robotic process automation (RPA)

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Australia is ranked first with 78% of companies in the financial services sector adopting robotic process automation (RPA). It is followed by India with 49%, and Hong Kong and Malaysia with 47% and 44% respectively. Meanwhile, Singapore is at 28%.

Between Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, and Australia, Singapore is ranked last with the lowest number of companies in the financial services sector (28%) that are adopting robotic process automation (RPA) in their day-to-day operations, often linked to helping organisations reduce costs as well as improve output and customer satisfaction. This result was revealed in Blue Prism's RPA In The APAC Financial Services Sector report.

According to the findings, Australia is ranked first with 78% of companies in the financial sector adopting RPA, followed by India with 49%, and Hong Kong and Malaysia with 47%, and 44% respectively.

Distilling the figures further reveals that companies in Singapore, and Malaysia are, in fact, quite unfamiliar with robotic process automation as a whole. What's interesting is, although Hong Kong is ranked third, behind India, for the adoption of RPA, it is actually more familiar with the process than India. Looking at the 'familiarity with RPA' ranking, it is as follows:

  1. Australia (85%)
  2. Hong Kong (82%)
  3. India (75%)
  4. Malaysia (50%)
  5. Singapore (34%)

Robert Dewar, Vice President, Financial Services, APAC, Blue Prism, said: "While RPA adoption across global industries grew at tremendous speed, this report revealed the disparity of RPA adoption within the APAC financial services industry, indicating a long roadmap before the region reaches RPA, and intelligent automation maturity.

While according to Dewar at present, the use of RPA adoption remains largely "a tool to improve efficiency and cut costs", he finds it important for companies to look at RPA adoption as a means to fulfil their vision for strategic business automation,

Where is RPA normally used at?

The report revealed that across Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, and Australia, the top two areas that companies leverage robotic process automation are the finance, and IT departments. This differs slightly in Hong Kong, where the top two areas are finance (79%), and customer service (71%) departments.

Analysts foresee within the next two to three years, companies in Australia and India will continue leveraging the process the most in the finance, and IT departments, while Hong Kong companies expect the same in the finance, and customer service departments. Further, analysts shared that, in Malaysia, besides the finance department (61%), companies are prioritising RPA programmes in sales & marketing (73%) in the next two to three years.

Interestingly, the finance department was not included in the top three areas that Singapore companies will be leveraging robotic process automation in the near term, with companies ranking IT departments (61%) as the top priority for RPA adoption, followed by sales & marketing (54%), and customer service (50%).

Thoughts on RPA vis-à-vis countries

Singapore

  • Among the five markets, Singapore holds the highest percentage of financial institutions (19%) that do not use any of the five disruptive technologies (artificial intelligence, business process management, machine learning, deep learning, and predictive analytics).
  • In terms of factors that organisations consider when drawing up an RPA budget, most organisations ranked maintenance costs (88%) as the most important factor, followed by implementation costs (59%), and ancillary costs (59%).
  • Of the organisations that implemented RPA solutions and technologies during the pandemic, most ranked the increased cost and time savings (75%), as well as the reduction in manpower or burden of administrative personnel (75%) as the most important factors.
  • More than seven in 10 (71%) respondents said that the future growth of RPA is promising.

Malaysia

  • In terms of factors that organisations consider when drawing up an RPA budget, most organisations ranked implementation costs (69%) as the most important factor, followed by maintenance costs (62%), ancillary costs (49%), and business process value (49%).
  • Within the next two to three years, more than four in 10 (41%) respondents expect to invest approximately up to 50% of their total automation budget in RPA, and close to four in 10 (36%) expect to invest approximately up to 75% of their total automation budget in RPA.
  • Of the organisations (56%) that are not currently using RPA solutions and technologies, close to one in five (13%) are planning to implement such technologies within the next six months, and more than one in 10 (16%) are planning to do so within the next year.
  • More than eight in 10 (84%) organisations said that the future growth of RPA is promising.

Hong Kong

  • In terms of factors that organisations consider when drawing up an RPA budget, most organisations ranked implementation costs (65%) as the most important factor, followed by ancillary costs (60%), and maintenance costs (59%).
  • More than half (52%) of the organisations are not currently using RPA solutions and technologies; more than three in 10 (31%) are planning to implement such technologies within the next six months, and close to one in 10 (8%) are planning to do so within the next year.
  • Close to nine in 10 (85%) organisations said that the future growth of RPA is promising.

India

  • In terms of factors that organisations consider when drawing up an RPA budget, most organisations ranked implementation costs (75%) as the most important factor, followed by maintenance costs (62%), and ancillary costs (44%).
  • Of the organisations that are not currently using RPA solutions and technologies (50%), more than one in four (27%) are planning to implement such technologies within the next six months, and more than one in 10 (11%) are planning to do so within the next year.
  • More than nine in 10 (93%) organisations said that the future growth of RPA is promising.

Australia

  • When drawing RPA budgets, organisations ranked implementation costs (77%) as the top consideration, followed by maintenance costs (70%), and ancillary costs (67%).
  • Of the organisations that are not currently using RPA solutions and technologies (22%), close to one in 10 (8%) are planning to implement such technologies within the next six months, and close to one in 20 (4%) are planning to do so within the next year.
  • Almost nine in 10 (89%) organisations said that the future growth of RPA is promising.

Also read2022 predictions: Human capital, employee financial wellbeing, and health in APAC


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