Busy? Hire a Robot(ic Process Automation Tool)
You may not have heard, but Rocket recently acquired ConnectIQ. As our CEO Andy Youniss noted in his letter earlier this month, ConnectIQ is “a robotic process automation (RPA) tool for mainframe environments, and helps companies create new efficiencies by automating the most often repeated, most labor-intensive functions.”
This acquisition is actually an extremely timely one, and the synergies arising from the strategic combination of Rocket’s mainframe solutions with ConnectIQ’s RPA solutions could signal major reverberations in some of the world’s core industries and institutions.
But first, we should do a brief refresher on what robotic process automation is and why it has become so significant recently. Robotic process automation, or RPA, is (as the term suggests) the act of replacing repetitive, predictable, though typically monotonous and labor-intensive, tasks with a computer script that can handle most or all cases thrown at it.
As you can tell, this has major import for the public and the private sectors, where labor tends to be among the biggest, if not the biggest, costs. En masse, RPA can and has already replaced billions of hours of human work. Now, that notion tends to be alarming because it sounds like these robots are coming for our jobs. However, the vast majority of the time it serves to amplify an employee’s efforts and allow them to replace that time spent doing something literally a robot could do with something where their uniquely human abilities are better served (for instance, providing that human touch to a sales prospect or to a concerned customer). Their job changes, and for the better.
For example, RPA has the capacity to assist claims administrators and very possibly transform the financial model of healthcare altogether. This is also where that timeliness aspect I mentioned earlier comes in. Not only is claims administration already labor intensive and one of the biggest sources of cost and delays in the healthcare and insurance industries, but COVID-19 has turned the whole thing upside-down, requiring a whole new set of rules to process an entirely new category of claims.
Healthcare insurance is already the center of computer transactions on a massive scale that need to be processed swiftly and securely, and it is for that reason that the mainframe, with its unparalleled security and processing power, continues to reign in the sector. However, many tasks associated with processing claims are still conducted by humans, manually. Strategically placed RPAs in these mainframe environments could cut down the number of tasks these administrators conduct manually by a significant proportion. By carefully designing a set of rules and having all claims run through the RPA script based on that logic, claims could be processed much faster, which means patients and hospitals get reimbursed faster. Even a modest decrease in the average time seeing a claim approved and paid would be significantly impactful for hospitals, most of which run on razor-thin margins.
That’s just one (albeit particularly timely) example of the power of RPA. Across industries there are myriad additional use cases for automation, expediting repetitive processes and growing the value you can extract from your legacy applications. The possibilities across financial services, government, logistics – can change the operations and cost structures of these businesses in a transformative way.