There is a technology trend which deserves to be talked about more, and it's called RPA. Behind this fancy tech acronym stands Robotic Process Automation.
What is Robotic Process Automation?
RPA is a form of Business Process Automation that allows the user to define a set of instructions that the software robot will perform on the computer instead of the user. It is a blend of different technologies brought together under one instrument, for automation purposes.
Software robots are capable of mimicking most human-computer interactions and of performing many error-free tasks regarding manual mouse and/or keyboard actions in a short amount of time. Their main advantage is that they do not get tired, they always do their work in an identical way, they can work 24/7, and - depending on company’s needs - can be scaled.
RPA is a type of automation that involves software combined with machine learning and artificial intelligence, instead of using physical robots – like in large production facilities.
Such software is mainly used to fill out forms or extract data from them, fill various mathematical calculations that would otherwise have to be done manually, read and write data to database, web scraping, and much more. It is primarily used to improve actions that could be defected by human error.
Does it serve only to reduce costs? Absolutely not. If at the start of the implementation of the RPA solution in the organization we are guided solely by cost reduction, it is very likely that this adventure will not end well. Cost reduction is one of the most important reasons for the implementation of RPA solutions, but it is but a consequence of the correct implementation of RPA in their processes and automation.
The main advantage of RPA is the increase in operational efficiency. Automation helps us avoid human error and eliminates unnecessary tasks and delays. But – it this surely isn’t the only benefit of RPA implementation:
Here are a few figures for a better impression of the benefits RPA implementation can bring to your business:
The automation market is the third most influential market in the world, just behind mobile internet and wireless technologies. It is estimated that by 2025 it will have an economic impact of between $5.2 trillion and $6.7 trillion.
Many misconceptions accompany RPA and the introduction of robots into business.
One of the biggest misconceptions about RPA is the concern that robots will take away people’s jobs. Although the implementation of automated robotic processes deprives employees of a part of their daily work, it also allows them to focus on work that cannot be done by a robot.
The second myth is that robots are fault-free – that they always work 100% accurately. Ideally, this is the case, but they are only as accurate as the developer programs them to be, because they do not have cognitive abilities.
The third myth is that RPA only makes sense in certain industries. Although many believe this to be true because RPA is often seen as a part of IT within the company, companies with a higher level of digitalization do not benefit more from RPA. Any industry that has a back office, HR, or accounting can implement RPA and thus automate certain processes, such as processing orders, communicating with customers, suppliers, or partners.
The fourth myth concerns the profitability of investing in RPA. Organizations are constantly trying to find a way to reduce costs. Previously, the focus was on outsourcing specific business processes to external companies, but today, more organizations are turning to RPA to automate their own processes.
As mentioned before, processes suitable for automation must be very clearly defined, so it is not true that just about every process can be automated. Even some processes that meet all the criteria to be automated are ultimately not automated because possible automation would not achieve satisfactory results in quality or quantity.
To conclude this topic – one thing is certain for the uncertain future – RPA is here to stay! Every serious company seeks ways to automatize certain repetitive and, above all, error-ridden processes. But that is not the only issue that RPA solves – it also allows companies and employees to focus on work that cannot be done by a robot. A World Economic Forum report predicts that the ‘robot revolution’ will create many new jobs, emphasizing retraining and improving employee skills. By introducing robots, employees are relieved of dull, repetitive tasks and can instead focus more on jobs that make a real difference in a company’s business. Itis more precise to look at RPA as a valuable addition to the workforce rather than a replacement for it.
We'd hereby like to invite you to watch our Online Meetup, where our Tech Lead Hrvoje Turković presented all the benefits and advantages of RPA: