Transformation certainly is the prerequisite for growth. In the era of rapid technological advancement, it is considered crucial for businesses to keep up with the trends at a lightning pace. RPA has become a hot commodity for organizations that are seeking to enhance the efficiency of their business processes.
Robotic Process Automation is getting the most buzz these days for the role it is playing in liberating humans from repetitive tasks replacing them with automation As a result of which they can easily focus on tasks that are of more importance. It is a whole new revolution in the world of business giving another dimension to business processes, IT processes, workflow processes, remote infrastructure and back-office work.
So the introduction seems quite interesting no? Let’s dive into the concept without further ado and explore what opportunities it contains for the businesses.
What is RPA?
Gartner defines RPA as “Robotic process automation (RPA) is a productivity tool that allows a user to configure one or more scripts (which some vendors refer to as “bots”) to activate specific keystrokes in an automated fashion. The result is that the bots can be used to mimic or emulate selected tasks (transaction steps) within an overall business or IT process”
Here is another definition from the top RPA vendor:
UiPath defines RPA as software robots that mimic and integrate human actions within digital systems to optimize business processes. RPA captures data, runs applications, triggers responses, and communicates with other systems to perform a variety of tasks.
Simply put, Businesses configure software or bots to automate the repetitive and tedious tasks that would otherwise be done by humans. Basically, RPA facilitates business process automation inclution robotic automation of routines, repetitive tasks within a set framework, on a large scale. For instance, RPA could perform tasks like automating email responses for a customer relations department, or installing and configuring applications on corporate hardware or extracting information from an accounts payable system to get a weekly report. An increasing number of companies are leveraging RPA to garner a competitive edge.
Market Value Of RPA:
Statistics from a new study by Grand View Research depict that the global process automation (RPA) market is set to reach USD 3.97 billion by 2025. The market is expanding at a CAGR of 31.1% for the forecast period.
Gartner estimated, during aNovember 2018 report, that global spending on RPA software would reach $680 million in 2018, a rise of 57% from the previous year. It also estimated that 60% of organizations with revenue of quite$1 billion would deploy RPA tools by the top of the year.
The report went on to detail that RPA technology spending is on pace to total $2.4 billion in 2022, and by the end of that year, 85% of large organizations are expected to have deployed some form of Robotic Process Automation.
Forrester predicts that the RPA services market will reach US $ 12 billion by 2023 and previously it had projected that the RPA market itself would reach the US $ 2.9 billion by 2021. That is, the growth was much greater than expected in recent years.
How does the RPA technology works?
Hype can be fun at times but does it answer practical questions like “How does the technology works”? Well, we are here to give you an overview of it and help you make an informed decision.
Almost all businesses of all sizes can leverage the RPA technology given the versatility and flexibility. It comprises a wide array of technologies differing from each other in their own ways. However, most Robotic Process Automation products consist of RPA developer tools, a controller and a robot itself.
Isn’t it amazing?
Moreover, there are two common types of software bots available in the market:
The programmable robots are the first generation of RPA tools. They work as per the predefined parameters and rules set by the programmer. It involves mapping out a set trajectory or a set by step process for the bot to work on. This can be time-consuming and tedious for complex tasks.
Intelligent bots can analyze both the historical and current data to learn how certain tasks are performed by the employees. When they collect enough data about the tasks, they can carry out the process themselves. The self-learning bots are best suited for tasks involving unstructured data and ones that involve fluctuating parameters.
Types of RPA technology:
So now that you know how RPA technology works, let’s learn further about the types of technology.
Here you go.
First Type- Attended Automation:
It is the type of automation that requires human intervention. The bots work alongside humans to improve productivity and save time. It is suitable for real-time process guidance and cases like front-office activities.
Second Type- Unattended Automation:
Unattended automation is the RPA software iteration where the decision-making process is carried out by intelligent bots and doesn’t require human involvement. It can be best suited in environments involving back-office activities. This type of automation can be leveraged to fully automate high-volume transaction-based activities. Unattended RPA can run on a fanaticalworkstation, server or other computing platforms.
