system
  • When you make a new file, copy files between Dropbox and SharePoint
  • When a new event is scheduled, receive an alert on Outlook or Google Calendar based on Eventbrite events
  • When you tweet with a hashtag, instantly save those tweets to a specific SharePoint location.

PowerAutomate is based on a ‘trigger’ framework. You set a trigger point, and then when that is triggered, Power Automate will proceed to complete a series of predetermined tasks.


Integromat is similar to Power Automate and Zapier. They are all at their core “drag and drop” solutions for RPA/Workflow Automation. This means that they are all somewhat more accessible and easy to learn than the larger players within the RPA space.

Integromat focus on their functionality of moving data between apps without too much effort, and it has quite an intuitive workflow visual in order to simplify the setup process.


Zapier provides the largest number of integrations of the three options mentioned here. It is therefore arguably the best if you have a wide variety of non-Microsoft apps to link together. For example, if you wish to link your CRM to Google Calendar, then Zapier might provide a little bit of a more plug and play approach than the others.

Zapier vs Integromat vs Power Automate

It is arguably not fair to compare the last three offerings on this list, so we will compare them by themselves briefly.

The main difference between them is that Power Automate is a Microsoft system, and therefore does not run on Linux systems (however, it does work on Mac). Conversely Zapier and Integromat are SaaS style businesses, and therefore everything is set up within their cloud based setup. This means they work on every platform.

From a support basis, Zapier and Integromat are superior, and far easier to get in contact with than Microsoft.

This conclusion can probably be summed up as follows: If you want to automate a lot of Microsoft tools (excel, outlook etc) then go with Power Automate. If you wish to go for a cost effective option, then Integromat is what you’re looking for. Then, if you want ultimate versatility and use many different apps and require a large number of integrations, then Zapier is your weapon of choice.


There is no doubt that RPA is changing the way we work on a daily basis. In the future, we will streamline many processes which do not have to be manually actioned on a daily basis.

This shift into the realm of automation will cause an increase of productivity, a reduction in human error, and an increase in human autonomy which will improve team morale.

By putting RPA into your core function, you will make your business work faster, more efficiently, and put yourself at the forefront for future development in technology. Ultimately pipping your competitors to the post.

psychological benefits of automation

Amazing Psychological Benefits of Automation: Improving your Mental Wellbeing

This is going to be a double edged article from us. First of all, there is the mental health benefits of automation which we strongly believe in. However, there is also the side of automation which can have a negative impact due to the perception of it. Workers can feel as though their jobs are at risk with the implementation of automated robots, which in turn can negatively impact mental wellbeing. But what causes this perception?

We believe the main way to obtain the full benefit of automation is through education of the subject. Many people’s perceptions of automation is somewhat negative, and that purely comes from a place of ignorance on the topic.

Automation is increasingly becoming an important topic within the workplace. Robots/Automated machines are becoming more capable, and can complete more complex tasks. This also includes having “human thoughts” in order to make decisions. This is primarily what creates a negative viewpoint towards automation.

The reality is that life is not going to end up like the film iRobot. The world isn’t going to be taken over by automated robots, and neither is your job. The term ‘computerphobia’ was coined in the 90s, from a rapid spread of fear and panic over the technology. Automation is somewhat following the same trend. It is the unknown. It is unique. And people are not being correctly educated on it, and its benefits.

The true reality is that automation will take over significant portions of the ‘boring’ aspects of people’s daily work. These boring aspects are those which are heavily repeatable, and can be improved by a programmable object doing that task again and again. Not everything can be automated, and humans are still required to perform their job. Processes of the work need to be designed by humans. A human needs to make sure the robot is completing the task properly. The list goes on. Humans will never become obsolete in the work place.

Automation’s Impact on Mental Health

Automation impacts humans positively, and negatively. As discussed. Furthermore, some individuals will be impacted by automation more than others, depending on which industry they work in. It may also depend on what type of job you have as to whether automation impacts you more positively or negatively.

For example, those in a more tech focussed line of work are statistically more likely to be accepting of automation. However, shoving automation into a company who still keeps records on paper, and has done everything manually for 100 years might be somewhat more fearful of the technology.

