3Q 2018

Robotic Process Automation for Digital Utilities

Contact Center, Back Office, and Field Operations RPA Use Cases: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

Many utilities have begun deploying robotic process automation (RPA) software to cut costs. RPA can deliver operational efficiency by automating manual, repeatable, and rules-based business processes, which are commonly found in back offices and customer contact centers. An inability to integrate legacy applications is the typical cause of many of these process inefficiencies, but RPA can also be used to monitor signals and alarms from operational control systems such as SCADA. Once processes become automated, the staff that used to perform these tasks can focus on more valuable processes, be trained in new areas, or be taken out of the business.

RPA promises to significantly improve the operational efficiency of a utility, but it comes with its own set of issues. Rapid developments in RPA technology, in particular the convergence of RPA with artificial intelligence (AI), can confuse those new to the subject. Additionally, a tactical approach to RPA can create automation silos that fail to scale or fully leverage value for all lines of business. More value can be lost if companies focus heavily on the cost efficiency aspects of automation. Too often, companies fail to recognize the growth opportunities that RPA offers.

This Guidehouse Insights report discusses potential use cases across the utility value chain, including within the contact center, in the back office, and in field operations. The study discusses adoption trends and how market structures affect the rate at which RPA is being adopted and the use cases for which it is deployed. Global market forecasts, broken out by segment, use case, and region, extend through 2027. The report also examines two uses cases from the UK—one of an electricity supplier and the other a water utility—to give readers a more in-depth insight into what different companies are doing with RPA.
Pages 38
Tables | Charts | Figures 14
  • What are the primary drivers for robotic process automation (RPA) adoption in the utility industry?
  • What are the geographic trends in RPA software adoption?
  • What is holding utilities back from investing further in RPA?
  • What are the key future trends in RPA development?
  • How large is the global RPA market in the utility industry?
  • Utilities
  • Regulators
  • Technology vendors
  • Systems integrators
  • IT consultants
  • Investor community

1.     Executive Summary

1.1   Overview

1.2   Market Forecast

2.     Market Issues

2.1   Definition

2.2   Many Drivers for RPA

2.2.1   Manual Processes in Legacy IT Integration

2.2.2   Poor Quality Data

2.2.3   Manual Processes in Regulatory Reporting

2.2.4   Poor Customer Experience

2.2.5   The Cost of Process Inefficiencies

2.2.6   New Business Growth

2.3   Significant Issues with RPA

2.3.1   Difficult to Understand

2.3.2   Rapidly Changing RPA Technologies

2.3.3   RPA Point Solutions

2.3.4   Narrow Vendor Focus

2.3.5   Narrow Enterprise Focus

2.3.6   Fear of Automation

2.3.7   Customer Resistance

2.3.8   Rapid RPA Obsolescence

3.     Technology Issues

3.1   RPA in the Utility Industry

3.1.1   High Volume, Repetitive, and Predictable Tasks

3.1.2   Complex Processes Require More Than RPA

3.2   Use Cases in the Utility Industry

3.2.1   Back Office Processes   Data Migration   IT Support   HR and Payroll   Finance and Accounting

3.2.2   Customer Contact Center and Billing   Chatbots and Virtual Agents   Billing   Customer Onboarding and Account Closing

3.2.3   Field Operations   Work Scheduling and Maintenance   Long-Term Asset Planning   Internal or Regulatory Reporting

3.3   Utility Adoption of RPA

3.3.1   Npower

3.3.2   United Utilities

3.4   Evolution of RPA

3.5   RPA as a Consequence of Digitization

3.6   RPA as a Driver for Digitization

3.7   Traditional RPA Evolves into Cognitive RPA

3.7.1   Cognitive RPA

3.7.2   Traditional vs. Cognitive RPA

3.7.3   The Promises of Cognitive RPA Are Not Yet Reality

4.     Market Forecasts

4.1   Introduction and Forecast Methodology

4.2   RPA Revenue by Region: European Utilities Drive RPA Adoption

4.3   RPA Revenue by Use Case: Led by Back Office and Contact Center

4.4   Geographic Adoption Trends

4.4.1   North America

4.4.2   Europe

4.4.3   Asia Pacific

5. Recommendations

5.1   Create an Automation Strategy

5.2   Focus on Manual, Rules-Based Processes

5.3   Centers of Excellence Enable Scalability

5.4   Centralize RPA Management to Improve Governance

5.5   Plan for Rapid Technological Advances

5.6   Data and Business Process Excellence

5.7   Robotization Should Not Dehumanize Corporate Culture

5.7.1   RPA Should Improve, Not Worsen Customer Experience

5.7.2   RPA Can Help Utilities Grow Their Businesses

6. Acronym and Abbreviation List

7. Table of Contents

8. Table of Charts and Figures

8. Scope of Study, Sources and Methodology, Notes

  • Utility RPA Revenue by Segment, World Markets: 2018-2027
  • Utility RPA Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2018-2027
  • Utility RPA Revenue by Use Case, World Markets: 2018-2027
  • Utility RPA Revenue by Use Case, North America: 2018-2027
  • Utility RPA Revenue by Use Case, Europe: 2018-2027
  • Utility RPA Revenue by Use Case, Asia Pacific: 2018-2027
  • Utility Customer Citations of Leading RPA Vendors
  • Predictions of Task Model for the Impact of Computerization on Four Categories of Workplace Tasks
  • Utility RPA Revenue by Segment, World Markets: 2018-2027       
  • Utility RPA Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2018-2027       
  • Utility RPA Revenue by Use Case, World Markets: 2018-2027
  • Utility RPA Revenue by Use Case, North America: 2018-2027
  • Utility RPA Revenue by Use Case, Europe: 2018-2027
  • Utility RPA Revenue by Use Case, Asia Pacific: 2018-2027
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