Digital Workforce: A Game-changer For All CFOs
Marco Vassallo - Published on 12/12/2018
How does reducing your cost by up to 75% while at the same time improving your work speed, accuracy, and control sound? At first, some may deem this to be ‘too good to be true’. However, the truth is robotic revolution is here, and advances in automation have actually made such an ideal scenario possible.
A Golden Opportunity for CFOs
Such advances have especially presented a valuable opportunity for Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) who in today’s ever-changing environment are always seeking novel and innovative ways to reduce costs, achieve profitable growth, and drive competitive advantage. As bars get higher, they are challenged to think differently, and digital workforce is one of their answers.
Better Efficiency through Robotic Process Automation
The automation spectrum is wide-ranging, offering endless opportunities to those CFOs who strive to radically improve the efficiency of their finance department. On one end of the spectrum lies Robotic Process Automation (RPA), a kind of software that is able to carry out fixed, predictable, ruled-based tasks in areas like accounts reconciliation, transaction processing, and order entry.
It is true, robots have been around for a number of years now, having proved to be revolutionary in industries such as medicine, manufacturing, and warehouse operations. Now, robotics are morphing into digital workforce, and are said to be as disruptive to the back office as were outsourcing and offshoring.
In addition to reducing costs, robots also provide CFOs with a peace of mind, through their ability to reduce risk of manual error. What’s more, by transferring certain tasks to robots, employees can instead focus on work of higher value. Rather than spending an entire day repetitively processing transactions, employees can focus on examining customer profitability or pinpointing cost-saving opportunities. Thus, digital workforce becomes instrumental in increasing the employees’ capacity for more valuable business partnering.
Generally, a combination of people and technology is utilised to achieve business processes. Nowadays, given such a contemporary competitive environment, business needs are constantly changing to reach set targets and ensure maximum efficiency. Consequently, there might be technology limitations, as it is difficult for non-RPA based software applications to be adapted, evolved or developed at the same speed at which the business requires to effect these changes. This is an extremely good case where RPA can be a solution, since such automation has the capability and potential to cater for the ever-changing business needs.
At the higher end of the automation spectrum, one finds RPA integrated with more refined, cognitive technologies like machine learning and natural language processing. These are capable of executing complex tasks that historically necessitated human intelligence and situational analysis. Such systems promise to assist employees in, amongst others, conducting research as well as in answering customers’ queries and crucial business questions.
As CFOs endeavour to reach new heights, robots, through their overwhelming combination of benefits, serve to vault them into position. And so, it comes as no surprise that the partnership between humans & machines and business & IT continues to evolve and thrive.
Savvy CFOs no longer aim to reduce costs through low-cost labour and geography. Rather, they are diverting their efforts to next-generation automation, which is undeniably causing unprecedented transformation in finance departments.
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