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Robotic Process Automation has Room to Grow in Thailand

Thailand Robotic Process Automation

Robotic process automation (RPA) is showing signs that it may in Thailand as businesses gear up to improve cost efficiency and digital transformation.

RPA, automation software for manual tasks that offers fast development and deployment with low costs and quick RoI, is suitable for typical jobs that consume a lot of working time for employees, rule-driven tasks, repetitive jobs and tasks with a high workload, as well as jobs that are prone to human error.

RPA is an important part of most organisations’ digital transformation strategy, especially for the financial service and insurance sectors.

The local operating unit of the Japan-based consulting firm released the internal survey that found 13% of SET 100 and multinational corporations in Thailand were using RPA, indicating considerable room to grow in the country.

RPA has been used in rule-based automation, which is not fully digital labour. It is a rising trend globally, including Thailand.

The technology keeps evolving through a combination of optical character recognition, natural language processing and artificial intelligence, making it smarter. The technology should be more widely available in the market soon.

It was found that 66% of the surveyed companies had not heard of RPA, while 21% said they were considering RPA but were unclear about the real benefits. Only 13% had implemented and utilised RPA within their organisation.

The firms that are interested in using RPA face different challenges in implementing it. The same 66% said they could not find the right actor to take initiative.

The group of 21% said they did not know suitable approaches to start such a project, had difficulty calculating the return on investment (RoI) and faced user resistance.

The final group is struggling to scale up, align with business changes and achieve its RoI target. It was noted that RPA’s benefits can be maximised if the businesses have standard processes, as well as the consistency and governance to help control and simplify scaling up.

The highest-adoption sectors for RPA are banking and insurance, at 70% and 60% respectively. Manufacturing, services, energy, and food and drink are also interested in using RPA.

Reporting, system interface and data input are the top uses for RPA in Thailand, with the top functions as finance and accounting.

The main reason for the increased adoption of RPA for automating key tasks and decisions is the potential to increase the business process and IT operational efficiency.

RPA can cut turnaround time, which means the amount of time taken to complete a process can decrease significantly. The rapid adoption of RPA in Thailand among banks and insurance companies stands out in the region.

Financial and insurance companies can achieve cost savings in the range of 30-60%. The implementation time required is also short, usually ranging from six to 12 weeks. Technology buyers can break even on an RPA investment from 10 months to two years.

Encouraging Digital Transition

According to another report by the same consultancy firm, of the three stages in digital transformation, 70% of Thai enterprises are in the second step, using software applications and cloud computing, integrating silos of data and making predictions via data analysis.

The first step is known as digitisation, where organisations’ data is stored in computers.

The second stage is digitalisation, where all data are integrated into one network, which enables organisations to start connecting with other business partners with digital tech.

The final step is digital transformation, where connected enterprises can create new value for digital transformation.

Thai enterprises are making progress on digital transformation maturity but still, struggle to reach further stages of the evolution. Most Thai enterprises are still in the second stage of digital execution.

With the country being one of the strongest countries for digital adoption in Asia-Pacific, encouraging and enabling digital transformation is a must.

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