RPA – Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation is the technology that allows anyone today to configure computer software, or a “robot” to emulate and integrate the actions of a human interacting within digital systems to execute a business process. RPA robots utilize the user interface to capture data and manipulate applications just like humans do. They interpret, trigger responses and communicate with other systems in order to perform on a vast variety of repetitive tasks1.
Often times, when RPA is being written about or discussed, the image of robotic arms on an assembly line or drones in the air are displayed. The truth is, RPA, in the services industry, has a much different connotation. The purpose of RPA is to gain scale and eliminate repetitive, time-consuming processes. The use cases for implementing RPA solutions at Investment funds are typically around large operations teams that perform many standardized functions to reconcile positions and clear trades. However, a case can still be made for the implementation of selective automation at smaller funds.
The Robotic Process Automation market continues to grow — projections reflect that the industry will be worth $3.1 billion by 2019 and reach $4.9 billion by 2020. When the workload is large enough, RPA programs will cut costs and eliminate manual work, allowing for more value-added activities.
The technology for RPA has been around for several years. Some of the players in the industry got its start in automated testing or QA. At the core, RPA is a series of scripts that can be written to automate routine processes and take the human element out of the process. Examples can be around scraping websites for data or logging into applications to query for data. Reconciliations are a key business case, as well as the steps towards clearing trades that can be routinized.
RPA can be used to update spreadsheets, calculate position exposure, perform post-trade compliance checks or any other process that is considered manual and detracts from analytical activities.
UiPath – the most widely used RPA platform in the world today, drawing together elite enterprises, global partners committed to excellence in implementation and product innovation, and the largest RPA developer community ready to make an impact on the world.
Blue Prism – As the pioneer, innovator, and market leader in RPA, Blue Prism delivers the world’s most successful digital workforce. The company’s software robots automate repetitive administrative tasks while meeting the requirements of the most demanding IT environments, where security, compliance, and scalability are paramount. Blue Prism provides a scalable and robust execution platform for best-of-breed AI and cognitive technologies and has emerged as the trusted and secure RPA platform of choice for the Fortune 500.
Automation Anywhere – Automation Anywhere is a developer of robotic process automation software. The company’s product, Automation Anywhere Enterprise, caters to enterprises looking to deploy a digital workforce composed of software bots that complete business processes end-to-end.
We would recommend going with a robotics program which is a carefully planned, project-managed approach with proper ongoing support as opposed to having one random developer creating scripts on an ad-hoc basis. For funds with less headcount and limited operations teams, however, RPA can still be leveraged to allow valuable time to be freed up for key individuals.
FinServ Consulting has been providing technology and business solutions to financial services firms for over 15 years.
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1 UiPath website
About FinServ Consulting
FinServ Consulting is an independent experienced provider of business consulting, systems development, and integration services to alternative asset managers, global banks and their service providers. Founded in 2005, FinServ delivers customized world-class business and IT consulting services for the front, middle and back office, providing managers with optimal and first-class operating environments to support all investment styles and future asset growth. The FinServ team brings a wealth of experience from working with the largest and most complex asset management firms and global banks in the world.