Automation is one of the key drivers for digital transformation and draws significant attention of global CIOs for streamlining enterprise operations. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)—emerging disruptive technology—is revolutionizing the way enterprises plan to automate business processes. RPA is more intelligent, efficient, and easy-to-use compared to traditional automation methods and brings a higher competitive advantage to businesses of various sizes across industries. According to Gartner, 85 percent of large and very large enterprises will deploy RPA in some form by the end of 2022.
What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Robotic Process Automation employs software-based technology or “robots” to efficiently automate repetitive mundane business processes. With RPA, businesses configure bots that mimic the way humans interact with applications via a user interface to replace time-consuming, unproductive manual tasks thereby enabling the workforce to focus more on other important tasks.
According to Forrester, RPA market will reach $2.9 billion by 2021. Enterprises are increasingly adopting RPA tools to automate end-to-end business processes and tasks to gain higher operational speed, accuracy, and cost reduction. RPA is re-shaping the way enterprises plan processes, including data entry, report generation, scheduling, IT support, and many more time-consuming manual tasks to ensure better workforce productivity. Examples of widely implemented RPA applications in the enterprise include:
- Report Generation: Create timely and reliable reports by automatically extracting, merging, and formatting data from multiple sources.
- Quality Assurance: Test multiple customer use cases and business scenarios with automated testing to deliver a higher quality product.
- Data Authenticity and Integrity: Verify data across different systems without running multiple manual checks.
- Data Migration: Transfer data between disparate systems automatically without minimizing duplication, redundancy, and loss of data.
Why Businesses Need Robotic Process Automation
Workplaces of the future will be technology-driven, and forward-looking businesses are already turning to RPA to gain long term advantages, including:
- Cost Effectiveness: RPA helps enterprises eliminate inefficient operational processes and saves significant costs. Secondly, software robots cost substantially less than human resource.
- Efficiency: RPA employs an intelligent rule-based mechanism and smartly streamlines processes by scrapping inefficient tasks and improving the existing processes for better.
- Productivity: Robots can operate 24/7 without breaks, and are capable of completing tasks at a much faster pace compared to human counterparts.
- Accuracy: Human errors reduce drastically with smart RPA tools. Unlike human counterparts, who tend to make errors (particularly during long, repetitive tasks), robots are programmed to perform tasks consistently with precision. It further reduces rework and corrections; thereby saving time, effort, and money.
- Change Management Flexibility: RPA validates data across systems, applications, and databases through automatic data migration and updates in near real time. Any change made at one location automatically updates across the system simultaneously.
- Better Security and Compliance: Robots adhere to stringent security measures and hardly succumb to cyberattacks. Also, as robots maintain detailed activity logs, it helps to accelerate audits and uphold compliance.
How RPA Tools Transform Business Processes
Robotic Process Automation offers a plethora of opportunities for enterprises to innovate and optimize business processes and gain a competitive advantage in today’s digital era. RPA works along with your current IT infrastructure while interacting with different systems either through screen scraping or API integration. It gathers inputs from existing systems and uses a rule-based decision mechanism to determine its actions.
Businesses should opt for smart RPA tools that easily integrate with existing IT infrastructure to achieve efficient business operations. If you are planning to invest in an RPA software, make sure it offers the following key functionalities for your business:
- Easy-to-use Design Interface
Modern RPA software offers an intuitive design interface that supports easy drag-and-drop functionality to design end-to-end process workflows quickly and effortlessly. Unlike traditional automation tools, RPA software doesn’t require any complex code, and simple graphical user interface (GUI) even allows employees with less or no programming skills to set up simple bots to automate processes in their respective departments.
- Elastic Scalability
One of the most critical features of an effective RPA tool is to dynamically up-scale or down-scale robotic workforce to match the workload demand. Smart RPA software provides a centralized console to easily monitor and manage on-demand bot requirements across processes. RPA ensures the same level of efficiency, speed, and accuracy from every new bot added to the workforce.
- Cross-platform Support
It is ideal for businesses to implement RPA software that uniformly supports multiple applications across processes in different functions. This capability helps to seamlessly integrate user interface actions and IT operations to cohesively connect business processes for improved performance and efficiency.
- Actionable Intelligence
Smart RPA tools incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for training bots to learn and apply knowledge for better decision making over a period. This will help to dynamically automate tasks without implementing additional extensions. Also, bots are equipped to transform the raw data into substantial information and further process it into actionable intelligence for proactively assisting the end-user in solving a problem.
- Ready Analytics
Most RPA software offers in-built comprehensive analytics module that helps businesses to gauge the performance of the robot workforce in near real-time. It makes it easy for enterprises to track various performance and operational metrics. Uniform dashboard lets supervisors control the activities of bots across processes from a single screen. Detailed analysis lets the users deep-dive to explore root-cause analysis and improve future operations.
In today’s digital era, automation is inevitable for enterprises to stay relevant and competitive. Businesses that implement Robotic Process Automation witness substantial improvement in overall workforce productivity and organizational efficiency as unlike human equivalents, bots work relentlessly with precision. With the advent of RPA, various industries are overhauling the traditional repetitive, manual, and tedious processes into smart and dynamic technology-driven workflows. RPA ensures ease of deployment without necessitating complex integrations or changes in the existing legacy landscape. The results add considerable business value and ensure better ROI compared to manual business operations.