What is Robotic Process Automation?

In the digital economy, there is a disruptive trend going on in the way work is done. Earlier, organizations offshored high volume back office production and IT operations to take advantage of economical foreign labor. These days not so much! Labor cost have augmented, and on the other hand, software-powered digital labor has become cheaper, faster, and more productive.

Today, the most successful companies seem to be pivoting from people to software for high volume, highly transactional manual processes, and this pivot is happening fast. So why is the pivot to digital labor so important? Imagine a business process that occupies most of your day at work, for instance, repetitively collecting pdf attachments from email, extracting data from those pdfs and copying it to excel, and sending out confirmation emails. The result; you will see your team spending a significant amount of time on these mundane processes, and it seems never-ending. Ever thought, what if we could train software robots to take over these processes? If yes, then you no more need to waste your time on these mundane processes; mean while you can invest your precious time in work that can add more value to your business. Awesome, isn’t it! 

Welcome to the world of Robotic Process Automation!

What is Robotic Process Automation?

Technically Defined: Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a cutting-edge digital technology solution, with which anyone can configure a computer software, or a “robot” to emulate and integrate the actions of a human interacting within digital systems in order to execute a business process.

https://irpaai.com/what-is-robotic-process-automation/

Let’s understand this in an interesting way. Remember, when you were in grade school, playing was all that you had in mind, but then homework used to consume most of your time. There were times when you thought if you had an imaginary friend who could have done homework for you, and you could have kept playing. Fast-forward to 2018, you have a new best friend Robotic Process Automation (RPA), the invisible robot that will do your work for you from data entry, invoicing and creating spreadsheets to reading and responding to emails.

How Does It Work?

Wait, are you thinking RPA is a physical robot? No! It’s an automated software bot. It functions like an additional worker that can be programmed in such a way that it will do your work with 100 percent accuracy, eliminates simple human mistakes that can have catastrophic effects on your business.

Now the next question is, how will you train these bots to perform a business process? We need to instruct these bots to do your daily activities which includes repetitively collecting PDF attachments from email, extracting data from those PDF’s and copying it to excel, sending out confirmation emails, etc. Once they are trained, it’s time to deploy them and then sit back and watch the bot relieve you from the workload.

Additionally, software bots put 24/7×365; they don’t fall sick or take vacations. They also boost employee productivity as they handle role-based, repetitive, and dangerous work. It frees up employees time to concentrate on more value-added activities as well as drive customer loyalty and long-term customer value.

Benefits of Adopting RPA:

1. Saves Labor and Faster than Humans

2. 100 Percent Accuracy

3. Boosts Employee Productivity and Value Add

4. Increased Efficiency

5. Promotes Agility

6. Reduces Cost

7. Scalable, Flexible, and Adoptable

8. Reduced Cycle Time and Improved Output

RPA vs. Regular Automation

Why does RPA stand out when compared with other traditional IT automation? It’s ability to be aware and adapt to varying circumstances, exceptions and new situations. Once you train the RPA software to capture and construe the actions of specific processes in existing software applications, it will then start triggering responses, manipulating data, initiating new actions and communicating with other systems autonomously.

RPA works for organizations with have many different and complicated systems that need to interact together fluidly.

For instance, a zip code is missing in an electronic form from a human resource, traditional automation software would flag the form as having an exception, and as a next step, an employee would handle the exception by looking up the correct zip code and entering it on the form. Once the form is complete, the employee sends it to payroll in order to enter the information into the organization’s payroll system.

Now, if you consider the same case with the RPA technology, with its ability to adapt, self-learn and self-correct it would handle the exception and interact with the payroll system without human assistance.

Survey & Report

According to a report by Mindfeilds, in coming years the rapid emergence and proliferation of RPA technology has the potential to help client organizations achieve greater operations and cost efficiencies. Additionally, RPA will have an impact on low-level roles and functions in the short and medium term. Around 43 percent of service providers surveyed have witnessed FTE (Full Time Employee) reductions of more than 20 percent as a result of RPA.

Wrap-up:

RPA is a reasonable, low risk, and low-cost entry into the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and is expected to lay the foundation for more applications later. If you still thinking, why do I need so many people to enter data into my systems or handle exceptions, then its high time that you consider RPA as a part of your AI roadmap.

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