Robotics is not just a reality today but way of life for the future, It's magic wand every Business manager needs today.
RPA is part of robotics trend and is fast revolutioning the intelligent / software side of doing business.
In one of the research reports, International Data Corporation has indicated the total spend in robotics and allied services to touch $135.4 billion by the year 2019. In the year 2015 the spend was recorded at $71 billion which put the growth rate to double digit.
Robotics is not just a reality today but way of life for the future. Manufacturing sector has embraced it long ago and we all have been seeing the change, the optimisation that it bought in the industry. Robotics is now making inroads in our home and office to further enhance the quality of work and to make our lives better and meaningful. It is one of the fastest growing market in comparison to robots in manufacturing.
In brief about RPA as technology: Robotic Process Automation commonly known as RPA is usage of software technology to empower employees to handle their work process with help of 'Soft Robots' or software. This essentially helps in improving performance and output which further eases handling complex tasks of transacting, exploring, investigating, communicating and so on.
RPA meant for?
This application means automating business processes of an organization to improve performance and ROI. It is especially useful for corporations that heavily dependent on knowledge driven processes. Say like a bank or a BPO, where processes are numerous and require a certain degree of knowledge to be performed. Robotics come into play in these scenarios and bring in huge economies of scale in terms of time and money, and reducing all possibilities of human error.
How is RPA different from conventional/industrial robots?
Conventional or industrial robots that we've seen so far have been instrumental in the manufacturing process and improving both production and quality.
RPA “robots”, on the other hand, are dealing with our tasks, administration and processes and creating new benchmarks in quality when it comes to different kinds of workflow processes, no matter how complex or technical it is.
RPA not only manages things better, but it
* is designed to improve efficiency in turnaround times
* while creating better ways to do same old stuff
* making workforce happier as it moves away from routine and boring tasks
* cost way lesser than an average employee doing the same work.
To what extent can RPA be applied to an organization?
RPA technology can be applied across the enterprise, as an "end-to-end enterprise" solution, both in attended and unattended version.
What are the ways in which RPA functions?
RPA can be applied in different ways and to different degrees of automation as desired by the employer.
Hence, it is solely dependent on the needs of the employer, what kind of RPA will be deployed in the organization. It could be an "hybrid automation" where an employee can be there in front of his desktop and can manually pass on specific tasks(through the desktop) to the robot when the need arises. In another version, which is "attended automation", the employee is mainly performing the job but the robot is more or less like an assistant finishing of minor tasks such as form completion, transfer data etc. The "unattended version" is most hassle-free as it takes care of entire task assigned and replaces an employee therefore creating massive cost advantage to the employer.
Why automation is the need of the hour?
In business, time has always been of prime value. With competition rising over the years, customer-acquisition has become overly expenses. Thus a business can not afford to be less than a 100% in terms of its standard of product and services, and after that the choice lies with the customer. Needless to say, businesses can not afford to either make mistakes or lose customer base. Automation, in that light, is the perfect response of technology to business's present needs.
Tailored specifically to organization needs, RPA, can help a company to deploy computer based “robots” to handle logical tasks and workflow, do intelligent analysis of sales figures or any other statistics, interact with other digital devices, interview or evoke responses as well as perform run of the mill tasks such as completing a transaction.
Other than the above mentioned, the technology can be applied at a partial level to suit the organization's needs and budget, for instance, several processes such as Procure to Pay (P2P) have various sub processes that can be automated via RPA.
Automation can be applied across functions to drive error free processing and deliver better results.
According to research, healthcare and pharma are one of the biggest spenders on robotics. But RPA can bring about efficiency in any industrial sector that is largely dependent on intelligent processing. Banks, Financial services companies, BPOs Insurance etc can benefit from RPA. It is understood that results of up to 40 per cent cost reduction has been witnessed in the deployments so far in the enterprise business sector.
RPA deployments are easy. Automation is created without the use of any programming skill. It uses GUI interface to operate.
RPA is a technology that should be ideally use for end-to-end processing to savor its full optimization.
The challenges ahead of RPA lie in the processes itself, as they get more complex making RPA grapple for answers. Some of the most standardized processes also can't be automated. While this creates an area for improvement for RPA vendors and creators, till then one has to look into all aspects when going for such an automation and aim for the best deployment possible.
Business processes can be standardized after looking into every possible scenario. Like life, there can always be a new variation in business scenario as well. Systems and technologies must be prepared for the unusual scenarios. Business managers thus should play an active role in finalizing such technological dependence. RPA has a great potential as it can truly revolutionize the way we do business, bring about phenomenal improvement in processing, and eliminating error while saving time.