Scientists have put increased focus on the mental/psychological impact of automation on people, as well as what people’s thoughts are on the topic. Primarily the research focusses on how people feel towards the potential of being replaced by robots/automation. One research piece conducted in 2019 which interviewed almost 2,000 people focussed on people’s attitudes towards being replaced. The research concluded that people would generally prefer that if they had to be replaced in their line of work, they would rather be replaced by automation, than another human. This is an interesting finding considering the generally perceived negative attitude towards automation.

A research piece by Canada Life found that 56% of employees feel as though the potential for more automation has impacted their mental health in some way. However, this didn’t specify whether the majority of employees felt it impacted them positively or negatively. However, it was concluded that 34% of individuals within the research piece felt as though automation was pressuring them to feel ‘always on’. The idea here being that as humans we cannot compete with robots, and therefore the natural human reaction is to feel as though our performance is inferior.

In the same Canada Life research piece many employees interviewed were concerned about their job security when it came to automation implementation. 32% of respondents felt as thought their jobs would change due to automation, and a further 32% were concerned of losing their job. Interestingly, 26% felt concern as to whether they would be able to understand the new systems.

Solving the Automation Wellbeing Impact

From our perspective, the individuals who were concerned about knowledge of the new systems have hit the nail on the head. A lot of the concerns and worries about automation come from a place of lack of understanding. It is clear that to some extent the idea of automation is causing a significant amount of distress in individuals, where they’re concerned about their roles and job security.

The solution here is twofold. Firstly, individuals need to be more open to learn about the subject of automation, and willing to understand the potential. Similarly to the introduction of the computer to the mass market, people are now fully accepting of it. Heck, how many people do not own or work with a computer these days? Automation will be the same in the future. Those who accept and learn about it will realise its benefits, and be able to utilise it to benefit themselves the most. Conversely, those who shun automation and continue to be concerned will likely be on the back foot when they finally realise its potential.

Secondly, there’s the fact that management need to do a better job at educating employees on automation. Simply forcing employees into the implementation of an automated process is not going to evoke a positive reaction. Allowing a workforce to understand how something works, as well as why it is going to be implemented will go a long way in resting the nerves of cautious employees. Furthermore, employers should provide security in the roles of these employees by ensuring they understand that automation is a tool to help the individual, and not an enemy. Heck, automation and artificial intelligence can already be used directly with mental health therapy:


6 Examples – What Can You Automate?

There are two main reasons you do not more commonly see automation projects in the workplace. Firstly, there is a perception that the utilization of automation could lead to individuals’ jobs becoming redundant, and therefore a risk of unemployment. This is not the case at all, and automation should be viewed as tool to work alongside individuals. The reality is that automation can improve the efficiency of individuals and teams. It very rarely completely replaces an individual.

Secondly, even if a company is fully on board with the concept of automation, they often do not know where to start and what they could, or should, automate. Of course, every single business is different, and therefore it is difficult to give broad examples of automation for everyone. However, this post should spark some ideas in your mind of the capabilities of automation.

Another important differentiation as well is what CAN be automated, and what SHOULD be automated. When you first dip your toes into the world of automation, it can be easy to go on a spree and try to automate everything. There are certain tasks which lend themselves well to automation, while there are others which can be a bit complex, and susceptible to mistakes and errors when automated.

Monitoring Twitter Feeds for your Brand

Manually logging into the company social media platforms and checking feeds for updates can be a pretty mundane part of an employees job. You can set up an automated workflow that will notify you upon posting of any specific topic. For example, I could set up a notification for whenever anyone uses the #Solutionyst tag, so that I can quickly go and check what has been said.

Rules can be set up to load all of these mentions into a spreadsheet as/when they occur. This way a member of staff can check all of these mentions throughout the day to see if any of these tweets need to be actioned.

Alternatively, you could set up a workflow to save all of the mentions in the predetermined trigger into a list. This list can then be distributed to the team at a predetermined time each day. Or, if you use another system, such as ClickUp, all of the findings can be loaded into a the ClickUp task management tool.

Primarily, this would benefit a social media manager within a company and improve the efficiency of their brand monitoring. Staring at a screen waiting to see if anybody is tweeting about the company is not a valuable use of anybody’s time. Therefore, this allows the monitoring process to be far more streamlined.

