What is RPA? - 8 Benefits of Robotic Process Automation
What is RPA? - 8 Benefits of Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a piece of software that can be used to do structured, repetitive tasks without the help of a person. Many companies use RPA to eliminate the need for people to do tedious, repetitive tasks like transferring data.
Using RPA, or "bots," to do business-related tasks makes a business more efficient, productive, and pleasant to work in. For example, if RPA is used well, people won't have to put together payroll data anymore, which means they can use their skills for something more substantial and focus on leveraging their business.
In this article, we will go through the history of Robotic Process Automation (RPA), its definition, and its benefits.
Evolution of RPA - Brief History of Robotic Process Automation
Using automated technology to improve the efficiency of a process is not a new idea. It has been around since the industrial age when people tried to make factories more productive. But attempts to use bots to improve processes began with screen scraping almost simultaneously as the World Wide Web was introduced to the world in 1989.
Screen scraping is the process of getting data from the Internet by finding, extracting, and copying it for another purpose. Back then, a business that wanted to use screen scraping had to know much about programming, and automation technology depended on people.
Lack of automated technology prompted inventive and flexible process management software to enhance customer interactions, operational expenses, and workflow management. Companies needed better, quicker process management systems in the 1990s due to hyper-competition.
Perspectives on process management systems altered as corporations automated their procedures. In the 2000s, organizations prioritized efficacy above efficiency, i.e. accurate computing and reliable information management.
This is the beginning of RPA and the world's move into the 21st century. Robotic Process Automation builds on its predecessors, screen scraping and workflow automation, to do tasks from start to finish without any help from a person. The Internet of Things (IoT) in 2009 marked the beginning of the next decade, a time when technology kept getting better, and the world became more connected through technology.
The world's rapid technological change has led to the fourth automation revolution, in which RPA has become more popular. 2016 saw a rise in sales of services and tools for robotic process automation, and RPA systems started to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools.
Benefits of Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has a lot of good points. Here are the benefits of RPA below:
1. Make operations as efficient as possible
Operational efficiency is how well a job was done in the past in terms of time, money, and people. Without data-driven software to streamline its processes, it's almost impossible for a business to stay competitive in its field.
One of the main reasons why there is more competition in almost every industry is that people have set up bots to do tedious tasks 24/7. With the right RPA software in place, employees who spend valuable time on manual tasks can now do more productive and exciting things with their time. RPA not only lets employees use their skills on more important tasks, but it also makes the workplace happier.
2. Easy to apply and operate
RPA software is shockingly quick and easy to add to a user's current Information Technology (IT) system. It doesn't need expensive or external equipment to work. Also, you don't need to know how to set up the system.
For example, a lot of RPA software lets users "drag and drop" the code that has already been written for the automation they want.
3. Fast implementation
RPA software takes anywhere from one to six weeks to fully set up and integrate, depending on how complicated the user's workflow is.
On the other hand, users who need complex automation could take up to twelve weeks to set up.
4. Compatible with Industry
Users in many industries report that rules and regulations are followed more closely when RPA software is set up to do the desired task. RPA software is used to do structured, rule-based tasks that are error-free, and this makes it a powerful and accurate auditing tool. When a user sets up RPA software, they set up the bot to do a task and can also program the bot to do jobs by the compliance rules of their industry.
5. Customer satisfaction
In the same way, RPA software can ensure that businesses follow the rules and improve the quality of service they offer. Eliminating human mistakes leads to accurate results, which can enhance service continuity, customer relations, and the time it takes to deliver service quickly.
6. Fewer troubles in Software
RPA software also called "software robots," works on top of a user's existing software without being told what to do. In other words, this means that bots act as a control and management center, able to handle multiple tasks without interfering with existing software. It's more of an addition.
As a control center that works with a user's current interface, RPA software can connect and talk to a user's original software to make an ecosystem of machines. This means that computers can keep working the way they do now, and RPA software can be used to connect several independent sources and keep a steady flow of information going without affecting other programs.
7. Efficient data analyzing
What is software for RPA?
