Robotic Process Automation, or RPA is a fairly new concept to the world of automation and technology which involves the use of software robots, either standalone or as a part of a unified RPA platform, to do tasks that are commonly completed by humans. The goal, when it comes to this analysis is to look at how exactly RPA will affect the workplace, both positively and negatively. After a brief discussion as to what exactly this process is and how it works we will then look at why users choose to use it, reasons for using it, why not to use it, what kind of opportunities it present for business owners and managers in the long term and not so long term. In this article we will explain what Robotic Process Automation is and how it can benefit your business.
What is RPA?
Let’s get the most important question out of the way: what is robotic process automation? Put simply, RPA is a method of automating tasks that are routine and repetitive. A software robot, or bot, is made to perform these tasks in exactly the same way every time, freeing up humans for more complex work.
RPA is one of the easiest and most cost-effective tools for automation—and it can be used in virtually any industry. It’s especially popular with financial institutions because it’s an efficient way to process documents and data.
RPA supported by AI
You’ve seen how RPA can be used to automate tasks that don’t require AI. But while RPA is a great tool, it can’t handle more complex tasks by itself. That’s where AI comes in.
AI can be used to support RPA and make it even more effective. It can also be used to automate tasks that are more complex than what RPA alone can handle. For example, AI could help an organization identify which processes have the most potential for automation, as well as which parts of those processes should be automated first using RPA and then later using AI when the technology is ready to take over from human workers.
But this isn’t an either-or situation—you might use both technologies together! By combining RPA and AI, you can add more flexibility to your company’s automation efforts and keep pace with changes in your business environment without having to upgrade all of your systems at once or spend time on processes that won’t bring you value.
Does RPA replace IT jobs?
The integration of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can seem threatening to IT professionals, and it’s easy to see how this technology could be viewed as a threat. However, RPA isn’t designed to replace IT jobs; it is meant to supplement them by reducing the burden of repetitive tasks and increasing efficiencies in your business processes.
RPA helps you reduce costs while scaling your organization’s workforce. It frees up time for employees who are currently handling tedious, repetitive tasks so that they can focus on higher-level activities that add value to your organization.
Is RPA the right solution for your business?
Robotic Process Automation is not the right solution for every task. If your business needs to have an employee exhibit creativity, empathy, or human judgement in order to complete a task, RPA is not the answer. This technology is best used to automate tasks that are repetitive and don’t require any sensitive decision-making on the part of a robot.
- Is the robot going to be doing something that changes all the time?
- Does it require human oversight?
- Do you need to do this often?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, then RPA might be what you’re looking for!
RPA can automate repetitive tasks and save you time
Repetitive tasks can be boring and time-consuming, but they are also necessary. RPA automates these tasks, allowing people to focus on more important things.
Case Study: A large telecommunications company used an RPA platform to automate and standardize their contracts process. Using the platform’s drag-and-drop functionality, this company was able to transform their contracting process in a matter of months. Employees now easily generate contracts in half the time it used to take them. This increases accuracy and frees up employees’ time so they can focus on more creative tasks.
In short, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is moving quickly into the market. Financial services, manufacturing, healthcare and retail are all hotbeds of RPA activity. And if you’re a software vendor based outside of the US, RPA is almost certainly high on your agenda.