The above example has specifically focused on Twitter as an example. However, you could do this for a whole host of applications, from Reddit to Google, to Instagram.

Post Customer Feedback to the Team

Somewhat similar to the monitoring of social media. You can set up an automated workflow to inform the team whenever a review or news has been posted about the company online. This means that the relevant team can assess the situation and make an informed decision quickly. Often when negative feedback is posted, customers just want to feel as though someone is listening to them. Therefore having a process which enables getting a response back to the customer quickly is essential.

Send a Weekly Newsletter

Whether you are within the marketing team of a large company, or you’re an entrepreneur who needs to send updates to your customers on a weekly basis. An automated process to distribute your weekly newsletter will save you a lot of time and hassle.

This can be combined with other automated processes mentioned within this article. For example, let’s say you have a weekly newsletter which sends useful products to your email list every Friday evening. Well, Monday through Friday, you could use an automated process to add products you find helpful/interesting into a spreadsheet. Then, when the specified time on Friday evening hits, the process will extract those items from the spreadsheet, and incorporate them into your weekly newsletter template. To everyone else, it will seem like you manually curated the list. But in reality, you’ll have saved yourself a tonne of time!

Share Articles Automatically

It is possible to create a simple automated application which ties into your browser, which allows you to quickly and easily share interesting articles to your social media, or email list.

Let’s say you are a Plastic Surgeon and you have a large following on LinkedIn, as you’re known for posting interesting articles about your field. You can set up an automated process which allows you to specify your hashtags, and text while on an interesting article. Then with the click of a button, the automated process will post that article to your LinkedIn alongside the specific text and hashtags. As simple as that. You don’t even need to open up LinkedIn to post it yourself manually. This can be handy for individuals who like to quickly share tidbits to their communities.

You could go even further than this and post to all of your social media channels instantaneously at the same time. You can even alter each post slightly so that it fits with each of the social media platform’s unique posting requirements (EG Twitter’s character count). What if the post is suitable for Twitter and Facebook, but not professional enough for LinkedIn? Well, set a custom option where you can specify whether you want to post that particular article to LinkedIn as well.

Share Data from a Spreadsheet

There are many uses for automating a data distribution. You could email a group of people a stat every week, or post something into a Facebook group, or post a piece of data to social media.

For example, in the finance world, there are often data points which need to be distributed to team members on a weekly basis. You could set this data point up in an excel sheet or Google Sheets document, and then every Friday at 6pm, this data point will be released to the team on an automated basis. Depending on the data point, you may even be able to access this automatically and have the whole process run without human interaction.

Automated Reminders/Incentives/Customer Queries/Follow-Ups

One of the most tedious jobs you can face as a business owner is having to follow up with customers, or remember to ask them for feedback etc. This can be automated easily. For example, you could specify that after 5 days of an order, an email is sent. This email will be sent to the individual who made a purchase 5 days prior. They will be asked if they could fill in a survey which asks for some customer feedback. You could incentivise the customer to fill this in with a predetermined discount code.

Alternatively, let’s say your product has a 30 day trial before becoming a paid service. You could set up an automated email process to go out as soon as someone cancels their trial. This email will query why they didn’t decide to continue with the paid version. This may lead to a handful of customers actually deciding they want to go ahead with the paid version of your service. Automating these small customer service emails can lead to a reduction in time spent. However, it can more importantly lead to an increase in revenue when implemented correctly.

Website Downtime Alerts

This automated monitoring can be a lifesaver. Especially for eCommerce based businesses, where any downtime can quite literally result in massive amounts of lost revenue. This automated process will check the availability of your website on a predetermined time schedule and let you know if there is any time where the website is not loading smoothly. This means that you will be notified straight away, and be able to take action.


Is Automation the Enemy? You May Be Surprised!

I will admit it. Years ago I also thought automation was a terrible idea. I was working at an Accounting Firm thinking that Automation would be the death of my role. I had images of robots doing everything that I was doing. I had somewhat of an existential crisis thinking whether I had taken the completely wrong career path in order to avoid the dreaded risk of automation.

