The world is moving towards new building processes, fueling the absolute necessity for automation. Every organization irrespective of its volume is aiming to automate its business processes in a way that complements the manual strategies and processes remain uninterrupted. Robotic Process Automation is a new-age technological marvel that is being utilized by enterprises to automate their tasks and processes.
Let's start this by first discussing what RPA is, and then move to various details that ponder around the automation techniques, advantages, and the other offerings that these tools bring to the table.
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RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation and is software that uses techniques like screen scraping and others to automate the necessary clerical tasks. RPA could be understood as a business process automation technique or technology which is based on the notion of software robots. RPA is one of the branches of Artificial Intelligence where it is used extensively to automate the workflows for their legacy systems. RPA finds its use in many organizations that still rely on age-old legacy systems. Other than this, there are other opportunities where skilled labor is used, which could’ve been automated for efficient work completion.
In layman's terms, if we want to understand what RPA is, it can be broken down to three levels.
Robotic - Machines that can enact human actions on a business system (hence called a robot)
Process - A sequence of steps when followed completes an assigned business task
Automation - Something which can be done by a machine than an individual to save time and also at the same time be effective and efficient.
Now, with this understanding, Robotic Process Automation is the art by which a possibility of monotonous work done by an individual is replaced by an automated task performed by robots instead of skilled labor. In other words, enacting a series of steps to complete a meaningful task without any human interaction or supervision can be termed as Robotic Process Automation.
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Now, with an initial understanding of what Robotic Process Automation is all about, let us now take a more in-depth look and understand how does RPA works. Here, we shall discuss in detail to understand all the nitty-gritty details about Robotic Process Automation (RPA) altogether. RPA bots would be transforming back offices just the same way how the industrial robots transformed the traditional factory floors. RPA bots would be doing the same things that are done manually (in a conventional way), but the difference would be that it would all be programmed well beforehand.
With continuous change in the business environment, an enterprise must continuously change its product, marketing, and sales to progress and stay relevant according to market demands. The enterprise which often uses distributed IT systems to run several operations depends upon the workforce, as it is difficult to change the IT systems frequently due to implementation complexity issues, timing, and budget.
So, to reduce these manual operations, RPA is used to automate tasks just like a human. Robotic automation interacts with the existing IT architecture without the integration of complex systems. It’s not a replacement for business applications but automates the manual tasks of human workers.
RPA being a powerful tool of transformation can improve your business as long as you take the proper steps for executing a smart implementation strategy. The purpose of RPA is to transfer specific processes from humans to bots; the human capital is pivotal to a successful transition.
The stages of RPA implementation are listed as follows:
Identifying the Process that is awaiting automation is performed in this step. The below checklist will help in identifying the right process accurately.
After the checklist is done, now, we enter the planning phase. It is as follows.
This step begins with automation workflow development according to the solution accepted.
In this step, we test cases for in-scope automation to identify and correct the errors.
In this step, we need to provide continuous support after launching and helps for resolution. The roles and responsibilities concerning business and IT support teams follow general maintenance guidelines.
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RPA tools are the software through which the user can configure tasks to get automated. These are widely used tools in the industry for distinct purposes and have their pros and cons.
The primary RPA tools are as follows:
The RPA tool trio is the leader in the market ( Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere, and UiPath).
Most leading global companies such as Accenture, Deloitte, Capgemini, and many more use Robotic Process Automation in their day-to-day tasks. These companies benefit from using RPA as it provides reliable, accurate, and consistent outputs with high productivity rates.
The significant areas benefiting through RPA are as follows:
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The following are the advantages of RPA:
In the next few years, automation will redefine itself to step into the next level of digital transformation. It will deliver a new level of customer satisfaction through higher quality experience, in-depth personalization, and faster product delivery offerings with great convenience.
Some of the major RPA predictions that are set to redefine digital transformation in the years to come are as follows.
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RPA utilization is gradually increasing in the market around the globe. Most of the enterprises have already started implementing the RPA technology, as it is cost-effective, optimizes the usage of other resources, and is less prone to errors.
Today, most enterprises are using RPA tools for testing a specific application because the old testing tools have certain limitations. For example, the Selenium testing tool: It is an automation tool to test web browsers, but it is limited to a single browser. If we have to test another part of the application, Selenium has to be integrated with other tools. But, using RPA, any part of the system can be tested with a single tool.
In the near future, the RPA tools may get sophisticated and take over the characteristics of business process management tools along with AI tools. They may become more efficient in such a way that they could analyze the statement of a particular customer request and recommend any discount if applicable.
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Prasanthi is an expert writer in MongoDB, and has written for various reputable online and print publications. At present, she is working for Mindmajix, and writes content not only on MongoDB, but also on Sharepoint, Uipath, and AWS.