The promise and challenges of RPA adoption in Southeast Asia

Robotic process automation and related technologies like intelligent automation can improve processes and reduce costs, but few organisations have gone beyond limited-value tactical deployments around task automation.

Robotic + human hands touch via a futuristic virtual interface.
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As the COVID-19 pandemic has affected most organisations in one way or another, there is an urgent need for them to streamline and automate business processes to gain productivity gains through digitalisation.

In this background, robotic process automation (RPA), in which a (virtual) robot script mimics human actions within existing applications, has strong potential to help CIOs win the day: It lowers operational risks by eliminating human errors and by streamlining internal processes, and it helps reduce costs.

“In a connected world, customers across industries are looking for faster and more efficient ways to connect with brands,” said Krishna Baidya, APAC director of Information & Communications Technologies at analyst firm Frost & Sullivan. “At the same time, companies are trying to cut manual processes and automate menial and repetitive tasks to reduce their labor costs and inculcate more efficiency into their business processes.”

RPA is of great interest to Southeast Asian CIOs

Baidya said that it is no surprise to see the high level of interest across organisations in Southeast Asia to take advantage of RPA technology and reap the benefit. Decision-makers in the leading organisations in the region are largely excited about implementing RPA and have been aware of and exploring the broader field of cognitive automation technologies for some time. “There has been significant investment in this area in the last three to five years,” Baidya said. “Considering the pace we see for digital transformation across industries in the region, demand for automation is likely to follow suit.”

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