“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
– Bill Gates
Every Publisher is looking for ways that can help to quickly complete tasks that are repetitive and requires little or no thinking in the most efficient manner. This directly takes us to the idea of automation. But automation does not always talk about Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning. There is Robotic Process Automation to your rescue.
RPA is a generic tool using screen scraping and other technologies to create specialized agents which can automate administrative tasks. According to Gartner, RPA is the fastest-growing segment of the global enterprise software market. They estimate that RPA grew 63% in 2018 to $846 million with all top 3 vendors growing >40%.
Enterprises get lured with the idea of ML and AI for automation purposes but also fear to implement the same with the thought that it is going to be expensive and a complex technology to adapt to. Along with this, even RPA is ignored, which is actually an easy-to-implement and cost effective way to get started with automation. The implementation of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in companies can help Reduce Operations Cost by More Than 25% in most of the cases.
Be it attended or unattended, RPA is enough to achieve 80% of the automation objectives. Getting things done is painful, both for consumers and for businesses, and RPA helps optimize productivity. RPA enables organizations to automate processes and enables employees to devote more time to higher value work over time. Any high-volume and mundane processes that are carried out with defined rules can be streamlined through RPA.
Call it software automation, scripting, RDA, RPA or any code that could reduce the human effort to perform a repetitive and redundant task, the eventual goal is to move towards imbibing RPA in its truest form.
Let us have a look at 4 use cases about how publishers can leverage partially or entirely RPA in their advantage to incorporate technology in synergy to their work.
Invoicing & Fulfillment
RPA becomes very useful in simplifying some time tasking processes which are to be taken care of every now and then for every single customer. Talking about something basic as subscription management, RPA can be defined which takes care of the monthly invoicing, reminder emails, and more such tasks.
Even tasks like taking care of the financial reporting or deferred revenue is taken care of. In accounting departments, for example, RPA will reduce personnel requirements by 28 percent to 41 percent in the next five years freeing the respective team members for activities that generate more added value.
Robotic automation is an excellent fit for content migration because both the technology and migration share a similar profile of highly structured, rules-based, activities.
For publishers going through or about the begin the process of Merger & Acquisition, one of the most crucial aspects they need to take care of is the complex migration of content from both the ends. The value of an M&A deal hinges partly on the quick and efficient consolidation of systems and processes to capitalize on cross-selling, synergistic opportunities, and cost efficiencies. And with most anything else, time is money.
RPA helps to integrate two or more site data in one with structured rules. Be it website, data, articles, videos and other digital assets, content migration looks like an easy task. Even something like formatting of the brand in the portal/system is smoothly carried out by RPA. RPA helps in cutting down heavy operational costs of content migration and allows companies to focus on their customer and front-end growth opportunities.
When the technology, software & systems start becoming obsolete and new technology solutions are rising rapidly, it is then time for a system upgradation. Majority of the publishers avoid the idea of an upgradation with the thought that it would prove to be a costly affair and time consuming. RPA helps to ease the pain of perplexed upgradation.
One of the crucial areas of upgradation is content cleaning. RPA detects corrupt data and updates records with accurate information. For example, if a website is based on Polopoly platform, and wants to shift to a more powerfulCMS platform like wordpress or drupal, RPA come to the rescue. This is something that all businesses should invest time and effort into, as it keeps your information relevant and up-to-date. This also makes the website SEO and user friendly post upgradation.
As we all know, editorial workflow is not your typical fireplace reverie. It is a series of steps taken to get from an idea to a finished piece of content that’s ready to be published in a regimented system of checks and balances and becomes more complicated for brand publishers that must also align with various departments.
If there are no well set workflows, it is bound to become a messy labyrinths of bureaucracy. But when you have an established workflow all in one place, you can avoid those issues by building a workflow and RPA helps to automate the same workflow with minimal human intervention. Even to a certain extent, news, blogs to be shown from another medium to your site, RPA just needs some set rules to follow and this would also become automated.
This improves efficiency, saves ample time, gets rid of the unnecessary mental load, and gives space to work on other new projects.
RPA is a promising new development in business automation that offers a potential ROI of 30–200%—in the first year. The leading publishers have adopted RPA in their work in the mentioned task areas and even to other sections of work.
With RPA, they get to focus on their core business and expand knowledge domain. These publishers are also exploring ways to implement RPA to further making their processes and systems more robust and efficient. Not only advanced publishers need RPA – irrespective of the publishing firm size & scale, digital publishers can effortlessly incorporate in their operations at a very reasonable cost with a quick implementation time period.