Robotic process automation (RPA) is helping to transform organizations in almost every industry segment, including government, healthcare and manufacturing, just to name a few. But what exactly is RPA?
RPA: An up-and-coming technology trend
According to Gartner, RPA is a technology category under Hyperautomation, which is one of the research firm’s top strategic technology trends for 2022. The research firm defines RPA as “an umbrella term for advanced software systems that can be programmed to perform a series of tasks that previously required human intervention.” Gartner goes on to say that RPA is ideal for “routine, rule-based tasks and basic operations that employees find repetitive and mundane.” Similarly, a report from George Mason University, The Promise of Robotic Process Automation for the Public Sector, notes that while RPA applications may vary in capabilities, they all emulate human actions.
RPA is addressing a costly, time-consuming challenge that companies in almost any industry is facing—repetitive manual processes that are data intensive, such as data entry, manipulation, reconciliation and validation. As companies use RPA to automate processes with software robots, or “bots” as they are called, they free up staff to work on more value-added tasks that can contribute to a company’s bottom line.
Because RPA applications typically replace manual tasks, organizations that employ them save costs associated with people resources and see workforce productivity improve as employees are freed to do more value-add work. Depending on the industry, process optimization with RPA not only helps increase employee satisfaction but also customer, patient or client satisfaction as well.
Benefiting the public sector, healthcare—and more
As adoption of RPA increases, industries like public sector and healthcare are benefiting as seen in these examples.
- Because of the large number of citizens within their domains, both federal and state governments are data intensive. Not surprisingly, the George Mason report notes that the most common applications or use cases for federal and state agencies is data collection and processing, followed by document management, identity verification and multi-system workflow and access. One agency highlighted in the report deployed over 80 bots across the organization and saved more than 3,000 hours of labor on average per automation.
- Healthcare is also a data-heavy industry, so RPA bots can contribute in areas such as patient data, insurance claims, invoicing and workflow management. The George Mason report describes how a county in New York used RPA bots to free up nurses’ time spent on data entry, a move that appreciated because of the increased workloads associated with the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
OCR Technology: Fundamental to RPA—and all Fujitsu scanners
A key capability in RPA is the use of optical character recognition (OCR) technology to digitize data from documentation. All of Fujitsu’s scanners create superior image quality that enables OCR accuracy. That’s the same technology that Fujitsu uses in all image scanners to deliver high-quality image capture.
Our scanners are already widely used in the public sector and healthcare industries where the fi series is known for its superior speed, image quality and paper handling. And as companies in these industries adopt RPA technology in their organizations, our scanners can enhance these applications and create opportunities for even greater productivity and efficiency when it comes to document imaging and sharing.
To learn more about how our scanners can support RPA bots, or about the fi series.