I imagine these are the thoughts that many employees have towards automation. This, in turn, means that business owners/managers are not willing to consider the benefits of Automation due to the fact they want to keep their workforce happy. Let’s be honest, a workforce who constantly feels like they could be removed from their position at any moment isn’t going to be an effective or happy workforce. 

There are many people around the world choosing to ignore the potential risks of Automation. But the real risk is actually the ignorance of the benefits of Automation. A report created by PwC showed that the GDP in the UK will increase by 10% as a direct result of Artificial Intelligence and Automation. This equates to £232bn. This is therefore going to be one of the largest economic impacts on the world’s commerce.

Automation Benefits for Management

Primarily due to depiction in Hollywood, many people’s perception of Automation is that of physical robots walking alongside us and completing tasks. The reality isn’t quite as Hollywood-esque, and somewhat less obvious.

The reality of Automation is actually the elimination or streamlining of mentally repetitive draining tasks. Almost every office in the world has routine mundane tasks which some poor individual despises completing. Automation is going to take these tasks off of their hands, allowing them to utilize their skills in more beneficial manners for the business.

Overall, this means less copying and pasting, report making, and repeated tasks. Many admin staff around the world will rejoice! As the main issue with these tasks is the draining impact upon team morale, which inherently impacts overall employee efficiency.

From the perspective of management, the benefits of Automation are crystal clear. A huge uptick in the productivity of their teams. In the world we currently live in, there are increased demands for information to be produced quicker and more efficiently. Automation allows teams to meet and exceed these expectations. Furthermore, Automation allows teams to meet these expectations without increasing stress and leading to burnout of staff.

Automation can really lead to an overall competitive advantage over businesses that continue to ignore the benefits of Automation. In the same way that stores that ignored the requirement for eCommerce were eclipsed by online stores, we will see businesses who choose to ignore Automation and Machine Learning falling behind year by year.

Automation Efficiency in a Business

Increasing the efficiency of processes is a core way for a business to improve a company’s bottom line. In simple terms, the more a business utilizes Automation to improve its efficiency the less time it will take to complete tasks. I have seen first-hand tasks which took hours to complete manually, be completed in 10 minutes by utilizing Automated Processes (or Robotic Process Automation/RPA).

Improvements to efficiency also have significant improvements upon the stress levels of employees. I extensively promote the intangible benefits of Automation on a regular basis. As an individual who once had to complete many mundane tasks on a daily basis, I have seen firsthand how Automation can alleviate the weight on staff’s shoulders, and allow them to spread their wings within their roles.

Repeatability and Reliability

The difference between a human completing a task and a “robot” is that a robot will complete it, in the same way, every single time, without fail. 

Mundane tasks lead to a reduction in focus. Therefore, ask a human to do the same task 100 times and they are bound to make a mistake or deviation from the standard process at some point. One of the biggest benefits of Automation is its reliability with repetitive tasks. 

Once an Automated Process is built, it will run consistently and reliably. This will then improve the quality of life for workers. The tedious, tiring or potentially dangerous jobs will be eliminated with automated processes and machinery.

Automation Trends in Financial Services Created by the Pandemic

Automation Trends in Financial Services Created by the Pandemic

There have been many changes as a result of the pandemic, in all areas of business, in all industries. The financial services industry is certainly not an exception to that statement. We have seen a variety of changes in mindset in the workplaces, from people leaving industries altogether, to a demand for flexible working from home. The pandemic has really revolutionized the working landscape for many. It has also arguably accelerated the need for automation and created a series of automation trends. Let’s discuss some of those trends:

Variety of Customer Services

One thing the pandemic has created is a general need for automated virtual customer service channels. This can be specifically broken down into channels such as chatbots, and automated call centers. How often have you spoken to a chatbot on a company website during the pandemic?

By implementing effective automation processes into customer service channels, financial institutions are able to significantly improve their customer service. These intelligence chatbots which are created using natural language processing are able to answer direct questions, but also indirect queries as well. They are capable of learning common questions and adapting their internal ‘brain’ to answer the questions correctly. The bots are capable of locating the correct information which is required for the individual they are speaking with, and can also seamlessly link up individuals with real live chat agents when required.