Third Type- Hybrid Model:
This type of automation is named a hybrid because it combines the capabilities of attended and unattended automation during a single model. The task is initiated by humans activating the attended automation to hold it out. At a certain point, the attended bot offloads some portions of the task to unattended bots which speed up the completion of the task.
Which Business processes can benefit more from RPA?
The hypergrowth of RPA continues unabated. This doesn’t prove that every area of the enterprise can benefit from it. Forrester Research, Inc. report defines the cautions that must be taken into consideration while implementing RPA.
The RPA implementation requires careful consideration, selection, planning, and governance. These factors are crucial to the success of RPA implementation in any business scenario.
So before falling for this shiny new kid in the block, it is necessary to know which business processes can benefit the most from RPA. Here goes the list:
- Finance and Accounting
- IT services
- HR services
- Supply Chain
How to implement RPA successfully?
Technology implementation always comes with teething issues. There is nothing different in the case of RPA. It might be great at driving operational excellence but some processes are viable to automation than others. Set goals, comprehensive planning and organized governance are crucial to RPA success.
Organizations that have piloted RPA successfully expect, on average, a 9-month payback period while, in reality, the payback achieved by those that have implemented and scaled RPA has been 12 months. (Deloitte Global RPA Survey)
Here are some factors that can assure the successful implementation of RPA:
- Formalized methods and Standards
- Collaboration between IT and business executives
- End-to-end organizational change management
- Frequent communication throughout the process
- Manage potential risks and surprises
- Processes are more important than tools
- Stay objective
Benefits of RPA:
Automation is here to stay for the immense benefits businesses have been leveraging since its emergence. 98% of IT leaders say automating business processes is vital to driving business benefits. 78% of those who have already implemented RPA expect to significantly increase investment in RPA over the next three years. (Deloitte Global RPA Survey).
Let’s proceed forward and see what the RPA benefits include:
- Cost and Error Reduction:
“To err is human, to forgive divine”
Well, sometimes an error can not be surpassed as it can cost a considerable fortune and reputation. Human workers are prone to foibles during the long repetitive task. RPA mitigates this issue resulting in accurate, timely and consistent work. Hence saving time and money spent on correcting errors.
- Automation of tedious tasks:
This is one of the predominant benefits of RPA as it liberates humans from repetitive tasks. RPA can reduce labour intensive tasks by 80%. This allows them to focus more on value-adding tasks and elevate the business.
RPA is non-invasive which means it can work alongside the existing IT infrastructure. It is good news for businesses that still operate on legacy systems. The bots need a little bit of training on how to use the legacy system. The IT infrastructure doesn’t need to be disturbed to accommodate as it uses the same front-end infrastructure and graphic user interface(GUI) as humans.
RPA is extremely scalable across the business units. You can deploy as many bots as required.
- Improved Customer service:
RPA results in transformed and streamlined workflows. The information is readily available to the agents and they can focus on solving the customer issues rather than searching for data under the piles.
What future is holding for RPA?
Automation has always played a crucial role in business processes. But the way RPA demand has surged in the last decade proves that the future of RPA is going to be promising. RPA has reached a high level of sophistication and has moved from automating simple tasks to other time-consuming tasks as email recognition and file conversion. If this RPA growth trend continues, RPA will achieve “near-universal adoption” in the next 5 years. (Deloitte Global RPA Survey)
With the convergence of other technologies such as Artificial intelligence and machine learning, RPA will help explore new opportunities in the world of automation. It will not only strengthen accurate judgement by the bots but also help them learn to perform tasks at a faster pace.
RPA implementation will also become cost-efficient and will require less effort with relatively new techniques as low-code automation. Low-code automation’s drag-and-drop requires fewer skills to complete complex automation tasks. Hence saving money the cost of sourcing and training staff.
To Sum Up:
RPA can be regarded as a synonym for business transformation. It has already proven its ability to enhance business efficiency while eliminating human errors significantly. Coupled with other cutting edge forms of technology such as AI, autonomic frameworks, cognitive interface, RPA is surely the technology of the future.