Robotic Process Automation: What is it, applications, business benefits, and how it differs from AI

Automation is the biggest trend in the world right now. A report by McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) revealed that next-level automation is one of the weaknesses of Europe looking to address its technological gap. With automation, tech companies are looking to end repetitive tasks and make digital transformation a reality.

In the field of automation, robotic process automation (RPA) is changing the way we look at the use of technology. Also referred to as software robotics, the field allows anyone to define a set of rules for a robot to perform. So what exactly is robotic process automation? Have you ever wondered how it works? Let’s have a look!

What is robotic process automation?

Robotic process automation (RPA) is a software technology that makes it easier for companies to build, deploy, and manage software robots that emulate human actions interacting with digital systems and software. These software robots are designed to function similarly to humans and do things like understand what’s on a screen, complete the right keystrokes, navigate systems, identify and extract data, and perform a wide range of defined actions.

These software robots differ from people in one big way: speed. They have been consistently found to be faster and more consistent than people. This software technology enables users to create bots by observing human digital actions.

What can RPA do for me?

Robotic Process Automation software bots should be seen as a digital workforce capable of interacting with any system or application. These bots are designed to have the same digital skillset as people. In terms of application, they are able to copy-paste, scrape web data, make calculations, open and move files, parse emails, log into programs, connect to APIs, and extract unstructured data.

These bots are also able to adapt to any interface or workflow and can be applied without changing any business systems, applications, or existing processes in order to automate. One of the reasons behind their popularity is that they are easy to set up, use, and share.

Robotic Process Automation: what are the business benefits of RPA?

The advancement of automation in businesses is mainly driven by the need to augment people. The software bots based on RPA are essentially aimed to help people do their job without having to worry about repetitive tasks. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) streamlines workflows, which helps organisations to be more profitable, flexible, and responsive.

According to UiPath, RPA is noninvasive and can be rapidly implemented to accelerate digital transformation. “And it’s ideal for automating workflows that involve legacy systems that lack APIs, virtual desktop infrastructures (VDIs), or database access,” UiPath explains on its website.

Is RPA transformative?

RPA is indeed transformative as a technology since it is changing the way work gets done around the world. Software robots are now seen doing repetitive and lower-value work previously done by humans, who were often dissatisfied with their work.

In addition to these repetitive tasks, software robots are also pushing through in the form of advanced robots performing cognitive processes, like interpreting text, engaging in chats and conversations, understanding unstructured data, and applying advanced machine learning models to make complex decisions.

The advantage of this transformative business technology is that humans are freed to focus on the things that are important to the business. Software robots deployed through RPA allow humans to focus on innovation, collaboration, creation, and even interaction with customers.

Where can one see RPA being used?

RPA is bringing a revolution in terms of how work gets done in a broad swath of industries and processes. In the process of creating this transformation, software technology is freeing people from repetitive tasks.

Among the common areas where RPA is found include enterprises from financial services to healthcare and manufacturing. You will also find RPA changing lives in the public sector and retail. Since it is easy to deploy, the implementation is truly broad and most high-volume, repeatable processes have an alternative in the form of software robots.

What should you keep in mind while implementing RPA?

There are some key features and capabilities that companies must understand and deploy with their RPA technology. In order to build and manage an enterprise-wide RPA program, UiPath recommends technology that “can go far beyond simply helping you automate a single process.”

As a technology platform, RPA must support end-to-end by helping discover great automation opportunities everywhere. It should allow users to build high-performing robots to manage thousands of automated workflows.

RPA: Why is it the fastest-growing enterprise software?

RPA adoption has been accelerating around the world thanks to its ease of implementation and quantifiable value attached to it. Robotic process automation is also the fastest-growing enterprise software since it can help many different types of industries address their specific operational issues in new and powerful ways.

The business leaders observe that RPA improves many processes, yielding higher capacity, faster throughput, and fewer errors for key processes. IT executives like RPA because it can be implemented with little disruption.

Is RPA the same as AI?

In simple terms, RPA is not the same as AI and AI is not the same as RPA. However, the confusion between the two technologies stems from the way they are used in support of one another.

The combination of RPA and AI has been found to unlock massive new possibilities for enterprises everywhere. Robotic process automation has advanced to a stage where it is now possible to insert advanced AI skills in the form of machine learning models, natural language processing (NLP), character and image recognition, and more into RPA robots.

With AI, RPA is able to scientifically discover a complete range of automation opportunities for businesses. The insights delivered by AI are also helping businesses build a robust automation pipeline through RPA applications like process mining. RPA is a transformative technology and with AI, it will drive digital transformation and further change the way we work.

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2048 1366 Editorial Staff
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