RPA - Robotic Process Automation

RPA - Robotic Process Automation

A discussion about RPA- what it is, how it works and what are its benefits and limitations.

Robotic process automation is one of the most recent topics in the evolution of Information Technology (IT). It is a method of improving the speed of business to service level objectives. Robotic Process Automation(RPA) can reduce the computational time required for performing routine tasks by humans like workflow management and reduce error rates.

What is RPA?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a technology that engages the help of bots, it is a program that can perform repetitive tasks directly from a user interface. It is fast to deploy and easy to update, and bots can be a powerful catalyst for system integrations.

In simple terms, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the process of automating business processes. This is achieved using robots to both save on employee time and reduce the risk of human error.

RPA is already in use at large companies such as P&G, GE, Deloitte etc.RPA is designed to mirror human workers' actions with similar details, language, and mannerisms.

Why it is used?

There's a simple principle behind RPA:- let human employees work at humans excel, and let robots handle the tasks that get in the way. When employees have to spend much time on mind-numbing tasks, such as copying and pasting information between business systems, they have much less time to devote to work that uses their skills. Manual tasks consume a significant amount of time and energy, so staff can't accomplish as much in a day.RPA changes that principle. When you use them properly for a workflow, software robots can increase a team's capacity for completed work by 35% to 50%.

RPA bots work directly from an application’s user interface (UI), mimicking human actions, including logging in and logging out, copying and pasting data, opening emails and attachments, and filling out forms. As they can act like a human, work faster, and reduce data processing times by 30% to 50%. With low-level and back-office work duties split between humans and robots, one can easily do more with the same amount of time.

How it is worked?

Although robotic process automation exists under AI, it is widely seen as a step somewhere between true AI and user-manipulated software. A program typically referred to as a bot or robot is given instructions by way of demonstration. This means that a task is carried out to completion manually, allowing the bot to “learn” or record each step taken by the user. After recording, the bot then repeats these steps as the user would, interacting with the computer’s graphical user interface(GUI), in the same way. However, it can repeat such actions faster than a person and with more accuracy as well, allowing employees to devote their time to higher-value work.

What are its benefits?

As a user-friendly and cost-effective tool, RPA Automation helps enterprises to automate tasks by providing the following benefits.

Accuracy: Bots are extremely accurate and consistent – they are much less prone to making mistakes or typos than a human worker. This can apply to common processes such as setting up or removing user accounts, copying information from one system to another, onboarding and off-boarding employees or populating forms based on information from another system.

Low technical barriers: Programming skills are not necessary to configure a bot. Non-technical users can use a process recorder feature to teach the bot how to perform a previously manual step in an automated business process, and integrate the bot-based automation into a larger automated workflow using a drag-and-drop process designer or similar tool.

Productivity rate: Process cycle times are more efficient and completed at a faster speed.

Better customer experience: RPA has an increasing foothold in customer service, especially at the intersection of technology such as AI-powered natural language processing.

Reduces cost and offers compliance: RPA reduces the manual workforce and hence reduces the cost used to perform any task.

RPA follows rules to prove audit-free trial so that one does not have to worry about the security of their automation.

Application of RPA

RPA is used in most industries, such as insurance, banking, finance, healthcare and telecommunications.

Some of the top applications of RPA include the following:

  • Customer service: RPA provides better customer service by automating contact center tasks, and uploading scanned documents, including verifying e-signatures and verifying information for automatic approvals or rejections.

  • Accounting: Organizations use RPA for general accounting, operational accounting, transactional reporting and budgeting.

  • Financial services: Financial companies use RPA for foreign exchange payments, automating account openings and closings, managing audit requests and processing insurance claims.

  • Healthcare: Medical organizations use RPA for handling patient records, customer support, account management, billing, reporting and analytics.

  • Human resources: RPA can automate HR tasks, including onboarding and offboarding, updating employee information and timesheet submission processes.

Challenges faced by RPA

However it is a great technology, there are certain robotic process automation challenges that can reduce its effectiveness. Now, we’ll discuss some common RPA challenges -

  • Scalability: Enterprises have struggled to scale RPA automation initiatives. Although RPA's software bots are relatively easy to implement, they can be hard to govern, and manage and hard to scale.

  • Limited abilities: More work is often required to stitch multiple tasks together into a process.

  • Security or privacy: RPA bots sometimes need to access sensitive information to complete their tasks. Hence it suffers from security.

  • Limited resiliency: RPA failures can occur when applications change in ways that are not anticipated by developers.

  • New QA issues: Bots require a variety of new QA practices to ensure they continue to work as intended.

  • Efficiency: RPA bots manually plod through an application in the same way a human does. This may not be as efficient as automating applications through APIs.

With opportunities to work smarter and faster, RPA is an element of intelligent automation that firmly roots businesses in the 21st century.

So, reader lets end this blog on Robotic Process Automation. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog and got a deep understanding of RPA.

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