The race to harness the power of digital has long since begun. It all comes down to how organizations can advance with technology. Robotic Process Automation(RPA) is one such field in IT that has been making waves since its wake. To use it or not to use it; that has long been the question when it comes to RPA. This blog will discuss what RPA spells out for both enterprises and individual jobs in the future. Some questions that will be answered in the course of this blog are:
Is it time to make a career move?
Where can RPA be applied?
Should I deploy RPA in my enterprise?
What is Robotic Process Automation?
Robotic Process Automation(RPA) is defined ‘as a form of clerical process automation technology based on the notion of software robots or artificial intelligence workers’. In simple terms, it refers to a software that can automate repeatable business procedures. In conventional automation tools, a software developer uses the dedicated scripting language or Application Programming Interfaces(API) to develop a list of actions to automate a task and interface to the back-end system. In contrast, RPA observes the user performing that particular task in the applications Graphical User Interface(GUI) and then develops the action list. After that, RPA directly performs the automation by repeating those tasks directly in GUI. The advantage of this process is that it lowers the barrier to use automation in products that might not feature APIs for this process.
Benefits of Robotic Process Automation
Following are some of the benefits of RPA:
- Software Robots perform tasks faster than any human and they can operate 24/7
- They have Flexibility and scalability. Once they are given instruction to perform a task, it can be scheduled for a particular time and as many robots can be deployed quickly to perform it.
- RPA will result in improved accuracy as Robots are programmed to follow rules. They will stick to what they are told to do and will not apply intuitions to problems like humans.
- The tasks suitable for automation are usually the least liked by most employees owing to its repeatability. Employees, if relieved of these duties will focus on challenging tasks which can increase an organization’s ability to retain employees.
- RPA can result in detailed capturing of data. It can be closely monitored and recorded at every step, thus producing data and an audit trail that can support further process improvement efforts and also help with regulatory compliance.
Areas which can benefit from Robotic Process Automation
Following is the quintessential areas that can greatly benefit with RPA:
Customer Service & Support Desk
Customer satisfaction is integral to a company’s long-term growth. Therefore it is essential that customer service & support desk provides them a good experience.
In a call center/a support desk, the representative has to navigate different systems and applications to get the information the customer requires. This results in delayed customer service and increased call duration leading to dissatisfaction among customers and wasting company’s resources. Automating this field can ensure faster turnaround for customer requests as virtual workers are faster than humans. Many tasks such as billing queries, user administration and updating requests, incident management, updating requests & user administration can be automated for increased efficiency.
Data Migration & Management
It is difficult to manage, measure and interpret Big data. There is always a margin of error when it is done manually by humans. Today, many enterprises collect data from multiple sources like web pages for online orders, email exchanges, Excel spreadsheets and invoice workflow, thus requiring the operator to copy & paste data between different sources and formats, and log in & out of multiple systems.Use of RPA in data entry can result in quick, reliable and full audit trail of transfer, manipulation and migration of application and system data The data thus obtained would be more accurate and can assist in successful decision making.
Back Office Administration
Every organization has tasks that are repetitive, time-consuming, error-prone and needs to be done with accuracy and speed. These tasks do not require any decision making. The nature of these tasks can be a source of frustration for employees. Automation is useful for back-office processes such as those found in HR, accounting, finance and supply chain management. By handling these repetitive processes, RPA can drive productivity, efficiency, and consistency.
IT & Infrastructure Support
IT support staff are valuable resources of an organization. But most of the time they are inconvenienced by administration tasks and thus do not have enough time for other highly valued projects. Virtual work force can ensure that IT support staff use their potential for more engaging projects. Companies can thus optimise their IT resources.
Future scope of Robotic Process Automation
- RPA is still in its infancy stage. But. there is no denying that it has laid the groundwork for a new generation of intelligent machines powered by AI.
- In future, there is the possibility of RPA going beyond automating repetitive tasks and procedures that drain work productivity. If combined with advanced technologies used for understanding content & its sentiment and context, Robots will be able to perform much more more complex tasks which will free employees to perform more high value work.
- The developments in Machine learning and other AI technologies will affect consequences in the scope of RPA in organizations.
- IT service industry and BPO’s are predicted to be the most affected by RPA in future.
The key to success through RPA is in finding the right balance between Technology and skilled staff. In future, RPA is sure to be a Digital priority, enhancing human endeavours and adding business values. Know what is Machine Learning and AI to better understand the scope of Robotic Process Automation (RPA).