Robotic process automation (RPA) involves configuring computer software or robots to automate and standardize business processes and communicate with other digital systems. Such bots work across application user interfaces, imitating the actions of humans, such as signing in and out of applications, checking emails, copying and pasting content, and filling forms.
RPA provides your business with greater efficiency, lesser costs and higher quality. It is applicable in a wide range of industries. It is not surprising that RPA is expected to be adopted worldwide in the next five years.
Technical Advantages of RPA
Ease of Implementation
RPA is easy to configure and deploy. It works well across multiple back-end systems. RPA software or bots interact with existing IT applications. They don’t need any re-architecting or system integration.
Efficiency in Business Processes
By automating IT infrastructure management, you can regularly detect and solve problems faster. RPA improves service desk operations and the monitoring of network devices, thereby increasing accuracy.
Machines can retrieve information, process language, and frame basic content much better now. This means RPA can respond to human beings in natural language rather than in software code, which helps you to conserve resources at customer support/service centers.
You can also use bots to improve personal productivity by deploying custom solutions in individual computers. Since all bots can be managed from a centralized server, your IT department would still be able to maintain control over all bots.
NASA launched four RPA proofs of concepts, found that all worked well, and is now opting for more RPA bots. The expectations of many organizations who implemented RPA pilots and proofs of concept have been met or exceeded.
Foundation for Other Applications
RPA is often the first step in your business’ digital transformation and in adopting artificial intelligence (AI). A recent survey on priorities in process and performance management found that 69 percent of digital strategies were achieved via RPA.
Is RPA a Threat to Human Resources?
RPA doesn’t mean that all your employees will lose their jobs. Instead, robotic systems will free them from repetitive, rules-based, non-subjective tasks, leaving them free to do jobs that need social awareness and decision-making.
Approximately 10-20 percent of employee hours are usually spent on dull, repetitive tasks. Most companies that implement RPA reallocate workers to more knowledge-based, creative and strategic processes, thereby improving productivity and innovation.
Your employees don’t need programming skills to set up RPA bots, assign them tasks, and manage them. Conversely, the bots might require direction from them to automate most processes.
RPA and Return on Investment (ROI)
A large percent of enterprises across industries are ready to make significant investments in RPA. It’s versatile and scalable enough to be used anywhere. RPA can provide a high ROI, thanks to its various benefits:
- Improves all business processes
- Provides uninterrupted 24/7 service
- Reduces costs, increases throughput
- Saves time and resources
- Requires only minimal individual dependency and training
- Delivers defect-free outcomes
- Records all steps, making auditing easy
- Maintains high security
- Supports all compliance processes
RPA Best Practices
Before you opt for RPA, consider its impact on your business and employees. Use it not just as a way of saving expenses, but as a broader strategy.
Define desired ROI and focus on it. Find a good service provider to help implement RPA. Automate a stable, rules-based, repetitive, optimized, high-volume process first.
Build an RPA team capable of assessing feasibility of proposals and deploying RPA, managing it, and monitoring its efficiency. Gradually automate large, impactful processes. Combine non-intentional and planned RPA.
Ensure compliance with policy, corporate and legal requirements. Develop ROI metrics for RPA to help you make better decisions, learn from any problems, and optimize solutions.
RPA will deliver real value if you set well-defined parameters for it. When managed well, the relationship between technology and people can be quite fruitful.