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For years, the conversations I’ve had with prospects about the promise of RPA often boiled down to the usual list of benefits:

  • Cost reductions
  • Increases in transaction processing flow
  •  Improved accuracy
  • Tighter security

However, as the US economy kicks into overdrive and unemployment hovers around 3.7%, for the first time in a long time, we’re operating in an environment where there are more jobs than qualified people to fill those jobs. As a result, the complexion of the RPA sales conversation is changing a bit. Sure, we’re still talking about the benefits described above, but we’re also hearing comments such as:

  • “Freeing up our people to focus less on the mundane and more on the organization’s vital functions is no longer a mere desire. Rather, it’s rapidly becoming a necessity if want to keep those people. RPA will be a big part of accomplishing this strategic necessity.”
  • “It’s becoming more difficult to find new people to perform these functions at a cost point that makes sense. We believe RPA will help contain those costs.”
  • “Tightening job markets are sure to create employee churn. That churn will cause business continuity disruptions. By forcing us to refactor, document and institutionalize our processes, RPA will serve as a hedge against such risks.”

As technology professionals, it’s easy for us to get caught up in the “better, faster, cheaper” pitch. And that’s understandable considering that pitch has worked well since the beginning of time. However, good economic times has a way of refocusing a company’s attention away from bottom line efficiencies and more towards workforce satisfaction, employee retention and business continuity issues. So, as improving bottom lines turns organizations’ fancies towards these other pursuits, RPA vendors and consultants should incorporate into their pitches the ways RPA can be used as a hedge against good economic times. Times where an employee’s eye wanders and finding suitable replacements is increasingly more difficult.