Data analytics can show patterns that point out problems in a user's tech system. With the data collected by RPA software, companies can find and fix flaws in their current system and people.
8. Better data protection
By using RPA software in the right way, users can make sure their data is more secure. RPA can make data more secure by reducing the amount of human interaction with sensitive information.
- How well an RPA works depends on how complex its development is.
- How advanced a company's software needs to rely on what it needs.
Still, if a business wants to reduce risk as much as possible, it needs enough money and, often, a professional group of tech-savvy employees.
How Does Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Work?
RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation. How does it work? There are four main steps to putting RPA into an organization's infrastructure.
1. Project Management
Choosing the right processes to automate is part of the identifying stage. RPA processes that work well are structured, don't change, are based on rules, and have a lot of transactions. But rule-based tasks can be automated even if they don't involve a lot of transactions every second.
During the design phase of RPA, you decide which software tools are best for the user's identified tasks. For example, if a user wants to use RPA automation for payroll, they should think about how much it will cost, how well it will work, how long it will take to set up, and how much time it will take.
Considering these things, a user may find that using RPA tools for payroll won't give them the best results compared to other options. During this phase, you should also consider how to deal with the common problems with RPA, the short-term and long-term goals, and who is responsible for what.
3. Scripts, Build, and Test
In the third step of putting RPA into action, scripts for the automation tools chosen in the design phase are written and rewritten. During the scriptwriting phase, you may need to know how to configure and program, depending on what you want.
Most of the time, IT or an RPA developer is responsible for writing configurations. Each tool may need little or no code, while others might need a new script. During this stage, you must also set up a place for the RPA tools to build, test, and deploy.
After each step is completed, it's time to put the tools for automation into action. It's essential to keep an eye out for bugs in the software robots and have a team of professionals who know much about this technology. Many companies should consider hiring outside help for the RPA deployment process and putting together a skilled team to keep an eye on the software during the execution phase.
AI vs. RPA
AI used to work in a field that had nothing to do with RPA, but it is now being used more and more in RPA software to improve the robot's abilities. Artificial intelligence is a type of high-tech that can predict, learn, and understand how the human mind works.
When RPA and AI work together, the benefits of automation software get even better, and other analytics are added to improve customer satisfaction, security, accuracy, and a lot more.
RPA isn't intelligent on its own, so it can't understand complicated tasks that need judgment or interpretation. AI doesn't always give information to help make decisions because the right processes still need to be well-defined and mature. Instead, it works as a benefit enhancer that makes it possible to improve performance even more.
Software robots can read what's on a screen and do many different things, like type keystrokes, log in to programs, navigate systems, do the math, open and move files, and get unstructured data. Software robots can do all of these things faster, more reliably, and more consistently than people can. RPA bots are easy to set up and use, as well as to schedule, copy, change, and share. This "bot" team is managed the same way as any other team in the company.
RPAs are helpful in almost every industry, from banking and insurance to healthcare and law. RPA helps businesses be more efficient and flexible, which has an effect on business outcomes and leads to a significant return on investment (ROI).
RPA and Computer Vision: RPA with Computer Vision Applications
Here are some ways computer vision is already being used to power robotic process automation(RPA) applications.
- Invoice processing
Invoices come in all shapes and sizes, through all kinds of channels, and as all kinds of unstructured data in the form of images. These channels include email, fax, PDF, and USPS, and they could even be handwritten and delivered to your business. Before computer vision, people had to hand over important process information on invoices. This included the vendor's name, the order number, the PO number, information about how the payment would be made, and so on. Intelligent automation that uses computer vision can find all the essential content, extract it, and use AI-based rules to process it for payment. This automates from start to finish a task that used to be tedious and done by hand.
- "Know Your Customer" (KYC) onboarding:
With the pandemic and people not being able or willing to meet in person, remote verification of customers for KYC compliance is becoming more critical. Banks and other financial institutions in certain countries in Europe, Latin America, and Asia can now use remote video-based customer identification processes for KYC. This means that customers cannot come to the office to sign up but can do so remotely. In places where remote KYC video is allowed, intelligent automation with computer vision greatly speeds up the process of signing up new customers.
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