Robotic Process Automation (RPA): A New Approach to
To improve the productivity and performance, nowadays companies are using software robots to perform routine, rules-based service processes. With a careful implementation of such software (robots) for automation, high-performing human-robot teams can be developed. This type of process of automation of services is also known as Robotic Process Automation. It is sometimes called a software robot or bot which imitates a human worker, logging into applications, entering data, calculating and completing tasks, and logging out.
RPA software is usually not a part of an organization's IT infrastructure but, it sits on top of it, and enables a company to implement the technology quickly and efficiently -- all without changing the existing infrastructure and systems.
The main difference between other automation methods and RPA is the ability of the RPA software to be aware and adapt to changing circumstances, exceptions and new situations. Once RPA software has been trained to capture and interpret the actions of specific processes in existing software applications, it can then manipulate data, trigger responses, initiate new actions and communicate with other systems autonomously. Also a standard interface along with the deployment of software is used in RPA without modification to the applications or the systems which is being automated.
In spite of the fact that RPA software is a new technology, but it is neither expensive nor complex.
RPA software is particularly useful for organizations which require effective and effortless integration and interaction among many different and complicated systems.
The industries which use labor on a large scale for general knowledge process work, where people are performing high-volume, highly transactional process functions, will enhance their capabilities and save money and time with robotic process automation software. It is the application of technology that allows employees of a company to configure computer software or a “robot” to capture and interpret existing applications for manipulating data, processing a transaction, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems.
Similar to industrial robots which are remaking the manufacturing industry by creating higher production rates and improved quality, RPA “robots” are transforming administration of business processes, workflow processes, IT support processes, remote infrastructure and back-office work.
RPA provides significant improvements in accuracy, cycle time and increased productivity in transaction processing as it elevates the nature of work by removing people from dull, repetitive tasks.
RPA technology can be applied to a wide range of industries. The financial sector followed by healthcare and telecom & IT are embracing RPA. The major reason of this is the large volume of data entry and switching among various applications. By automating processes i.e. data entry, purchase order issuing, creation of online access credentials, or business processes expedite back-office tasks in supply chain management, procurement , accounting, finance, customer service and human resources etc.
Remote management of IT infrastructures can be automated to consistently investigate and solve problems for faster process throughput.
Service desk operations and the monitoring of network devices can be improved drastically by RPA. Separating scalability from human resources allows a company to handle short-term demand without extra recruiting or training.
Benefits of RPA
Organizations moving on their digital transformation journeys can be benefitted by RPA technology as it:
- Enables better customer service
- Ensures compliance of business operations and processes with regulations and standards
- Saves time of processes
- Improves efficiency by digitizing and auditing process data
- Reduces cost involved in manual and repetitive tasks
- Enables employees to be more productive
Future of Robotic Process Automation
RPA with capabilities of providing benefits such as enhanced accuracy, compliance, cost saving and scalability, is emerging as a disrupting technology. These tools are less expensive than the full-time employees, industry experts have been expecting RPA to disrupt the conventional Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) model and alter the global outsourcing industry.
A Global Market Insights Inc. report expects the RPA market to reach $5 billion by 2024. The increased adoption of RPA technologies by organizations to enhance their capabilities and performance and boost cost savings will apparently drive the growth of the robotic process automation market in next 4-5 years.
Prof.(Dr.) Meenakshi Narula
Head, Department of Information Technology