Other parts of this series:
Robotic process automation (RPA) is generating a lot of “buzz” within the insurance industry. At its core, RPA is the use of software to mimic or replicate, at scale, the actions a person would perform on a PC. It automates business processes that are highly repetitive and rule-based, and that use structured data as inputs.
This means some projects can be completed surprisingly quickly – we have found that a simple to moderately complex process can be automated in as little as six to eight weeks, including the design, configuration, testing and transition to production. Organizations can therefore see a payback on their investment in as little as three to six months. This helps transformation efforts gain momentum and strengthens the business case for automation.
Indeed, the case for RPA can be compelling. A successful RPA implementation can yield a 40 to 80 percent reduction in processing costs and up to an 80 percent reduction in processing time. Licensing and infrastructure costs are also relatively low.
In RPA, software bots execute the same processes as humans do by interfacing in the same ways with the same sets of applications. The bot, however, captures all details of the process and stores it for potential later auditing and use in analytics. It works 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at machine speed – limited only by the responsiveness of the underlying applications and the method that it uses to “read” the screen.
Despite the benefits of RPA, however, many insurers have failed to realize its full potential, and have not been able to use RPA effectively as the powerful, strategic transformation lever that it can be. In this blog series, we will look at which functions are promising candidates for RPA and at how insurers can implement RPA effectively at different levels throughout the organization.