- Imogen Ni Ealai
Robotic Process Automation - What You Should Know
Updated: Feb 7
With Coronavirus as a catalyst, businesses are focusing their efforts on what the future will look like and what emerging technologies can be leveraged to enable the ‘new normal’. Robotic Process Automation or RPA has emerged as a front runner with a forecasted spend of $2.4B by 2022. Walmart, AT&T, and American Express Global Business Travel are a few of the many enterprises leveraging RPA today.
RPA – What is it?
RPA evokes images of robots driving buses but despite having the word ‘robot’ in its name, RPA refers to software bots. It is an emerging technology that “emulates the actions of a human interacting within digital systems to execute a business process” In short, RPA leverages technology to enable a bot to mirror a task that would traditionally be performed by a human, eliminating the need for employees to do repetitive and laborious tasks, thereby enabling employees to focus their time and attention on more important and less mundane work.
What is RPA used for?
There are generally four criteria a task must meet to be suitable for RPA:
It must be rule-based with a set of defined instructions
It must be repetitive
It should have limited system integration
It should be easily documentable
Essentially, tasks that involve data extraction, collection, and relocation such as moving files, copying and pasting data to fill in forms and applications are all great candidates for RPA.
What are the benefits?
Compared to other, more complex technologies, RPA allows organizations to automate repetitive tasks quickly, easily and at a fraction of the cost. It leverages an organisation’s existing infrastructure and is simple and intuitive for everyone, technical and non-technical employees alike, to understand and use. It is scalable and can work across business units.
The biggest appeal to RPA is that it can significantly reduce cost. In fact, it can reduce processing costs by up to 80% and most organisations have a return on investment within its first year of implementation.
Most significantly, since RPA is performed by a bot and not a human, organisations benefit from enhanced accuracy, improved compliance, and of course increased speed and productivity.
If your organization is using RPA, we would love to hear your stories/experience.