What is Robotic Process Automation?
We are made to automate! What is Robotic Process Automation?
- Robotic Process Automation (RPA) automates tasks by accessing information from your existing systems and integrating with your current applications. It can also connect with other softwares and applications using APIs.
- RPA can be implemented everywhere, where repetitive computer tasks take place.
- It is highly recommended to hire professionals who understand your business and problem well in order to implement successful automation.
Table of Content
- What is Robotic Process Automation?
- Where can RPA be used?
- How does RPA work?
- Benefits of RPA
- How do I start with RPA?
- Challenges of RPA
- Is RPA the same as artificial intelligence?
- What Is Intelligent Automation?
- Which RPA software should I use?
- RPA use cases
- What are the business benefits of RPA?
- Why is RPA the fastest-growing enterprise software in the world?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an application of technology, governed by business logic and structured inputs, aimed at automating business processes. By using RPA tools, a company can configure software, or a “robot” to capture and interpret applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems.
Where can RPA be used?
Robotic Process Automation can be implemented everywhere, where repetitive computer tasks take place. RPA can help to automate or semi-automate tasks that are performed based on regularly scheduled periods of times. It is most commonly used to ease work on repetitive tasks that can be logically performed based on predefined criterias (If this then that). The most common areas of RPA implementation are:
- Store planning
- Inventory management
- Logistics and supply chain management
- Business and sales analytics
- Customer support management
- EOD and Month-end Reporting
- Payment processing
How does RPA work?
The Robotic Process Automation works by accessing information from your existing IT systems, integrating with your current applications in order to automate tasks. It is basically repeating the tasks that are usually performed by standard computer users. Designed bot can perform tasks on your computer using softwares that are available as well as search for information on the internet. It can also connect with other softwares and applications using APIs. As long as the process is repetitive and always follows similar steps, then the robot can perform given tasks at any given time. The robot can even handle some exceptions as long as they were considered when designing its workflow.
What can Robotic Process Automation software do?
- Read/write to database
- Send emails
- Scrape data from the web
- Extract structured data
- Collect statistics
- Fill in forms
- Move files/folders
- Connect to system API
Benefits of RPA
There are numerous advantages of Robotic Process Automation which lead industry leaders to implement this technology. Below you can find some of the advantages of RPA:
- Robot can work 24/7
- Is more efficient
- Do not take breaks
- Is cheaper
How do I start with RPA?
- If the automation process is possible, then I will ask you to record your screen to show every step of the process you want to automate.
- Allow some time to find the best solution in terms of system requirements as well as costs.
- Implement Robotic Process Automation solution.
Challenges of RPA
Still, Robotic Process Automation is a new technology, which requires time for full adoption from companies. Below you can find some challenges / disadvantages of RPA.
Shortage of skilled resources
The technology is booming rapidly, however still lacks skilled automation engineers who can accomplish tasks. Shortage on skilled resources makes the automation longer and therefore more expensive (considering salaries costs and time for implementation
Lack of required support
Even if you find a company who will take care of RPA implementation for your business, you need to be aware that implementation takes time and adjustments over time. It is highly recommended to hire automation engineers who are easy to communicate with and understand your business and problem well. Moreover, before moving forward with any RPA implementation make sure that the company offers high quality customer support. Be aware that any errors in automation can cost you extra money.
Vaguely defined Business grow plans
Robotic Process Automation should be implemented as a part of company growth. Before moving forward with the implementation it is recommended to understand what are the expectations and whether the process will need to be upgraded in the future. Knowing that at the first phase allows us to plan ahead and prepare for future upgrades.
Even though the goal of the automation is to make the businesses progress faster, it is often not clear to employees who often have mixed feelings about their employment future.
Incorrectly identified ROI expectations
Often businesses cannot provide a clear plan for their expectations regarding the automation implementation. My goal is to always think ahead and understand how much you can realistically gain from the implementation.
Not enough support from vendors
In almost all the RPA projects, we will come across situations where there would not be a straightforward solution. Errors should also be taken into consideration at an early stage. It is important to hire professionals who know how to do the job.
Is RPA the same as artificial intelligence?
No, RPA works on predefined inputs and outputs while artificial intelligence uses unstructured inputs and develops its own logic.
What is Intelligent Automation?
Intelligent Automation (IA) is a combination of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies which together empower rapid end-to-end business process automation and accelerate digital transformation.
Which RPA software should I use?
UiPath is a RPA tool that comes with the drag and drop feature and is very easy to use. UiPath reduces human intervention by automating iterating tasks.
It is the RPA tool that offers the users secure, flexible, and scalable features. It is designed for dealing with complex issues and is meant to be used at the enterprise level.
RPA use cases
One of the most common RPA implementations is to process invoices. Below you can find a video presenting how such a process can look like.
This is an example of what the RPA software can do. This video shows how to read data from invoices, add it into excel and later upload it onto a web page (fill in the form).
What are the business benefits of RPA?
No doubt, the most critical outcome of RPA implementation is replacing humans with robots and cutting the costs. Let me compare human to robot to see the areas where robots can perform better and areas where humans are inevitable.
- Makes decisions
- Can handle unexpected situations
- Is creative / flexible
- Changes work pace
- Makes errors
- May change workplace
Why is RPA the fastest-growing enterprise software in the world?
RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is experiencing rapid growth due to several key factors:
Cost-Efficiency: Implementing RPA technology often results in significant cost savings by automating repetitive tasks that would otherwise require human labor. This reduction in operational expenses is a driving force for its adoption.
Time Savings: RPA enables swift task execution, significantly reducing the time taken to complete various processes. This increased efficiency leads to faster delivery of services or products.
Error Reduction: By minimizing human intervention in routine tasks, RPA reduces the likelihood of errors and enhances accuracy, boosting overall quality and reliability.
Scalability and Flexibility: RPA solutions can be easily scaled to accommodate larger workloads without considerable adjustments. Additionally, they’re adaptable across various industries and business functions.
Improved Productivity: Automation of mundane tasks allows human resources to focus on higher-value work, fostering innovation and enhancing productivity.
Compatibility and Integration: RPA software often integrates smoothly with existing systems, making it feasible to automate tasks within established workflows without the need for major overhauls.
Global Digital Transformation: The push for digital transformation across industries worldwide is driving the adoption of RPA as companies seek innovative solutions to optimize processes and remain competitive in a rapidly evolving landscape.
The Robotic Process Automation software can be used to upgrade the way you work and gets you ahead of the competition. It is a very powerful tool which enables us to automate many processes.
The RPA implementation can be quite pricey, however it is important to note that it is one time cost only and if implemented well it can perform with same accuracy and speed for years without any errors. It can also be upgraded or modified in the meantime.
While RPA softwares is very beneficial for the company’s growth, it is still important to make sure that you hire top quality professionals who can automate this solution for you.