RPA for utilities: Applications, benefits and risks

RPA for utilities: applications, benefits and risks

Authored by Kyle O'Rourke and Peter Haney

Automation and robotics may bring to mind an image of high-tech manufacturing machinery, but robotic process automation (RPA) isn’t about physical robots or machines. Rather, RPA is configured computer software designed to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems.

In other words, RPA performs administrative tasks – that would otherwise be done by an employee – without a need for critical thinking or human intuition.

In a utility setting, RPA provides utilities the opportunity to improve performance by leveraging technology to complete transactional, rule-based tasks that have clear procedures. With your organization, consider processes that are rule-driven, involve data manipulation, repetition, high human error rate and electronic triggers. Several processes could likely benefit from RPA such as:

  • Opening emails and attachments
  • Logging into applications
  • Moving files or folders
  • Copying and pasting or rekeying information
  • Filling in forms
  • Reading or writing to databases
  • Following if/then commands
  • Extracting data from documents
  • Performing calculations
RPA can optimize human talent, alleviate workforce costs, reduce errors, enhance work-life balance and ensure replication. Learn about the benefits and risks plus how to create a thoughtful implementation plan.

For more information on this topic, or to learn how Baker Tilly power and utilities specialists can help,  contact our team.

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