In this highly competitive era, industries need to speed up and have efficient processes in place if they want to survive this competition and progress at the same time. There are lots of processes in industries that do not need decision-making abilities on a day to day basis, and most of these take a considerable amount of time, money and manpower for attaining perfect results. In this regard, most industries are taking help from the robotic process automation and are expecting many more advancements in the future from this proven technology.
However, there was a time when it was considered that most jobs will be taken over by robots; is that true today? Well, to be honest, there are definitely multitudes of applications and benefits when RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is used in the right place. On the other hand, there are also certain limitations of the RPA when it comes to decision making and other such capabilities of a human being. So, there is no such thing as “Job-apocalypse” to worry about, even if there is a significant growth in the use of robotic process automation in many industries.
What exactly is robotic process automation?
In order to understand robotic process automation, consider an example of a worker employed to handle back office process. In the back office process, there are a lot of routine and repetitive tasks that need to be handled on daily basis. RPA takes out robot out of this worker so to speak. RPA software is designed and developed to mimic the activities of humans and carry out a certain task within a fixed process.
Robotic process automation then executes the repetitive processes more accurately and tirelessly compared to what most humans can do. On the other hand, the human can then be used in other areas where his/her intelligence, judgment, interaction, reasoning, etc. can be used for further advancement of the business. Some of the notable features in RPA are:
• You can get customized software that will work for only specific types of processes such as finance and accounting.
• In the web or screen scraping robotic automation, a user can collect and combine data in set form, and then put it on a selected document or files on the desktop. In this process, there is a possibility to automate many different tasks.
• The specialist programmers can design a robot from a specific template. Usually, this type of RPA is used for specific organizations.
• In order to get the RPA up and running, there is no need for a lot of IT intervention, and each piece of software can then be easily programmed to handle multiple tasks.
• A person need not be an expert in IT to configure the robotic processes and apply it to the specific task.
RPA and cognitive intelligence difference
In RPA, a specific set of instructions and codes are programmed into the computer or a machine so that it can fulfill the requirements. The RPA is surely efficient, but only with the clearly defined rules. On the other hand, cognitive skills involve thinking, understanding, decision making, and having insight into a particular matter. This highlights the difference that RPA and cognitive intelligence have. Although, there are a lot of processes and tasks that can be automated on a repetitive and regular basis, but still it is no match to the cognitive skills that humans possess.
Bright potential of robotic automation
There are many businesses around the globe using robotic automation in their processes and successful in saving a lot of manpower and time. As a result, the businesses are more productive and accomplish more in less time.
• Cognitive functionalities
The business modules are becoming more and more sophisticated with each passing day. So the focus these days has shifted from products and moved on to customer satisfaction. As a result, many developers and researchers are actively looking for ways in which the robotic automation software can think like a human and take a decision based on what it has learned. With the rapid improvement in technology, it is just a matter of time until the cognitive functionalities are imbibed in RPA.
Many benefits to businesses
Apart from handling the repetitive processes without wasting much time, robotic automation adds more value to the businesses. One of the most important benefits that most businesses have experienced is the good return on investment. Although, the percentage of returns vary from business to business, but still it is on the higher side for most of them. One of the best ways to calculate the benefits to a particular business is not to just look at the labor savings, but also consider the various other benefits that RPA provides to a business.
For example, when it comes to compliance, the highly synchronized industries such as the banking and insurance find robotic process automation as an efficient and cheap way to handle complex areas. When an industry is more efficient in this process, it is able to attract more customers towards the business. These industries can then relieve their staff of the repetitive processes, and then use them on some other productive areas.
Happy and fruitful employees
Contrary to the perception about insecure employees, the researchers believe that RPA has been hugely successful in helping many employees around the globe. Some of the important areas in a company are ERP, customer management, HR, finance, accounting and supply chain management. The efficient implementation of robotic process automation adds more efficiency to these processes. Once the above mentioned areas start functioning efficiently, the companies are then able to take on more workload and improve various aspects of their business. The employees are able to carry out several tasks efficiently, and as a result, they are more productive in the given areas.
Top considerations before implementation
One of the most important things to consider before implementing RPA is whether the business has a proper strategy. Robotic automation is efficient when it comes to cost cutting, but if a proper strategy is in place, there are multitudes of benefits from it. Some major considerations for implementation are:
• The businesses implementing RPA need to have every aspect of their project well planned and executed. The right process needs to be picked; the task needs to be delegated to most proficient team player.
• Another crucial thing that needs consideration is the changeover. The management and employees need to be persuaded and trained in order to get used to the new robotic process automation. This is one of the crucial aspects when it comes to the success of RPA in an organization.
• Once the process is implemented, few experts need to be delegated to plan execution, programming, coding, configuring and developing the RPA further.
With the wide range of possibilities in robotic process automation in the near future, it is only a matter of time when every industry will want to implement this technology in their setup. In a longer run, it can be said that people will get more interesting work. Once the organizations are able to absorb this major change in their processes, the work will be more efficient, economical, time-saving, and perfect. In the near future, it is the latest technology that will drive the businesses and employees towards successful ventures.