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What Is a Digital Worker?
Despite the rapid digitization of business, many organizations are still slowed down by repetitive, labor-heavy processes. While processes remain manual and performed by people, operating costs are becoming unnecessarily high, an effect compounded by the rising cost of labor.
That’s where digital workers come into the picture. Leveraging robotic process automation (RPA) allows digital workers to handle time-consuming administrative tasks so your workforce is freed up to spend their time creating value for the business.
What is a digital worker?
A digital worker is a custom piece of automation software designed to complete repetitive tasks on behalf of your team. While the concept may seem intimidating at first, technology has advanced to such a degree that digital workers are quickly becoming indispensable extensions of the real-life workforce, and even accessible for middle-market companies.
Digital workers are programmed by human engineers based on your existing processes. Traditionally, these digital workers cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and 12-18 months to deploy, with little or no post-deployment maintenance. But automation-as-a-service takes a different approach, building digital workers on open-source technology, and keeping a human team of engineers at the helm, managing and maintaining those automations.
Benefits of using digital workers
Back-office work is one of the most time-consuming aspects of business operations. The automation of that work saves time for your employees and money for your business.
Reduced administrative overload and costs
Tasks such as data entry and claims management can cost your business a hefty chunk of budget and resources, and are difficult to scale for in the face of a labor shortage. By automating these processes, staff can turn their attention to more valuable work, such as interfacing with patients over the phone, or managing human resources requests.
Overall, automation makes your business more productive. In a survey of IT managers published by Salesforce, 73% of respondents said that automation is cutting the time employees spend on administrative tasks by up to 50% across the business.
Reduced employee turnover
Administrative tasks are necessary but, since they take up so much time, they’re actively contributing to employee burnout. When your team is overloaded, it results directly in lower productivity. One study found that work overload can lower productivity by as much as 68%.
Digital workers can take a huge chunk of repetitive tasks off your employees’ plates so they can focus on more rewarding and valuable work. Not only does this increase productivity, but it raises staff morale and lowers your staff turnover rate.
Improved data integrity and decreased error rate
Another benefit of using digital workers is the reduction in human error. Consider important tasks such as payroll administration or primary claims processing. When humans are processing high volumes of data in a repetitive manner, it’s inevitable that mistakes will happen. Digital workers can take recurring tasks and not only complete them faster, but with a much lower error rate.
How can you use automation as a service for your team?
There are numerous applications of RPA across business functions, workflows, and processes. Here are just a few examples of how you can use digital workers.
Financial administration is full of recurring, repetitive tasks, and digital workers are capable of automating a huge portion of it. From sending and managing invoices and payments to onboarding and offboarding vendors, RPA can reduce the administrative load for finance departments of all sizes.
Recurring HR tasks
Human resources is another department that deals with many recurring tasks, whether they’re weekly, monthly, or ad hoc. For example, digital workers can make payroll augmentations, administer benefit changes, and even prowl LinkedIn for qualified candidates for open positions, and send them LinkedIn Mail.
Data entry and management
As digital transformation advances, there are huge amounts of data being created and managed across the entire organization. Digital workers can help with data-entry tasks and data management so that employees don't have to spend time painstakingly rummaging through systems and spreadsheets. One example of this is inventory management, where digital workers can automate restocking orders when inventory runs low.
Automated app integrations
Less specifically, digital workers can vastly reduce the duplication of work across your entire organization. By connecting enterprise applications using digital workers, information can be updated automatically. This saves a vast amount of time for employees who would previously have to update information across different locations on multiple apps.
For example, customer information updated by finance could be automatically updated on software used by the customer support team to keep everyone aligned.