The main benefit here to companies is the reduction of call center/chat agent requirements. You no longer need a small army of individuals ready to answer questions. Just a small selection of individuals who answer the more complex or unique questions which a chatbot is incapable of answering. This can make the overall customer service system in place far more efficient and cost-effective for a business, without risking the level of service provided to customers.

Not only do the bots answer common questions, but they are able to bring together and analyze a significant amount of data quickly. Far quicker than a human could.

Due to the pandemic, there was a significant increase in automated robot chat communication. With Bank of America customers accounting for more than 105.6 million interactions during Q1 of 2021.

Massive Change to Internal Operations

Financial Institutions have massively looked inward during the pandemic as to which functions they are running which could be benefited from robotic process automation. This has led to an automation trend of transforming internal corporate functions with an aim of increasing internal efficiencies. There are some core areas in the financial industry that are being benefitted by effective intelligent automation (IA).

Human Resources (HR)

HR departments have long been laden with a significant amount of dull repetitive tasks. From going through CVs to monitoring the stage at which individuals are at in the hiring process. Automation has the ability to free up valuable time when it comes to repetitive manual tasks. This has allowed HR professionals to put their attention to the key values of any HR Team: Attracting and Retaining Valuable Talent.

The main use case of automation in an HR department is streamlining the recruitment process. This includes the onboarding process for new employees. This can go down to the real nitty-gritty aspects of an HR professional such as provisioning computer equipment, setting up individuals on payroll, or providing new employees with credentials to enter the building. These are all features of an HR employee’s day which could be streamlined with automation instead.

Information Technology (IT)

The IT department could be made the ‘automation hub’ for a company. When a company fully embraces automation, the excellence it provides will stem from the IT team, who are able to educate the business on the capability, controls, and infrastructure of intelligent automation.

However, an IT department in itself is able to benefit its own processes with intelligent automation. They could monitor operations of IT processes on an automated basis, creating warnings or error messages without an individual needing to monitor system details. Application testing, account setups, password upwards, etc. These processes take time out of busy professionals’ days, but they can be automated in seconds.

A key use of automation is in its ability to create simple and quick reporting. Reports which may take an individual 30 minutes or an hour to put together can be created in seconds by an RPA setup.

Financial Departments

We’re seeing finance departments really benefit from Robotic Process Automation in the midst of the pandemic. RPA has allowed finance departments to completely streamline their operations, while simultaneously strengthening controls, governance, and reporting. There is also a lot of opportunity in the finance industry to create costly errors with manual human error. Therefore, implementing automation can reduce these potential errors, as well as reduce the cost of time. This means that finance professionals are able to free up their time and put their focus into more value-creating strategies, rather than spending their time data-diving, sourcing the right data, putting it all together, and creating reports. From experience, reports which took me hours to put together in the past can be automated in minutes with the right automation tools by your side.

Some common automation tools being used by finance departments include the automation of reconciliations, the invoicing process, cash reporting, expense analysis, and more!

A New Viewpoint on Workplaces

Almost every workplace has changed over the last two years. There has been a dramatic shift from onsite working to working from home, as well as hybrid working. This has been somewhat more conservative in the finance industry, especially in the main financial hubs. However, it is clear from public studies that employees in the finance industry want to see flexible working applied to their day-to-day work. 66% of professionals who are currently working in banking and financial services have stated they would like to see hybrid working and flexibility offered by their employer. It remains to be seen whether the powers that be in the finance industry will bow to this pressure and provide their employees what they want.

What does this have to do with trends in automation? Well, the reality is that as a result of this new workplace dynamic, financial institutions will need to invest in technology and automation in order to make sure that hybrid working remains efficient and effective. RPA can be utilized to replace certain tasks which previously seemed impossible to do outside of an office environment. RPA can also be used to support the staff members who are working from home remotely. A combination of a digital/remote workforce with automation on their side will allow businesses to grow exponentially, without also adding significant headcount expenses to their books.

Business Process Automation How it can Benefit You

Business Process Automation: How it can Benefit You

In simple terms, Business Process Automation is a tool that can reduce time expenditure on tasks and increase overall productivity. It can primarily handle those repetitive daily tasks which can become monotonous to repeat. Such as punching repetitive details into spreadsheets, or sending email reports.

