What is RPA? Robotic Process Automation Explained

December 16, 2019

More executives are turning to an emerging technology practice called robotic process automation (RPA), to streamline operations and reduce costs. With RPA, businesses can automate tedious, rules-based business processes, enabling business users to devote more time to serving customers or other high priority work. Others see RPA as a step towards intelligent automation via machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) tools, which can be trained to make judgments about future outputs from business processes.

What is robotic process automation?

RPA is an application of technology, regulated by business logic and structured inputs, aimed at automating business processes. Using RPA tools, a company can configure software to capture and interpret application information for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems. RPA scenarios range from something as simple as generating an automatic response to an email, to deploying thousands of bots, each programmed to automate jobs in an ERP system.

What are the benefits of RPA?

RPA provides organizations with the ability to reduce staffing costs, redistribute employees to focus on other work, and reduce human error. Enterprises can also

supercharge their automation efforts by introducing RPA with cognitive technologies such as machine learning, speech recognition, rap definition robotic process automation explainedand natural language processing, automating higher-order tasks that required the judgment capabilities of humans in the past.

Gartner estimates that 60 percent of organizations with over $1B in revenue will have deployed RPA tools by 2020. By that time, 40 percent of large enterprises will have adopted an RPA software tool, up from less than 10 percent today.

What are the negatives of RPA?

RPA is not a one-size-fits-all technology approach and there are cases where alternative automation solutions could achieve better results for some companies. RPA solutions perform best when an organization needs structured data to automate existing tasks or processes, add automated functionality to legacy systems and link to external systems that can’t be connected through other IT options.

3 Tips for Effective Robotic Process Automation

  1. Consider Business Impact

RPA is often propped up as a mechanism to bolster return on investment or reduce costs. For example, enterprises such as airlines employ thousands of customer service agents, yet customers are still waiting in the queue to have their call fielded. A chatbot could help alleviate some of that wait.

  1. Build an RPA Center of Excellence

The most successful RPA implementations include a center of excellence staffed by people who are responsible for making efficiency programs a success within the organization.

  1. Don’t Forget About your People

Fascinated by shiny new solutions, some organizations are so focused on the implementation that they neglect to loop in HR, which can create some nightmare scenarios for employees who find their daily processes and workflows disrupted.

In order to make an RPA project successful, executives must first evaluate the possible use cases for RPA in their organization and focus on revenue-generating activities. At MCA Connect, our experts have seen many scenarios and have tackled many automated solution implementations. We feel confident that we can give you the best advice possible to get you started on your RPA journey. Contact us to chat!

Author: Brad Smith, Director of IoT Analytics

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