In the post-pandemic era and due to the growing trend of digitalization, companies across sectors are expected to be agile and responsive with their processes and customer service. In addition, companies have to be efficient and sustainable, to remain competitive and relevant in the market. All of this points to one thing – companies need cutting-edge automated solutions that are dependable and enable their business aspirations, as well as diverse customer requirements.
One potential avenue businesses have for automating operations, boosting efficiency, and reducing costs is to take advantage of robotics. By deploying advanced machinery/robotics, businesses can boost their productivity and better manage operations, whenever human skills are limited or unavailable at certain times, are too costly or there are potential health risks.
Modern service robots are intelligent and capable of accomplishing well-defined, repetitive manual tasks inside homes, commercial establishments, large enterprises, and even massive master-planned communities. Due to this, service robots are increasingly being relied on for a variety of applications including cleaning; delivery; entertainment; hospitality; inspection; quality control; sanitization, and security across healthcare, retail, and logistics hubs, amongst others.
That said, while manufacturers design service robots to be collaborative, domestic, educational, etc., they are rarely relied on around the clock, and rolling them out is capital-heavy. The latter means it could be several months or even years before a business could expect to see a return on its investment, if the company chose to buy the machine outright, as is the case with typical robotics implementations. Given the already significant pressures that many businesses face, especially post-pandemic, this has been a major roadblock for firms considering robots.
In addition, robots must be programmed with several crucial parameters and the tasks that they must carry out on a day-to-day basis. This mix of issues has unfortunately limited the ramp-up of robotics within the region, and even across the globe.
A new way forward
Key service providers like PROVEN Robotics in the GCC have found a solution to the aforementioned challenge through cloud computing and robotics as a service (RaaS). As per Markets and Markets, the RaaS market in 2023 is valued at US $1.8 billion, with a forecast to grow to $4.0 billion by 2028.
RaaS is an ideal and flexible option for small and medium enterprises which are considering robotics but lacks the internal resources and in-house expertise to operate and maintain robotics solutions. By leveraging a cloud-based subscription service and renting robotic equipment, RaaS enables businesses to enjoy the benefits of robotic process automation, without needing to purchase equipment outright or worry about maintenance issues.
Another benefit of RaaS is that businesses have the power to quickly and easily scale up or down their deployments in response to customer- and market demands. Simply put, RaaS requires far less start-up capital and offers more predictable cost structures in the long term. Thanks to the affordability, flexibility, and scalability that RaaS brings to the table, it is increasingly piquing the interest of small- and medium-sized businesses keen on robotics and automation.
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Due to globalization, the price of hardware has decreased to some degree, and it is now possible for companies to locate and sign-up for robust cloud computing systems that allow the inclusion of robots as a variable cost service. And since many businesses already rely on software as a service (SaaS), the adoption of RaaS won’t require a sea change in business policy and culture.
Many businesses across multiple sectors and industries are now already benefitting from RaaS. And since the barriers to entry are limited, more and more firms are experimenting with robotics solutions, as they seek to find a competitive edge.
From a business standpoint, companies adopting RaaS can expect an easy selection of the type of service; shorter implementation time and projects kick-offs; easy selection of the type of robot; easy selection of the number of hours on-site versus the cost; shared setup model for a robot thereby reducing the cost of the professional skills, and on-demand services that can be scaled up or down based on seasonal and operational demand.
There has been plenty of dialogue around the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and RaaS can be considered an extension of that concept, as it encompasses intelligent devices with computing capacity. RaaS can also be considered a flexible and powerful financial model that enables companies to purchase and enjoy the benefits of physical service robots.
Through a RaaS purchase contract, the business in question is paying for the rental and usage of a physical device through an online subscription service. That said, RaaS is different from a typical lease contract because the regional service provider remains the owner of the robot, and also carries the machine as an asset on its books.
Taking all this into account, it’s fair to say that the RaaS model will see regional service providers and small- and medium-sized businesses work together on a path of mutual benefit and ROI. PROVEN Robotics is eager to usher in an era of robotics adoption in the Middle East, through solutions that are personalized, strategically designed, and will ultimately aid a business and its employees to thrive. Through on-site assistance and training across PROVEN Robotics’ portfolio of advanced solutions, businesses can expect sustained productivity and growth.
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