The advent of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has opened a whole new dynamic of competitive advantage for businesses. IT professionals are the first ones to adapt to emerging technology and for a technology that uses AI, RPA becomes appealing. The application of AI in RPA brings a newer angle for enterprises to capitalize upon. When the element of opportunity arises, businesses are not very far from reaching out to it.
With Microsoft announcing its step into the RPA market, it opens up a whole new dynamic of IT firms. There are already quite a few firms from different industries that have included RPA significantly in their workforce. Top IT firms such as Cognizant, Accenture, and Capgemini implementing RPA successfully into their workforce. In other sectors, there is Deutsche Bank, Ernst & Young and Vodafone integrating the same. In fact, even educational organizations have created courses specializing in RPA. Automation Anywhere and TalentSpring have collaborated and launched a Talent Development Centre Initiative for India. This center will help students attain certifications and career prospects across the Automation Anywhere ecosystem.
As RPA makes it big in the market, understanding it to its very core would be ideal for business employees. Let’s start with the basics.
What is RPA?
In it’s simplest sense, RPA is performing tasks or activities by a robot which would otherwise be done by a human. The software is particularly dedicated to automating business processes and reducing human intervention.
Tasks that require managing huge amounts of data or which are repetitive in nature, can easily be automated by setting up an RPA tool.
How does RPA work?
Once your workflow is decided, it gets programmed into the RPA tool which performs the tasks autonomously then. RPA is great for managing huge amounts of data, generating automated responses to queries, creating bills, etc.
How does RPA benefit businesses?
While RPA sounds fancy, it doesn’t drain your pockets. Since repetitive tasks get automated by an RPA tool, you are saving a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on employees performing these tasks. For example, it is great for enterprises that use and analyze a lot of data. A sales organization can find automatically recorded data onto their systems and work on improving sales.
There are two things- one, RPA performs tasks a lot faster than humans and two, customers will enjoy the benefit of quick information. So, enterprises that need to provide quicker results and engage with a customer should automate some processes. An online store could automate responses for search queries, complaints, refunds, etc.
Frees up time for other tasks
When the repetitive processes are automated, it gives the employees more time to formulate plans and grow their business. A marketing firm could plan better when they get accurate data to derive insights from. They can then work on creative processes.
When the tasks are performed by a virtual workforce, there are very few chances of data getting leaked or misused. The security and secrecy of data remains within the organization as the bot is never leaving your organization. For enterprises such as data analytics companies, RPA will ensure the security of data.
Less to no scope of error
Since there is no human involvement and the robot is programmed to perform tasks, there is no scope for mistakes or errors. Repetitive tasks don’t require to be programmed after every it performs the task. The same program will get the same results you expect. Frequently Asked Questions section could benefit a lot from RPA.
Adapts to existing IT infrastructure
To enjoy new features on your smartphone, you need to update your IoS or Android system. However, with RPA that is not a worry. It works well on the existing IT infrastructure and adapts to all applications instead of having to integrate it one by one.
How do you implement RPA?
Whether you’re looking to generate mass emails or onboard employees easily, implementation of RPA needs to be done correctly. Here is what you should consider:
Identify where you need RPA and select
While automation makes everything easy, as an organisation you run on a tight budget. So, identify areas that require automation inevitably. Areas where there is a lot of data that needs to process, no room for mistakes, difficulty of getting employees, etc, RPA can help out. Once you identify, you select the ones that really need automation.
Keep your employees aware
Even though there is a move to the robot workforce, the human employees of your organisation should be part of the conversation. You must communicate to them the new developments in your organisation and help them adapt to automation easily.
Develop and Test the solution
Develop the RPA solution for your organisation based on your requirements and then test it. Most times what is decided looks good when charted out but doesn’t work out when applied. So, do a test run for your solution.
Assign a team for RPA maintenance
Once your RPA tool is set, be sure that you have a team that was present during the installation and will be able to scale with RPA as and when it does. RPA is bound to grow and would require maintenance.
Implementation of RPA really depends on a smart business team that is able to account for all ethics and rules involved. While it is a boost for businesses, there still remains a need for human intervention so the bot doesn’t sound too robotic. Also, the impression that it automate all business processes is wrong.
It may not suit every enterprise and can never compensate for the thoughts of a human brain. The biggest benefit of RPA for a business is in getting tasks done without errors. But, it can not replace an employee. It is complementary to the other tasks that need to be performed by a business.