Automation is everywhere. Initially, it was only in the IT industry. But now, automation has seeped literally in every field. Be it enterprises, operation theatres, or manufacturing units. Today, we will discuss robotic process automation to comprehend the concept entirely. It is an emerging technology and everyone is trying to incorporate it to reduce human intervention.
What is Robotic Process Automation?
Robotic Process Automation (or RPA), is a technological application that uses business logic and structured inputs. This way business processes undergo automation. By using RPA tools the company configures software or “robot” to capture and understand applications. They can use the robot to process transactions, manipulate data, trigger responses, and communicate with other digital systems.
RPA application ranges from the generation of an automatic response to an email to deploying thousands of bots. You can program these bots to automate certain jobs within an ERP system. There are various benefits of the application of RPA. Let us take a look.
Benefits of RPA Implementation:
With the implementation of RPA, organizations can reduce staffing costs along with human errors. Since bots are low-cost and are easy to implement, they don’t require customized software or in-depth systems integration. Such factors are elemental for organizations that pursue growth without the addition of significant expenditures. In addition to this, it also eliminates friction within workers. Enterprises can implement automation efforts through the injection of RPA with cognitive technologies like ML, speech recognition, and NLP. It will automate the tasks that originally required the perception and judgment of humans.
To list out the benefits of RPA, here they are:
- Since RPA is behind automation, productivity can be increased manifold. For instance, if a robot can generate a report in five minutes imagine the amount of time you save.
- As RPA is technology-based, it does not require breaks to accomplish the task. It can work 24/7 and can accomplish all the tasks without human intervention. This increases efficiency since RPA does not require a break.
- One benefit that automation always brings is the elimination of error. RPA also offers the same benefit.
- With RPA, everything happens on a granular level. The words are assigned only one task hence there is no possibility of information leakage. Moreover, as the data accesses are documented, the security is never compromised.
- RPA is popular for being flexible hence it can take up new tasks while continuing with the existing ones. Because of its flexibility, RPA can be adopted by small-scale, large-scale, to very large-scale enterprises. This enhances scalability at a whole new level.
- The enterprises can record data about task execution through RPA implementation. This data can be analyzed for better decision-making processes. This way you can determine the blanks where the business processes can be streamlined for increased efficiency.
- RPA can cater to high demand from customers. This is in a way where it handles automatic tasks so that employees can focus on customer requirements.
How is RPA different from AI?
We have understood the concept behind RPA. Let us see the concept behind AI. AI stands for Artificial Intelligence and happens to be a close relative of RPA. RPA and AI work in cooperation to increase automation into new areas. This way you can automate complex and tedious tasks.
AI is made to handle complicated processes that originally were done by humans only. The reason behind this is robots can make cognitive decisions using large data sets to anticipate possible outcomes.
Artificial intelligence goes beyond execution to thinking. For instance:
- Understanding the documentation.
- Visualization of screens that include the virtual desktop.
- Understanding conversations.
- Discovering tasks and processes that require automation
- Language processing
- Working with semi-structured or unstructured forms of data.
For so many years it was a concept relatable to science fiction only. It was a far-off dream and so many e considered it as a pipe dream. But today’s date, this is not true anymore. We are not talking about physical robots that utilize the concept of artificial intelligence. We are discussing the practical implementation of AI through which we can build machine learning models to enhance the human experience.
It also provides efficiency to businesses and is not a replacement for human intelligence. This kind of application is the most practical application of artificial intelligence in businesses and workplaces.
How AI and RPA work in tandem?
It takes both AI and RPA to work together to increase enterprise efficiency. Both the concepts come together to cut down on process fat and make human life easy. Using RPA, the hospitals will be able to build software robots that can take a look at a set of covid-19 symptoms. Well RPA can work only until yes or no style questions come up. RPA cannot handle complex criteria like human conversation.
But you can make RPA understand complex situations with the implementation of AI. This way RPA can provide advanced and predictive answers.
With the help of RPA and AI combined, the companies can focus on the following factors:
- Operational efficiency
- Employee satisfaction
- Customer satisfaction
- Enhanced compliance
Current implementations of RPA in the industries:
So many companies have been using RPA to automate processes and functions. When some parts of the world are still coping up with the concept of RPA so many companies have already adopted it. Companies like Walmart, Deutsche Bank, Vanguard, Ernst and Young, Walgreens anthem, and American Express Global Business Travel have already started using RPA.
Walmart has deployed about 500 bots that automate anything from answering employee questions to retrieving useful data from audit documents. American Express Global Business Travel uses RPA for process automation to cancel airline tickets and issue refunds.
Architectural Components of RPA:
RPA architecture is very complicated and comes with multiple components. Each component performs different setup duties. Following are the elements of RPA architecture:
Regardless of the RPA software your enterprise uses, it should come with multiple capabilities. The software should have the ability to automate various applications and governments that include desktop and web environments.
RPA tools should be able to build digital robots through programming logic. The robots should be able to comprehend through configuration and recordings. The components should be reusable and should be able to work with other robots. This way a deployment and modularity are quick. The RPA software tools should be able to read and write from various sources of data.
All the RPA bots and tools stay on the cloud which is called the RPA platform. The platform enables you to store all the RPA resources and software robots. These assets are divided across the software robots library. This way you can have valuable analytical information about RPF bots for enhanced insight.
The execution infrastructure of RPA saves virtual or physical lab machines that you can control through various usage patterns. You can scale up or down the number of machines in the system for task automation. This process is perfectly automated and hardly requires human intervention.
This aspect looks after asset versions. It makes sure that software robots and assets are regularly updated. Moreover, it brings new versions as well. When you scale up the different members of the team develop new assets. This is because some assets are reusable across various software robots. Moreover, it is essential to have source code Management solutions for merging and branching of those assets.
RPA works on multiple layers. It is a combination of various devices and assets that come together to create a fully functional architecture. At the beginning of every process, the system educates the software bots. After that, you have to check for the modifications required for the procedure. Once this is done, perform the automation and make sure it runs without any obstacles. The configuration management takes care of the automation.
Once the automation iteration happens examine the process software bots and assets for any improvement required. Which reputation in the processes the system gets better eventually.
What to check while selecting RPA software?
We already went through multiple components of RPA architecture. For building an optimal RPS system for your enterprise, it is essential to source all the RPA components from a single vendor. The reason behind this is that the components will integrate effectively with each other. This will remove compatibility issues.
Certain vendors only offer a specific component of RPA like configuration management for the platform. But you can find vendors who provide all the parts individually. The most important aspect to take into consideration during the selection of RPA solutions is to check the configuration management. It is responsible to maintain your resources when you scale up. This is how you prevent the issues from cropping up in the future.
This guide helps you understand the concept behind Robotic Process Automation. We solve various parts of robotic process automation and the way it functions. When used correctly, it can help organizations scale up in various ways that bring about a lot of success. RPA is a concept that is still emerging and organizations are continuously working on ways to incorporate it. Therefore the employees can focus on more important tasks while RPA handles the rest.