With the use of Business Process Automation, you can handle standard day-to-day business processes automatically. This allows employee time to be freed up so that they can handle more human-specific tasks. These automated tasks can link several departments together as well.

For example, the marketing team may receive emails daily relating to new leads that they wish to enter the details of into a CRM system for the sales team to utilize. However, inputting the contact details for several individuals on a daily basis can be tedious. An automated task could be set up in order to input those details automatically when an email is received.

What are Business Processes?

A business process can be simply defined as a series of actions and/or steps that a business repeatedly undertakes in order to achieve a certain business goal. The important part of that definition is the word ‘repeatedly’. Processes are repeated. Sometimes daily, sometimes weekly, sometimes less frequently. Regardless, anything which is repeated with an element of consistency can be automated in order to increase overall business efficiency.

Some examples of repeatable business processes can be seen below:

  • Email reporting
  • Employee Onboarding
  • Payroll Processing
  • Inventory Management
  • Billing Processing
  • Marketing to Sales Processes
  • and more…

What are the Benefits of Business Process Automation?

Increased Operational Efficiency

When a business’ processes are automated, there is a resulting operational efficiency in how those processes are handled. While a human can be inconsistent with the time in which they take to complete a task, an automated process is always consistent. This is due to the fact a human can become distracted, need to go to a meeting, take a call, etc. However, Business Process Automation remains consistent no matter how many processes or tasks need to be handled at any given time.

Cost Savings

By automating processes, tasks that would have previously been handled by an employee (or multiple employees) can now be handled automatically. This means that you can effectively increase overall work output, as team members can now free up their time to work on more human-engaging tasks.

There are two ways to look at this. You can either utilize staff time in a more valuable manner, or there is a general reduction in staff requirement. Implementing efficient process automation could mean that a department only requires 9 members of staff, rather than 10.

Improved Analysis and Reporting

You can analyze processes in a simple and efficient manner with process automation. Whether this is the overall performance of processes, tracking successful completion of tasks, or analyzing overall improvement in efficiency when using automated tasks rather than manual tasks.

Reduction/Elimination of Human Errors

Automated processes significantly reduce the potential instances of human errors. These can generally arise within the workplace due to distractions, work fatigue, or general human nature. An automated process will run exactly how it is told to run. There is no potential variance in its actions.

Quicker Processes

Due to the fact that there are no potential variances in its actions, the speed at which processes are completed is much more consistent. There is also the fact that an automated ‘robot’ can complete actions far quicker than a human can. Whether that be finding files, typing numbers, or clicking buttons. A ‘robot’ can do this almost instantaneously and works immeasurably quicker than the human brain can allow the body to function.

Team Morale Improvements

A topic which we believe isn’t discussed nearly enough when discussing the benefits of business process automation. When you have a member of staff who has to do the same task every single day, without fail. It can eventually lead to an erosion of overall satisfaction in their job. They may love 95% of their role, but that 5% of monotonous work can lead them to really dislike their role.

This is the biggest value in automation to us. The aim isn’t to replace staff, it is to take those ‘boring’ processes away from them so that they can focus on the more interesting variable work which comes on their plate every day. This is when employees thrive, and exceed expectations, by bringing more value to the company over time.


Calculating the Business Benefits of Process Automation

One of the pain points of Process Automation is not just the process of implementing it to begin with. There are also complexities around assessing and reporting the benefits to the business. It may seem simple on the face of it, but businesses often do not quantify the benefits in the right way. This can lead to skewed viewpoints on the true benefits of automated business processes.

Why Calculate the Benefits of Business Process Automation?

The obvious reason is for reporting. Some businesses like to keep a track of their processes and how they are performing. After all, if you cannot quantify the benefit of a new process, then why do it at all? How would you know whether it is beneficial or not?

A company needs to look at their criteria for measurement and understand what their goals are in order to calculate the benefits of automation. This ensures that resources used to develop and run automation is directed to the right place, and that the opportunities achieved from automation are maximized.

There should also be a step of recognition of benefit after the process has been automated, as well as before. This is especially the case for the quantifiable benefits mentioned later in this post. How can you possibly quantify the time benefit of automation, if you didn’t measure the time a process took to do manually?

Benefits of Business Process Automation

Types of Business Benefits

There are three main types of benefits which can be obtained from automating processes within a business. These vary in their ability to be accurately calculated and observed. In order of difficulty of recognition:

Intangible Benefits

These are the benefits that we cannot easily or directly see the benefit of. This does not mean they are any less significant than the more obvious benefits, but they are certainly difficult to report upon. For example, implementing automation into the workflow can lead to an improve brand value or customer experience. While we can do things like customer surveys, it is difficult to directly attribute the benefits of automation exactly to an improvement in customer experiences.

Another common area forgotten about is the benefit to employees, and their overall work-life balance. One of the key benefits of automation is the elimination of monotonous tasks from the schedule of employees. This allows them to have more time to focus on tasks which provide more value to the company, or need more of a human touch. It is important to note that management should make sure that employees are utilizing newly found ‘free time’ created by automation, and not using it as an opportunity to do less work. Generally, studies have shown that when you eliminate the boring tasks for an employee, and allow them to focus on more interesting tasks, their performance and satisfaction in their job will increase significantly.

Tangible Benefits

These can be easily recognizable benefits for the business. For example, an improved working capital position which has been caused by implementing automation within a business process. You can ‘feel’ the benefit. Whether that be a better balance of stock (reduction in stock holding costs), or a reduction in the time it takes customers to pay their unpaid bills.

There is still an element of inaccuracy of the calculation here. For example, customers may be paying their bills sooner with a combination of automation and other events outside the business control. These tangible benefits cannot always be wholly attributed to automation, and therefore it can be difficult to calculate the benefit with absolute certainty.

Quantifiable Benefits

These benefits can be easily calculated and attributed as a benefit to automation. 

A process previously took 2 hours, and now is automated in 30 minutes. That is a time saving of 90 minutes in total. This process runs 200 days of the year. That is a total of 18,000 minutes/300 hours/43 work days in a working year.

You can then take this a step further. Let’s assume the individual completing this process normally was on a salary of £30,000 per year. Paid for 261 days of work, at 7 hours per day. That works out as £16.42 per hour. They have saved 1.5 hours per day over 200 days in a year. The monetary benefit of this could therefore be stated as £4,926 (£16.42 x 300 hours).

In the above example, we can accurately quantify that the company is saving almost £5,000 per year on a recurring basis by implementing automation. That equates to 17% of the individual’s salary per year saved.


How Automation Saves Money for Your Business

There can be a general fear towards the adoption of automation in the workplace. Whether that be a fear related to the cost of implementation, or a fear from employees relating to the potential for automation to oust them from their roles. The reality, is that both of these fears couldn’t be further from the reality.

The growth of automation has also brought with it a growth of accompanying software and tools which has in turn reduced the overall cost of implementing effective automation strategies into a business. The amount of time businesses actually spend on repetitive manual tasks can be surprising, and the implementation of automation to replace these can result in significant cost savings for the business.

Employee fear is also unwarranted. Automation can normally lead to a significant increase in employee satisfaction ratings. This is due to the fact that employees are able to focus on the more interesting and challenging aspects of their roles, as opposed to those monotonous tasks.

How Does Automation Solutions Save Your Business Money?

There is no clear-cut formula for all businesses implementing automation, as each case is unique. Furthermore, some businesses will generally achieve greater results from the implementation of automation depending on how the business is run. Those which have a higher number of manual admin tasks will often reap the greatest rewards. Studies by Forbes have actually suggested the potential to save millions annually. It is also important to note that the implementation of automation is often only an initial cost, yet produces compounded savings year after year.

The key is that automation can significantly streamline the processes in a business. Studies have found that employees who use automation are able to complete projects in a notably shorter time when compared with a manual process equivalent. With a reduction on tedious tasks on their hands, employees are found to become more efficient in other areas of their job. This maximizes productivity and output, which leads to an overall improvement in revenue-generation.

Automating tasks creates a notable improvement in efficiency due to the logical rules applied from automation. This means that it completely eliminates the impact of human interaction. Therefore you will find a reduction in errors, and general human inefficiencies that occur. Unlike a human, a robotic process cannot be distracted by colleagues, stress, work emails etc. An example of this was seen last year when a lapse in human concentration led to a Citibank employee to accidentally send almost a billion to Revlon Inc’s lenders.

