IBM and Automation Anywhere are combining Automation Anywhere’s Robotic Process Automation (RPA) platform with IBM’s digital process automation software to create software bots that can help businesses handle repetitive, task-based business processes, according to an IBM announcement.
IBM says the new offering will be especially helpful to companies whose employees regularly complete data-intensive manual tasks within business processes, a common practice in the banking, financial services, insurance and healthcare industries. Examples of such tasks include filing insurance claims, processing bank loans, paying vendors for services and opening customer accounts, according to IBM.
The offering is intended to free employees from repetitive manual tasks and allow them to focus on more creative aspects of their jobs, according to the report.
IBM pointed to The Hanover Insurance Group as an example. Hanover uses Automation Anywhere's RPA platform for back-office functions, such as underwriting, billing and claims. IBM's Business Process Manager comes into play to help manage larger system-wide processes, such as new business quoting, underwriting, and policy administration.
The key for the technology is integration. Though the systems work on their own, when combined customers can streamline business operations and eliminate some rote work for employees.
While some people express concerns about job losses due to automation, others focus on how the gradual displacement in the workforce through automation will aid the economy and drive growth.
Companies like IBM optimistic about the potential benefits of automation, focusing on how its technology will actually improve job satisfaction by freeing people from tasks they’d likely prefer not to do anyway. Employees may even get better at their jobs. A recent report from McKinsey estimates automation could raise productivity growth globally by 0.8% to 1.4% annually.