What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?
Robotic Process Automation is the technology through which daily business processes can be performed with software robots. These are intelligent software bots that mimic human actions for carrying out an operation.
In other words, the RPA bot will similarly perform a routine business task as a human would have completed that task and can be defined as software having intelligence similar to humans. However, RPA should not be confused with actual robots because it is a software robot carrying out rule-based, repetitive tasks.
We have intelligent bots that learn by understanding then emulating and executing with delicate precision, just as humans would do. The only difference between an RPA bot and a human is that the former can work round the clock with untiring accuracy.
You can think of the RPA tool as the digital workforce that helps ease your daily business process by automation technology. Business companies are employing these digital workers to save time, effort and enhance productivity.
RPA software bots’ capability to adapt with any platform or interface that it associates with is the USP of it. Business organizations don’t require changing application systems for implementing tasks.
The flexibility and adaptability of RPA systems ease the difficulties in automating business processes. This is made possible because they can adjust to any interface or workflow without changing business systems, applications, or existing approaches to automate.
Robotic Process Automation Example
An excellent example of an RPA bot would be spiders in search engines. They are assigned to trawling the websites and fetching the index information for search engines to update. RPA bots are user-friendly and flexible which can be modified, programmed, replicated to implement business processes. The RPA bots collect data through a user interface to function applications like humans. This is an easy-to-use technology for automating digital workflows.
How RPA is Viewed as a Modified Version of Older Technologies?
If you have some idea about computers, then you might have heard the term “macros.” If not, macro or macroinstruction is a scheme of events, patterns, or tasks programmed in input instructions.
They are used in reducing tasks that are repetitive by packaging them into a sequence of predefined inputs. These predefined inputs can be customized according to the requirements of the task.
Have you heard about screen scraping? The principle concept of robotic process automation is similar to that of screen scraping. It is the extraction of data from a website in huge quantities. The programmed to collect data performs the task by mimicking how humans surf the internet to collect information from different websites.
So we can see a pattern being followed here, just as macros and screen scraping is nothing but software with brains to execute predefined tasks. Similarly, the underlying working of RPA technology is automating everyday business activities with the help of a software robot. The software robot carries programmed instructions to execute these tasks without any difficulty.
Strengths of RPA & How it Operates
The skills that you will find in an RPA tool will be similar to that of a human. That is why these are popularly known as “digital workers.” The ability to interact and function with different applications and platforms makes them successful in the automation industry.
Here’s a list of few Robotic Process Automation examples that highlight the operations handled by RPA bots.
- Copying –pasting of data
- Web or screen scraping
- Performing calculations
- File handling- opening, moving, reading, closing files, etc.
- Parsing of e-mails
- Logging into systems or applications
- Filling forms
- Data extraction
- Establishing connections with API’s (Application Programming Interface)
Why RPA? Its Advantages and Benefits
Intelligent software bots have a promising future in the world of technology. The early you invest in these cutting-edge technologies, the better it will be for your business. Robotic Process Automation has the potential of delivering good profits while enhancing precision in organizations.
RPA technologies are used to manage and streamline task workflows. It is easy to train RPA bots that can be integrated into any system without any problem. You can use as many RPA bots as your business demands. They have the feature of regular reporting, and they even track their progress. Working with RPA tools is easy since they are easy to create, schedule and program.
Some of the significant benefits of RPA are mentioned below.
- Better compliance
- Increased efficiency
- Increased scope for expansion
- Better flexibility
- Better customer experience
- Reduced cost
- Boosts productivity
- Increased speed
- High precision
- Greater reliability and security
- Non -disruptive services
- Centralized control
- Easy to use
The Increasing Demand for Robotic Process Automation Companies
The demand for RPA is rising, yet many business enterprises are unaware of its benefits. Due to a lack of knowledge, many companies are hesitant to incorporate RPA tools and functionalities to ease their business processes. Factors like monetary investment, infrastructure, resources, and licensing are reasons behind companies hesitating to employ RPA.
The truth is RPA is going to grow, and its demand is increasing day by day. Many vendors have come up with affordable models to automate the task of their customers. There are many robotics process automation tools and vendors that have come up with innovational technologies to automate business workflows primarily in sectors like:-
- Retail – is an industry that involves lots of processes requiring automation with RPA.
- The banking sector still has lengthy systems, iterative processes, and substantial information exchanges, making it ideal for RPA implementation.
- Insurance – has many document-heavy data flows and lengthy multi-step claims processes that make RPA befitting for use here.
- Councils and local authorities – there are diverse processes managed by a local government that can ensure smooth running by RPA integration
- Human resources – is part of all businesses, big and small, which grows as the company expands. To take care of the expanding processes, man managing time-consuming repeated task RPA is the best solution.
More sectors can be added to this: BPO, healthcare, telecom, manufacturing, public sector, and many more where RPA has shown exemplary performance at various fronts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does RPA Store Data and Enable Automation?
Yes, RPA stores structured and semi-structured data to facilitate task automation. This is a characteristic of RPA technology which is based on AI (artificial intelligence). Before AI was introduced, the software bots were programmed by coding instructions into applications. Things have changed now since AI has been implemented. It learns through observing users carry out tasks that the user does.
The Link Between RPA and Artificial Intelligence
If you are looking for digital transformations, then RPA along with AI will serve you the purpose. RPA and artificial intelligence have a lot in common. While RPA only executes instructions fed by the programmer, AI learns and teaches itself on its own.
RPA is utilized to automate rule-based workflows, whereas AI connects the missing links that RPA falls short of. RPA works using structured data, and AI uses both unstructured and semi-structured data for carrying out processes. In simple terms, AI smoothens the way for RPA to function correctly.
Applications of RPA + AI: Automation in the Cloud
Automation is possible in the cloud environment using web-enabled Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence bots. This feature is being termed as RPA-as-a-service in the cloud. This means easier access and use for anybody having internet that implements and coordinates business processes through the organization.
Cloud automation is specifically designed to execute self -service based automation. It includes in-built drag-and-drop features with graphical flow charts. These help teams without technical knowledge self -automate processes without any trouble. The users in cloud RPA work through web-enabled interfaces to perform process automation. These web interfaces are accessed using a web browser.
Robotic Process Automation is the Next Big Thing
What separates robotic process automation from other technology-driven solutions is automation with affordability. The other feature is flexibility, due to which it merges well with other applications without invading their framework.
It utilizes the existing resources without disrupting the original system. The two most valuable advantages that RPA offers are cost-effectiveness and compliance. Reducing the operational cost of these two comes naturally with RPA based automation.
Be it banking, health, financial institutions, life sciences, industries, public sector organizations, RPA is becoming a prominent part of these areas. To sum up, a few critical points about robotic process automation are highlighted given.
If you are looking for cutting-edge solutions that digitally transform your business processes, then RPA technology is best for you. It will automate your routine business processes and add to the profits of your company. The workforce you would have hired to perform manual office tasks will now be automated through intelligent software. This will not reduce the time, resources but also improve the productivity of your enterprise.
Many RPA vendors are offering innovative RPA tools to automate your workflow. A little research and delving deeper into technology will help you make the best choices for your business.
The key takeaways here: –
- RPA is a technology-based solution for carrying out business tasks efficiently.
- Primarily for automating rule-oriented repetitive processes.
- RPA is an intelligent software robot or bot instead of a mechanical robot.
- RPA offers enhanced speed, greater precision, and consistency.
- The digital workers function throughout the day uninterruptedly.
- Robotic process automation is economical.
- Many options are available in terms of RPA vendors.
- This technology reduces operational cost and maximizes efficiency.