Automation amuses us in different ways. We love it when a lift door opens on its own, or a coffee pours into the mug with just a press, which is why businesses are now taking interest in it, and Robotic Process Automation has become a trend and need of today.
The market has become no less than a battlefield as businesses are competing fiercely with each other to stand out. They are embracing more and more latest technologies and trends to beat each other such that one among them i.e. RPA - Robotic Process Automation is slowly gaining momentum and becoming a necessity for any business.
RPA is now an accelerating trend and looking at its exponential growth researchers predict that RPA will rise from $250 million in 2016 to $2.9 billion in 2021 while the global funding on RPA software will reach $2.4 billion in 2022. So, one can expect about four million robots carrying out the repetitive office, administrative, and sales work; upon which employees spend 10%-25% of their time.
Of course, not everyone today is aware of the capabilities of RPA and so; we have crafted a small walkthrough to help you understand what RPA is and what its powers are.
Just because the word robot is there, it is no physical or mechanical robot, RPA is in fact software robots designed to automate clerical tasks. It can learn, mimic, and then execute rules-based business processes, freeing humans to focus on higher-value work. In short, RPA is a sleepless, error-free, high-speed bot that saves humans from wasting time on highly repetitive tasks.
RPA bots are nothing but good imitators. They are like having a digital workforce in your office whom you can configure. They are easy to set up, and can be scheduled, cloned, customized, and shared to carry out error-free tasks at high speed and low-cost.
RPA bots can be run from employees’ desktops or from the cloud which means they can be either integrated with your enterprise applications or can be screen scraped to perform actions like a white-collar employee. They are then programmed to carry out rule-based business processes efficiently, which are simple and even code-free compared to other types of programming. Their function is to replicate human actions like logging into applications, opening or moving files and folders, inputting or copy-pasting data, parsing emails, extracting structured and semi-structured data from documents, scraping web data, making calculations, connecting to APIs, and more.
Digitizing a workplace is not a piece of cake. To achieve the goal of digital transformation, the approaches are many, and RPA and BPM are just the two approaches among them.
Business Process Management (BPM), a holistic technology, is a kind of approach used to streamline business processes for maximum efficiency and value. It looks upon your business processes, identifies areas for improvement, and builds solutions – usually from scratch. While RPA, as we said before, is a process automation tool governed by business logic and structured inputs, aimed at automating business processes. Therefore, both are capable of transforming and streamlining workflows, and they are not even competitive approaches, in fact, they can work together in harmony and create significant results. In short, BPM is a comprehensive approach through which one can optimize and automate business processes, while RPA looks after the discreet and highly repetitive tasks.
The intelligent automation embedded in the RPA bots has made them the need of the hour for businesses because of the following benefits it provides:
Keep in mind that not implementing RPA into your business doesn’t mean you are a failure and your business will be doomed but implementing it won’t do any harm either. Although every business sector can benefit by incorporating RPA, the ones that can take advantage the most are:
One of the major concerns regarding RPA is that they will replace humans. It has the potential to eliminate jobs and threaten the livelihood of many. Other than that, there are a few pitfalls like:
If you are in a dilemma about which processes of your business to be automated and which not? Then here’s a simple explanation.
The cost of implementing RPA depends upon various factors like the RPA vendor you are approaching, the number of bots deployed or activities automated etc. They cost only a fraction of a traditional labour force, and the savings and returns you gain are far more than you invest.
You are not going to suffer huge losses for not implementing RPA in your business. You will only continue to waste your time, money, and resources behind carrying out repetitive tasks when you can get it done with software bots. If you want to achieve the above-mentioned benefits like boost productivity, achieve efficiency, increase accuracy and scalability of your business, etc. then you must go for RPA.
RPA indeed is beneficial but, just because of the trend one must not jump to implement it into their business. You need to study it in detail and get it tailored according to your need to gain the maximum out of it. You need to decide whether you need it in-house or outsource it and then approach an RPA vendor for a successful and professional RPA implementation.