As we know, automation has changed aspects of business today. Robotic process automation (RPA) has become trendy in most industries, and it shows no signs of slowing down. The prospect of applying robotic automation in business processes has been gaining more attention as they are difficult in a digital world, which requires faultless operations. Businesses are automating knowledge-based, professional service processes that don’t demand human interaction when RPA comes into existence.
The process of automating business operations with the help of robots to reduce human actions is said to be Robotic Process Automation(RPA).
Let me elaborate on each of these terms one by one,
- Robotics entities that mimic human actions are called Robots.
- The sequence of steps that lead to meaningful activity is purely called ‘Process’. For example, the preparation of tea or your favorite dish, etc.
- Automation is the process that is done by a robot without any human actions
Example for RPA
Payroll processing for each month is a tedious and frustrating task that every HR team deals with. Because of the task involved, there are often errors and inaccuracy causing rework that can result in payment delays. Employees don’t tend to like payment delays
An RPA bot can check for employee data across multiple systems and validate timesheets, earnings, and tax deductions. RPA administers taxable benefits and other reimbursements. Just within the payroll function, RPA can help with the following things:
- Changes in Payroll Records
- Attendance Management
- Time Entry Validations
- Resignation Handling
- Payroll Deductions
Difference between Test Automation and RPA
RPA allows the user to assign work to hundreds or thousands of virtual machines that can perform the allotted tasks without the necessity of physical machines. On the other hand, Traditional Automation adopts different programming techniques to achieve parallel execution or scalability.
How does RPA work?
I used to think whenever this question comes to my mind.
Whether RPA allot physical robots or are there actual robots present to automate tasks?
Well, let me tell you that RPA does not displace humans with actual robots. But, there are tons of software available in the market which let you configure automation workflows to automate your business operations.
Though I have touched upon RPA is implemented through software which is nothing but RPA Tools/Vendors, let me tell you a few guidelines on how to get started with RPA before we begin discussing tools.
How To Get Started With RPA?
You need to act by the below steps, to get started with RPA:
Step 1: Gain extensive knowledge about the story behind RPA. That is, grasp all about Traditional Automation.
Step 2: Learn about RPA and its various Applications of RPA.
Step 3: Choose the process that you desire to automate, and flashback the process dependencies. This is a way to make sure that your business doesn’t suffer losses while you are working at automating the task.
Step 4: Gain voluminous hands-on experience in RPA Tools, such as UiPath, Blue Prism, and Automation Anywhere.
RPA Tools/Vendors are the software through which you can build tasks to get automated. In today’s market, there are RPA Vendors such as Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere, UiPath, WorkFusion, Pega Systems, and many more. But, the leaders in the market are the trio (UiPath, Blue Prism & Automation Anywhere)
Refer to the below image to know the current ranking of various RPA Tools.
Proven Benefits of RPA
It has been roughly calculated that using robotics cuts operational costs by as much as 25-50%. Robots can drive 24/7 and take no vacation compared to humans, who work 8/5 and have a pre-fixed number of annual leaves each year. Having robots take over some of the manually relating to work from humans could result in visible gains for the business. Automation can help you get a better cost within a short period and from then on, it is all only about gains!
2. Accuracy & Quality
RPA offers improved services to processes that have a high chance of human error, thereby increasing accuracy. Robots are reliable, and appropriate and do not complain when expected to work tirelessly. They also reduce the cases of re-works and enhance the output quality, exceedingly. The best part here is that robots follow all rules to the dot, thereby producing 100% accuracy in the process results, and let’s not forget what adds more sweetness to this deal – the fast execution of this technology. RPA optimizes power that multiplies the organizational capacity.
Robotics is a safe, communicable technology that doesn’t interfere with the built-in systems and provides perfect consistency in performing the activities across the panel, every time.
4. Improved Analytics
Having access to error-free, accurate data from various sources would improve the standard of analytics in the process. This leads to better decision-making and overall, to the advancement of the process execution.
5. Increased Employee Productivity
RPA eventually clear the way for humans and robots to do just what they excel at. As RPA frees the employees from their mundane tasks, they can focus more on client and customer interaction, relationship management, and other such activities where humans naturally shine at. Having satisfied clients and customers only means excellent business.
6. Increased Customer Satisfaction
Delivering better quality of work with high perfection and improved customer/client interaction leads to increased customer and client satisfaction. This only adds to the goodwill of the business.
As bots are handling the execution here, a larger amount of work can be done in a fairly much shorter period. A faster delivery, incorporated with perfection becomes the norm with automation.
8. Reconciliation from Multiple Systems
RPA makes the tallying of data and information from multiple systems possible which provides information that helps with the integration of processes.
RPA is significant across industries and can perform a wide range of tasks. Any process that is rule-based and can be defined and is replicable makes an ideal automation candidate.
10. Better IT Support and Management
RPA improves the operational quality of the service desk and keeps track of the network. This qualifies the companies to handle short-term spikes without having to recruit extra staff or train them.
RPA Trends in 2021
The promotion of RPA is increasingly becoming the foundation of improving efficiency in all industries. With the improving popularity of automation and its benefits, RPA industry trends are fast emerging. Through new use cases, companies are looking for advanced ways to get RPA tools up and running.
The below picture shows the use case of RPA Triggering New Trends
- RPA in Cloud: Whether it is the medical RPA trend, the bank RPA trend, or the insurance RPA trend, the cloud is now required. RPA processes a wide range of data. The cloud deployment has adequate repositories to store RPA. This means you can create an RPA infrastructure and deploy robots virtually. Essentially, cloud computing will also become a source of autonomous robots that can execute multiple operations
- RPA in ERP: The integration of RPA and ERP systems allows a centralized platform for business process management. ERP in the supply chain needs human interaction while wrapping-up decisions on vendors. RPA can automate supplier selection and procurement by choosing suppliers for purchasing and shipping materials, inspection of supplier documents, performing credit checks, and completing supplier selection.
