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Robotic process automation, or RPA for short, is a software technology that allows you to easily build, deploy, and manage software robots.


These software robots are designed to emulate human actions, such as understanding what’s on a screen, completing keystrokes, navigating systems, extracting data, and more. But unlike people, software robots can do all of this faster and more consistently without needing a break.

Summary

  • What are the business benefits of RPA?
  • Why is RPA Transformative?
  • Where can RPA be used?
  • How does RPA work?
  • Challenges of RPA

What are the business benefits of RPA?

Robotic process automation can help your organization in more ways than one. Not only does it make workflows more efficient, but it also makes employees happier by taking away the mundane tasks that they have to do on a daily basis. RPA is non-invasive and can be implemented quickly to help with digital transformation. It’s perfect for automating workflows that involve legacy systems, lack of APIs, virtual desktop infrastructures, or database access.

Why is RPA Transformative?

RPA technology is changing not just how work gets done, but who does it. Software robots can log into applications and systems, move files and folders, extract, copy, and insert data, fill out forms, and complete routine analyses and reports. Advanced robots can interpret text, engage in chats and conversations, understand unstructured data, and apply advanced machine learning models to make complex decisions. This allows employees to focus on higher-value tasks while the robots handle the grunt work.
Robots excel at doing repetitive, high-volume tasks that would otherwise bog down humans who are better off focusing on activities that require innovation, collaboration, creativity, and customer interaction. In addition, enterprises that use robots for these types of tasks enjoy increased productivity, efficiency, and resilience. RPA is truly changing the landscape of work as we know it.

Where can RPA be used?

RPA has the ability to create efficiencies and free people from repetitive tasks in a multitude of industries. RPA has been used by businesses in a variety of industries, including banking, healthcare, manufacturing, the public sector, retail, and many more. In departments including accounting, compliance, legal, customer service, operations, and IT. And that’s just the beginning.
The reason why RPA has become so popular is that it can be used in a variety of ways. If there’s a process that is high-volume, driven by business rules, and repeatable, it’s a great candidate for automation. This also includes cognitive processes that require AI skills.

RPA and intelligent automation

In order for RPA tools to stay competitive in the marketplace, they will need to move beyond task automation and start offering intelligent automation (IA) instead. IA expands on RPA functionality by incorporating sub-disciplines of artificial intelligence, like machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision.

Intelligent process automation requires more than the simple rule-based systems of RPA. RPA can be considered as “performing” tasks in contrast to AI and ML, which put more of an emphasis on “thinking” and “learning,” respectively. RPA uses data to train algorithms so that the software can carry out tasks more rapidly and efficiently. With artificial intelligence being incorporated into more RPA tools, it will become harder to tell the difference between the two

Where is RPA being used?

● Insurance
● Banking
● Healthcare
● Manufacturing
● Public Sector
● Life Science

How does RPA work?

Low-code capabilities are necessary for building automation scripts. Additionally, the software must have the ability to integrate with enterprise applications. Further, the software should be able to handle configuration, monitoring, security, and other administrative tasks. Automation technology, such as RPA, allows users to access information that may be difficult to find or buried in legacy systems. It does this by integrating well with other applications through front-end integrations. This allows the automation platform to behave similarly to a human worker, performing routine tasks, such as logging in and copying and pasting data from one system to another. While back-end connections to databases and enterprise web services can also assist with automation, RPA’s real value is its quick and easy front-end integrations.

The benefits of RPA

There are several advantages that come along with RPA, a few of which are listed below:

Coding knowledge

RPA doesn’t always necessitate that a developer is the one to configure it; there are drag-and-drop features in user interfaces that make it simpler for those who don’t have technical backgrounds to get started.

Rapid cost savings

Because RPA lightens the load for teams, employees can be reassigned to other tasks that do require human input. Doing this enables organizations to see an uptick when it comes to productivity and ROI.

Higher customer satisfaction

Bots and chatbots can help improve customer satisfaction by reducing wait times for customers.

Employee morale

RPA can help improve employee morale by lifting repetitive, high-volume workloads off your team. This shift in work allows employees to focus on more thoughtful and strategic decision-making, which positively affects employee happiness.

Better accuracy and compliance

By programming RPA robots to follow specific workflows and rules, you can reduce human error, particularly for work which requires accuracy and compliance, like meeting regulatory standards. RPA can also provide an audit log, which makes it easy to monitor progress and solve issues faster.

Existing systems remain in place

Robotic process automation software is designed to automate tasks by imitating the actions of a human user. By working on the presentation layer of existing applications, bots can be used in situations where you don’t have an application programming interface (API) or the resources to develop deep integrations. This means that implementing bots will not cause any disruption to underlying systems.

Challenges of RPA

Organizational culture

RPA will result in the reduction of certain job roles; however, it will also give rise to new roles to manage more complex tasks. This, in turn, will allow employees to focus on higher-level strategic thinking and creative problem-solving. To ensure successful outcomes in automation and digital transformation projects, organizations need to promote a culture of learning and innovation. With the right educational tools and training programs, you can prepare teams for the ever-changing landscape of job responsibilities.

Difficulty in scaling

Despite RPA’s ability to perform multiple tasks at the same time, it can be difficult to scale up the program in a large company due to constantly changing regulations or internal updates. The Forrester report says that 52% of customers have trouble expanding their RPA usage. A company must have at least 100 working robots to be considered an advanced program, but few RPA projects get beyond the first 10 robots.

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