Automation can also lead to a reduction in operational costs. The focus in most businesses is often on revenue generation, but in reality, putting some time into efficiency improvements can have a noticeable improvement over profit margins for the business. Often automation can deliver a more notable operational improvement than bringing in more individuals to the team, as well as delivering those improvements without significant costs associated with hiring employees.

Types of Process Automation in the Workplace

There is no singular “one-size-fits all’ approach to automated solutions. Every company will have varying requirements, which will in turn require different approaches to automation in order to create the optimal solution. Here are some types of automation:

Basic Automation

There are often simple tasks which are easily understood and easily automated within a company. This level of automation is all about the creation of lots of small solutions which make an overall big impact upon time savings. The tasks which come under ‘basic automation’ are those which may only take 2 minutes overall, however, they’re performed every single working day and require someone to remember to complete the task every single day. A basic automated solution here could likely complete the task in less time, and schedule the task at the same time every day. Therefore, no more human error of forgetting to complete the task. In addition, 2 minutes may not seem like much, but that is still almost nine hours saved per year. Now, let’s say your organization had 10 of these small niggly tasks to do per day that take a total of 20-30 minutes out of someone’s day. Thirty minutes compounded over a year is 130.5 hours. Let’s then say the individual completing that task is paid fifty thousand a year and works a regular 7 hour a day job. That small saving in time, which is incredibly easy to implement would save the company 3,571 per year, every year.

It is also worth mentioning the overall benefits on team morale when these tedious tasks no longer have to be completed. They will be able to spend that 30 minutes on tasks which require more human interaction, which they are more likely to enjoy.

Cognitive Automation

This is the most complex form of automation. This would implement a type of artificial intelligence by utilizing machine learning to imitate human functions. This means that the automation will utilize human-like thought and reason. Cognitive automation will learn and make decisions based on past events it has analyzed, and from experiences it obtains over time.

This type of automation is currently being used heavily in customer support. ‘Smart Chat Bots’ are regularly being used as a way of having a somewhat human like conversation without the need for an actual human being paid to provide the support unless necessary. These Smart Chat Bots are getting more intelligent over time.

Enhanced Automation

Enhanced automation are for more complex and sophisticated processes. This may be scanning data or recognizing certain information in emails in order to complete a process. This type of automation is helpful for jobs which are more prone to human error. For example, significant repetition which could lead to typos. This type of automation is often used in areas of finance in order to automate report generation.

How to Invest in Business Process Automation

There are steps you can take to increase the success obtained from implementing business process automation, and maximize the real advantages experienced from it.

Be Prepared

Understanding the goals you wish to obtain from automation is the key step. Approaching it with the mindset of “I just want to automate processes” is not the right approach. You need to recognize areas which may be potential candidates for automation. Furthermore, discuss automation with your team, and understand whether they are on board with the process. A team which is against adopting automation as a tool within the business are going to make things difficult when deploying changes.

Strategy is the core factor when preparing to invest in business process automation. It is crucial that you lay out the initial steps and strategy as well as plan out the desired results. It can be easy to have the mentality of wishing to automate everything, but the best approach is to take it one step at a time…

Start Small

As stated above, you should take it one step at a time. Once you have defined your ideal goals and strategy for the company, you should begin with a few small basic automation tasks. This could be something as simple as downloading a report and distributing it to the team on a daily basis. A simple one minute task. This will give you a small win, but it will ease the company into the mindset of automation. It is often these small projects which can win over those who are anti-automation.

It is important to be patient when implementing your first few automation projects, and make sure the project is set up correctly, and tested thoroughly. Any mistakes learned from this will lend themselves well to the larger projects down the road.

Continuous Expansion

When it comes to automation, the progress scale isn’t linear. You will find that some projects will create huge noticeable benefits, while others may feel as though they barely benefit the team processes at all. It is important to continuously expand your automation projects further. When one aspect has been completed and successfully tested, move on to the next. Encouraging your team to recognize potential areas for automation is always recommended, as these are the people who are at the forefront of the work, and likely to know the areas which have potential to be automated.