Robotic Process Automation (RPA) refers to automation which interacts other computer applications through the user interface (UI) or presentation layer to mimic the actions of their human equivalent. RPA is a non-intrusive and adheres to the same security policies that a regular employee would. The best candidate for process automation are processes that are rule-based, repetitive and have a clearly defined business procedure.
Standalone, legacy, ERP or workflow systems often don't communicate to each other and integrating them would cost millions of dollars and precious IT resources. RPA can provide lightweight integration connecting different systems at the user interface level.
Business competitions are getting stronger every day and businesses need to find ways to be more efficient to stay competitive. As the average workload for an employee become more demanding, businesses are looking for ways to contain cost while increasing productivity.
Automation technologies have gotten so much better now that a high adoption rate for RPA is anticipated. RPA reduces the overall operation costs and improves efficiency by freeing human employees from mundane tasks to apply themselves to core business objectives. Businesses that adopt to this technology early will have an advantage over their competitors.
Direct benefits of RPA include cost reduction, increase workforce productivity, achieve near-zero error rate, redirect valuable employee resources to high-value business initiatives.
Indirect benefits of RPA include higher compliance rate, operational efficiency, decrease ongoing employee training, increase coverage without increasing overall FTE costs, standardization of business processes.
So where does RPA play a role in your organization? There are plenty of back office processes in all organization that can not be automated the traditional way due to a large IT effort, implementation time and long approval processes. The blue bars on the right side of the graph above is what is call the "Long Tail of Change". RPA software allows you to automate these processes quickly with minimal strain on your IT resource.
1. RPA is only used to replace humans with technology, leading to layoffs
This is one of the biggest misconception about RPA for obviously reason. When you mention "robots" the first thing that come into everyone mind is "human replacements...layoffs". The fact is the opposite is true.
Organizations that implemented RPA use the technology to liberate employees, release them from the dull repetitive tasks in their job and allow them to focus on value-added tasks that are focus on judgment and human interaction.
RPA complement human beings and build on their strength. Employees are able to handle more value-added and innovative work while their robotic counterpart helps with the repetitive tasks.
2. Business operations staff feels threatened by RPA
Once operations staff see RPA in action, they welcome it because it makes their job easier. Operations staff sees higher throughput with significantly lower error rate.
3. RPA is driven only by cost savings
It is true that cost savings is the primary driver for RPA initiatives but it is not the only benefits. Soon after RPA deployment, organizations will start to see other benefits. A few of which were mentioned above.
4. RPA replaces an entire person's job
Robots can only perform tasks they are configured to do. In a way, robots complement an employee by taking care of the daily mundane tasks leaving the employee with more time to focus on customer-centric tasks or new business initiatives. An employee's work will become more fulfilling.
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- General Ledget
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- Customer service
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