In this in-depth blog by Master Infotech understands what RPA is, how it works, how it is different from intelligence automation, and how organizations can employ it for business growth
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a technology software used to impersonate human behavior while interacting with digital systems. It is configured to function the way humans interact with systems. This software is basically used in business processes. It is a useful technology that is widely used in today’s business world. It is based on machine learning and artificial intelligence, which uses various software robots to perform business-oriented tasks.
RPA is based on business process automation, where business tasks, such as repetitive updating of user data, query evaluation, and database maintenance are performed with the help of robotic automation. You can also integrate this software with your website development process.
Depending on the requirements, software robots can also be easily integrated into any system to provide relatively fast and accurate results like humans. Let’s dive further into what robotic process automation is.
Table of Contents
- What is robotic process automation (RPA)?
- How does RPA work?
- How does Robotic Process Automation differ from Intelligent Automation?
- Robotic Process Automation in relation to Artificial Intelligence?
- Benefits of RPA
- Challenges of using RPA
- Which industries use RPA?
What is robotic process automation (RPA)?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an easy-to-use software technology. Software users use RPA to create software robots or “bots” that can learn, imitate, and execute rule-based business processes. It involves creating bots by observing human digital actions. It works like exhibiting to the bot what to do, then letting the bot do it.
Any software bot can interact with an application or system like a human. But an RPA bot can do it 24/7, non-stop, and much faster, just like a PPC ad campaign, with 100% reliability and accuracy
Robotic process automation is the vision of machines overcoming humanity with ruthless efficiency. An interesting fact about the software is that the robots involved in robotic process automation do not actually exist. It means this automation software doesn’t even involve a robot.
How does RPA work?
Robotic process automation works by executing a series of workflow tasks. You can initiate the process by telling your software bot what to do at each step. Once the workflow is programed into the RPA, the software can automatically run the program and perform the specified task multiple times according to the requirements.
One of the most common examples of RPA is automatic billing system. This is an essential feature for any business, but in some cases, it can be a critical task. Because this task is typically repetitive, a human worker must complete hundreds and thousands of tasks each day, which can be time-consuming.
RPA can also be combined with new advanced AI tools that can lead organizations to “smart” bots that are better at handling complex tasks, including exceptional opportunities.
Also, no coding is required for the appropriate working of Robotic Process Automation. As a result, companies can easily train and hire RPA engineers as there is no requirement of learning some special language.
Ever thought how wonderful it would be if we integrated blockchain development with RPA technology? Looks like a subject of discussion.
How does Robotic Process Automation differ from Intelligent Automation?
We can take it this way – RPA is the “hand” of operations, whereas IA is the “brain” of operations. RPA is best suited for “automating rule-based activities or mimicking human behavior,” which includes tasks like reading data, entering data, passing data from one system to another, and extracting data, but IA is good for “streamlining end-to-end processes.”
Both RPA and IA technologies can work together and take advantage of each other’s strengths. While Intelligent Automation can streamline processes, RPA can be used for more structured and repetitive tasks.
Intelligent and robotic process automation free employees from many tedious and repetitive tasks, allowing them to focus on more creative and innovative tasks.
Intelligent Automation includes robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, and intelligent document understanding. This approach uses robotic process automation (RPA) to automate routine and repetitive customer service tasks.
Robotic Process Automation in relation to Artificial Intelligence?
Robotic process automation is normally confused with artificial intelligence, but the two are different.
The main difference is that RPA is process driven whereas AI is data-driven. AI is a combination of cognitive automation, machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), hypothesis generation, and analytics. RPA bots can only follow the processes defined by the end user.
AI bots use machine learning to recognize patterns in data, especially unstructured data and learn over time. In other words, AI is designed to simulate human intelligence, while RPA is only designed to replicate human-driven tasks. Artificial intelligence and RPA tools minimize the need for human intervention, but they differ in how they automate processes.
Benefits of Robotic Process Automation
Improving Employee Productivity
RPA enables humans and robots to do exactly what they are good at. It frees employees from their day-to-day tasks so they can focus more on customer interactions, relationship management, and other activities that humans are naturally good at. Happy clients and customers mean better business opportunities
Accuracy and Quality
RPA improves service and increases accuracy in processes that are prone to human error. Robots are reliable and durable and don’t whine when asked to work tirelessly. It also reduces rework cases and greatly improves output quality. The best part is that the robot strictly follows all the rules, there by achieving 100% accuracy in the process results. Let’s not forget what makes any business even more attractive – the rapid implementation of technology. RPA optimizes functions that double the capabilities of an organization.
It is estimated that robotics can reduce operating costs by up to 25-50%. Robots can work 24/7 and takes no vacations compared to humans who have a fixed number of annual vacations each year. If robots can take over some of the manual-intensive tasks that humans used to do, it could bring tangible benefits to the business.
Challenges of using RPA
RPA, like other technologies, has helped organizations become more efficient and improve employee performance, but there are challenges that must be addressed.
Cost of Implementation
Another common challenge is the cost of implementing RPA. The initial cost can be high, but it’s important to remember that RPA can provide a return on investment (ROI) in a relatively short period. There are many ways to reduce the cost of RPA, including using open-source solutions and leveraging existing infrastructure.
RPA requires significant changes in how an organization operates. This can be difficult, especially for organizations that are not used to change. It is important to have a clear plan for how RPA will be implemented and what will change. This ensures a smooth transition and reduces business impact.
Scalability is another common challenge. It’s important to be able to scale your RPA solution as your business grows. This is a difficult challenge, especially for small businesses. There are many ways to meet this challenge, such as using cloud-based solutions or opting for easily configurable RPA solutions.
Which industries use RPA?
Telecom: Telecom is yet another industry that is making the most of RPA as it is experiencing significant growth with, 5G, and edge computing. As demand grows, RPA helps telcos optimize their applications, infrastructure, and share data.
Insurance: The insurance industry is full of repetitive processes that lend themselves to automation. RPA helps you create quotes and policy documents faster. It helps standardize intermediate reconciliations by ingesting data into a single source of truth and processing policy changes faster.
Retail: With the rise of e-commerce, RPA has become an integral part of the modern retail industry. Automating tasks impacts both customers and employees, such as the collection of employee information for onboarding, scheduling, and payroll purposes. RPA helps with inventory management, warehousing and order management, supply chain operations, fraud detection, customer feedback, and returns processing.
Healthcare: Accuracy and compliance are paramount in the healthcare industry. Some of the world’s largest hospitals use robotic process automation software to streamline information management, prescription management, claims processing, payment cycles, and more.
RPA can minimize errors and increase efficiency. It is essential for building a seamless operational environment in the future. Repetitive tasks are completed faster and more efficiently, allowing people to focus on their more human-centric strengths, such as reasoning, judgment, and emotional intelligence.
You may face resistance and challenges when implementing an RPA solution. RPA onboarding is laying the groundwork upfront and providing a clear vision for both management and employees.
For more information on the topic, talk to Master Infotech experts today.