Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a revolutionary automation technique that promises to eliminate errors and increase productivity. Many of the world’s leading corporations, including AT&T, Deutsche Bank, and Walmart, have already adopted the technology.
Here is a brief overview of how RPA works, its benefits for business applications, and expert tips for implementing it.
What is Robotic Process Automation
RPA refers to using software and hardware systems to automate tasks usually performed manually by humans in a digital system. The RPA robot itself can be considered a master program with the ability to launch and run other programs within the digital system.
RPA robots use data captured from the system’s user interface to automate and complete these tasks. They essentially function like digital assistants, and they are advanced enough to mimic all manual actions. Typically, an RPA robot can do the following:
- Log into applications.
- Connect to system APIs.
- Copy and duplicate data.
- Read and write databases.
- Move files and folders.
- Open emails and attachments.
- Scrape data from the web.
- Make calculations.
- Extract and process structured and semi-structured data.
An RPA robot will do whatever it is programmed to, as long as the necessary digital tools and resources are available.
Benefits of Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation benefits are apparent, considering the technology’s various features and capabilities. However, these benefits vary, depending on the nature of your business’s operations. The most notable benefits include:
- Improved Productivity
RPA robots are usually tasked with handling repetitive, monotonous tasks. Employees tend to feel overwhelmed by such non-value-add tasks. Getting an RPA robot to handle these tasks frees employees to handle more tasks that they feel are worth their time and effort, consequently making them feel valued and increasing their productivity.
- Cost Savings
RPA can reduce the cost of processing assigned tasks (and other related processes) by up to 80%. For example, David Schatsky, one of Deloitte LP’s managing directors, credits RPA with reducing the cost of processing claims by 30%. The bank’s new RPA system handled work equivalent to 200 full-time employees!
- Increased Accuracy
RPA robots operate within their set of programming rules, and they are compliant and consistent in all their functions. They do not make mistakes, unlike humans.
- Improved Compliance
As mentioned, RPA robots don’t make mistakes. They will adhere to programming designed to make them compliant with existing regulations without the slightest misstep.
- Highly Scalable
Robotic Process Automation can be implemented in virtually any digital environment. The technology can also work with multiple apps and digital platforms in an organization. They also adapt quickly with the changing data.
Implementing Robotic Process Automation
As mentioned, Robotic Process Automation is highly scalable and can be implemented in virtually any digital system. Other factors that make it easy to implement RPA include:
- Small Upfront Investment
The cost of creating and implementing RPA is small, as all it takes is one program utilizing your existing digital resources. Maintaining the RPA is also cheap and easy.
- Flawless Integration with Underlying Systems
Implementing Robotic Process Automation will not disrupt any underlying systems; on the contrary, it will help streamline and synchronize operations. The RPA robot will function just like another app.
- Quick ROIs
Robotic Process Automation is guaranteed to benefit your company in many aspects, including many of the benefits mentioned earlier. The benefits add up over time and far exceed the initial investment and maintenance costs.
It’s the Future!
The business world is adopting Robotic Process Automation at a break-neck speed. According to Forrester’s report, there will be more than four million robots handling office work by 2021. This is because more and more businesses realize the benefits of RPA. At this pace, RPA will soon be a standard for operating and staying competitive.