As part of my job, I am working with teams who deliver new solutions and monetize them into products.
Expanding the automation footprint with use of robotic process automation ("RPA") is one of those solutions.
Having just over a year experience with RPA through learning, certification and building bots at work, I find RPA technology fascinating and applicable to global businesses including the one that is so close to our hearts - legal.
But before we talk about the exciting world of legal, let's get the basic terms defined and out of the way. RPA or Robotic Process Automation is a computer software that can handle high-volume repetitive tasks that employees just don't like to do manually, period. Some may characterize such tasks as boring and may even say: "Oh, I wish I could automate that boring task. It is so time-consuming". Those are mundane tasks that have to be done nevertheless.
RPA robot, or let's call it a bot, can mimic our actions as we perform tedious tasks on our computers. These bots can access any application, enter data, compare information and etc. all without our intervention. How cool is that!
Let's keep in mind though that I am only describing RPA bots that are rules-driven, i.e. bots that follows simple, repeatable rules to process data. It can be as simple as click a button, open application, enter data, save changes, close application. There may be other bots that are data-driven, i.e. bots empowered with artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to process data, but I will leave that topic for future discussions.
Now, you may be asking yourself do I need to make any changes to existing IT infrastructure to integrate RPA bots.
Luckily, RPA bots operate on top of organization's IT infrastructure meaning that you can start your company's digital transformation and implement bots without changing any of your existing systems.
And the best part is that RPA bots can work 24/7 year after year and never get tired.
As you can imagine, RPA technology is capable of automating entire functions like expense management, procurement, customer service, high volume application processing and many many more back office tasks with 100% accuracy.
Now how about legal? Well, I am glad you asked. RPA can be tailored to tackle both internal and client-facing tasks from checking attorneys' timesheets for compliance to monitoring regulatory changes as well as automating and updating those changes within company databases.
There is nothing new under the sun and our ILTA community produced some very insightful content on RPA legal use cases back in years 2018 and 2019:
- Introducing Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Into Your Organization (By Berys Amor posted 10-14-2019)
- Robotic Process Automation: What CIOs Need to Know About This Essential Technology (ILTACON 2018 session)
With this knowledge of RPA use cases and with the need to offer clients more value for money, I can't help but ask myself time and time again: How can one position RPA to clients? How does one turn RPA into a profit center?
To answer those questions, I will be joining my ILTA colleagues - Andrew Medeiros [Director of Innovations Solutions, Troutman Pepper], Byong Kim [Director of Technology Innovations, Seyfarth Shaw] and Reid Larson [Senior Innovations Analyst, Seyfarth Shaw] - for a 25 minutes podcast to discuss RPA solutions that can meet clients' needs.
I hope you will join us too! #FutureandEmergingTechnologies#CreatingTheFutureTogether