How to Keep Your Customers’ Data Safe with RPA

February 7, 2023

Robotic Process Automation can reduce human errors and prevent security mishaps

Like most enterprises today, you’re probably doing your best to weigh staffing needs with investments in technology to support your business this year and in the future. No doubt you’ve also heard about the increasing incidence of security breaches among companies large and small over these last pandemic years, as businesses raced to deploy the infrastructure and systems that would allow their employees to work remotely.

As part of those deployments, you may have also heard about robotic process automation (RPA), an increasingly valuable array of software tools. RPA was included as one of Gartner’s top 2022 automation predictions, which included IT systems becoming increasingly critical as organizations rely on business process automation to deliver both internal and external digital experiences. Add to that new data storage and computing technologies to help the many organizations that are reaching a digital wall while they also attempt to fend off the increasing number of cyberattacks.

RPA is definitely having a moment in tech history

Enterprises in a wide range of industry sectors are integrating RPA technology at a rapid pace. In fact, Gartner reported last summer that the projected RPA spend for 2022 was $2.9 billion, a 20 percent increase, with the worldwide RPA software market expected to balloon again with double-digit growth in 2023. While RPA’s main function is not to replace staff, it can help reduce staffing costs because it reduces the hours people spend on tedious and repetitive tasks. Examples include claims processing for insurance and healthcare, data input, payment processing, new employee onboarding, record-keeping for hospital patients and freeing time for call-center reps to focus on customer service.

Meanwhile, the employment landscape has changed

The Great Resignation boosted job availability, even as unemployment has remained low. Wages have soared, while the demand for qualified workers remains steady. However, administrative-heavy jobs are no longer appealing to most workers and have been hard for employers to fill. RPA can bridge operational gaps and eliminate business inefficiencies by mimicking the same digital skill sets as people – allowing your key staff to focus on the most worthwhile business activities. Providing error-free work 24/7, RPA saves time, money and delivers more accuracy than manual data entry by humans.

RPA bots act as a digital workforce that can interact with any system or application to execute rules-based tasks and actions, freeing your workforce from repetitive and remedial tasks. The bots are also vital security tools, offering highly efficient ways to keep your customers’ data safe in this age of ever-increasing threats to sensitive and valuable information. For example, the more administrative processes involving paper in your business activities, the more steps and people are involved in each process, opening you up to many more opportunities for costly errors and potential data exposure that could lead to data breaches. There are many aspects to consider when it comes to data security, but as part of a proactive initiative, RPA can not only be a huge timesaver to streamline your operations, it can also be part of your defense.

RPA is quickly becoming an essential investment for conducting business more securely through efficient and cost-effective tools and processes. It helps prevent the exponentially expensive data breaches or incorrect entry that could create major setbacks, such as poor customer service experiences, costly and time-consuming re-work, or worse.

Who benefits most from RPA and why

Businesses that put RPA in place can see major benefits to their bottom line, but automation especially comes to the rescue for industry sectors that must handle repetitive tasks and extensive customer relationship management activities. These are areas that are most prone to errors if data is entered by human hands.

These errors can happen during tasks related to essential functions and activities common to many businesses, such as processing invoices, reviewing new contracts and updating existing ones, and customer on-boarding, all of which require the most accurate and up-to-date information and data. Finance, HR, IT and Operations are among the top departments that benefit most from RPA to increase productivity, accuracy and enhance customer experiences while keeping their information more accurate and secure than paper-based processes. RPA can free up valued employees to do more creative and innovative work. Plus, the automation potential is practically unlimited, because bots can be designed to work within an existing platform to perform complex, multistep automation functions. RPA bots are also designed for rapid implementation within your organization, driving ROI sooner to deliver cost savings. For every $1 invested, you should expect to receive $2 to $4 back, and some of our customers experience returns as high as $10 for every $1 invested.

Whether you’re a CIO, HR Tech, IT Lead, CFO or CHRO, with RPA we can help you speed up work and greatly improve accuracy of customer information within your back-office functions. If you’re a Chief Customer Officer, IT or Center of Excellence Lead or CIO, the time savings and accurate input of customer data RPA provides will benefit your front-office functions.  Regardless of the front or back office operations you’re responsible for, Konica Minolta is here to show you how to benefit most from implementing RPA as one key component to keep critical data accurate, safe, and secure.

How automation takes security to a whole new level

Security for your organization comes from organizational and preventive measures already in place. In regard to documents, digitizing them and enabling rights-based access ensures your customers’ data is only visible to authorized staff members.  By combining automation and machine learning, RPA can learn and adapt automatically to complete repetitive tasks, and along the way, become more intelligent over time to help you and your staff best manage and secure customer data.

Remember, paper documents present the potential for risk, and digitizing them can be key to mitigating risk within your business. Imagine if someone took a picture of sensitive customer information with their personal phone…or printed, copied and shared private customer or privileged business information with an outsider who has criminal intentions? By creating a digital process, RPA bots can eliminate exposure to prying eyes accessing private information by only granting access to specific users with the proper credentials, instead of paper being out in the open or within a filing cabinet.

And when it comes to departing employees, it’s important to prevent them from taking sensitive documents home with them or to their next employer. These are all critical security-related reasons for access controls, minimizing risk and strategically investing in tools to help enhance your security posture, RPA being just one of many throughout an exhaustive group of tools available.

Expert help to make RPA simpler and successful

While you may have heard that RPA technology can be solely deployed by an internal business unit, the skill set of your staff may not support a smooth deployment. However, your IT and information security departments are critical for its successful deployment at every stage – planning, deploying and managing the solutions throughout their lifecycle – along with an experienced and knowledgeable partner such as Konica Minolta. After your RPA solutions are deployed, they can be locked down to ensure limited human access and a high level of security. But keep in mind, a prerequisite for a successful RPA deployment is through granting specific access based on job roles – and between bots and humans – so that access is controlled and easy to differentiate between each role. Implementing centralized user management and digital audit trails are also best practices. The audit trail allows you to see who assesses, when, from where and more.

Konica Minolta will meet you wherever you are on your digital transformation journey to deploy automation that streamlines your business processes and benefits your bottom line, while helping you maintain high levels of security. Learn more about how we can solve your security and automation challenges.

Josh Reese
Vice President, Intelligent Information Management Sales

Josh Reese is the Vice President of Intelligent Information Management Sales for Konica Minolta. A sales executive with over 17 years of experience, Josh leads customers through their digital transformation journey by focusing on business process automation. He is responsible for leading a team dedicated to growing revenue while ensuring customers achieve their desired outcomes with Konica Minolta products and services. Josh joined Konica Minolta in 2019 after spending 13 years at Hyland, where he held pivotal roles in sales, sales management and global alliances. He holds a BBA degree from Kent State University and resides in Northeast Ohio with his wife, Lisa, and their two kids. When not working, Josh enjoys coaching youth sports and keeping up with his two boys.