- RPA-as-a-Service (RPAaaS): Many automation system integrators are gaining the advantages of huge demand of RPA and have plans to introduce the RPA-as-a-service (RPAaaS) model. Many SaaS organizations replaced the way they worked without pursuing additional maintenance costs, by creative various solutions in the cloud; RPAaaS will provide the same benefits. RPAaaS will constantly decrease the development and deployment costs, and handle the need for deploying the most impactful and most reusable components.
- Empowering RPA with AI & ML: Once RPA is integrated into AI, the automation process can begin faster processing and acquire continuous automation. The combination of AI and RPA allows companies to automate more complex end-to-end processes than ever before and combine predictive models and analytics into these processes so that employees can work smarter and faster.
- RPA in Manufacturing Industry: Every manufacturing industry has a logistics department that controls the transportation of finished products to customers. The integrated transportation management system with RPA qualifies you to adequately control the transportation of your products.
- RPA in IoT & Big Data: With the increasing number of smart devices, the volume of data in the cloud also increases. In IoT, RPA can help provide information on tasks, and data processes. This information supports to reveal various hidden facts and data, business ideas and trends, to discover insights in business operations.
Key RPA Trends to watch out for in 2022
RPA will be further integrated with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning techniques by 2022. The line connecting bots and digital workers, such as software, will become clearer. RPA bots will mainly focus on tasks that are based on logged procedures with rules. Meantime, AI that mimics human behavior will assist in the completion of increasingly difficult jobs. This will also assist in connecting automation islands and achieving more seamless process automation and departmental interconnection. RPA’s increasing cognitive AI app development will also support to prevent bottlenecks. Although, this can happen if a UI update isn’t instantly incorporated into the bot’s guidelines for accomplishing its goal.
Smart Process Automation is the succeeding game-changer in RPA.Combining rule-based bots with Machine Learning procedures will be a radical redesign in the digital processes. RPA tools will enable companies to create perceptions from repetitive tasks as well. The RPA bots constantly progress from self-learning AI procedures. They will not only enter the data in IT systems but also find patterns in that data at the same time. Therefore, it eliminates the need to install AI and RPA separately. Intelligent Automation will also furnish better trial-and-error competence to find solutions, combined with the perfection of effective Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
RPA Vendor Migration
RPA providers have extravagant the simplicity of adoption and automated execution, leaving users and consumers frustated. Even with the claims of major RPA vendors, it turns out that finding, designing, and developing robust, automated processes is not straightforward. Organizations will reject their RPA suppliers for option that can deliver on the promises they make in 2022, resulting in a significant number of competitive account transfers.
Smart Processes are turn out to be more Automated
RPA is a kind of robotic process automation that follows a set of standard rules to automate structured data. Anyway, as technology advances, a component or function of machine learning is included in the RPA system that constructs SPA bots. RPA bots may also strengthen from the capabilities of other developing technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI) and big data, thanks to SPA.
The Promotion of RPA CoE
Because of the expensive cost of RPA maintenance and support, more companies will acquire automation best practices and build RPA centers of excellence (CoEs). The rise in demand of RPA CoEs will support to standardize and control RPA, reducing bot faults, maintenance, and lost business value when bots are eliminated from production.
Change must be Accepted
Focusing at the most recent RPA trends, it’s apparent that any firm that has fought automation up until this point has fallen behind. In a growing number of business domains, RPA is critical for attaining the most out of your workforce and streamlining procedures. Even though some organizations’ RPA implementations were a minimal rough. The numerous of RPA suppliers who are qualified and knowledgeable is growing. As more businesses acquire industry best practices. The types of concerns that some people came across last year while using automation will effectively be a thing of the past.
1. The “robots are approaching for your job” narrative loses strength
2. Intelligent automation depends on cordination, not competition
3. Leading AI use cases complement RPA master plan(and vice versa)
4. RPA acquires the people-process-tools revamping
Semantic automation guides a different course from a rules-based approach where robots grasp directly by observing an activity or task and mimic it without detailed instructions. Making use of semantic automation, bots can understand processes, the data that is essential and move the pieces required to complete the workflow. Developers or business users will simply have to query robots to perform a task or workflow. It is all set to transform RPA solutions to make developers well organized and business scalable.
Low code platforms
Native developers are users that create new business applications by using development and timeframe environments approved by IT. They are progressively ‘automating’ and allowing businesses to automate at scale. For them to develop, there is a demand for a breed of no-code SaaS platforms that help in creating useful RPA solutions faster. Low-code platforms use a visual and inherent approach to development. It can be used to automate tasks, end-to-end procedures and workflows. One of the enormous advantages is that with a simple drag and drop, it creates an instinctive interface. Which can be seamlessly used by developers over the organization.
Increased adoption of RPA among SME adopters
In the after-effects of the pandemic, small and medium enterprises(SMEs) have realized the value of process automation for their businesses to hold on competitive and flexible. SMEs will pursue to adopt RPA solutions at a faster pace to streamline their processes and become more efficient.
RPA as a Service(RPAaaS) will be mainstream
The everything “as a Service “model has acquired wide acceptance and adoption with organizations opting for SaaS, ITaaS, PaaS and other services. Banking on the massive popularity and broad use cases of RPA, many automation system integrators will set up the RPA as a Service (RPAaaS) model. As observed in 2020, organizations using SaaS were able to innovate faster to develop successfull disruption without extra costs or efforts. The same concept can be applied for RPAaaS. For instance, RPA as a service was strengthen by NASDAQ(National Association of Securities Dealers Automatic Quotation System) across its finance operations to increase productivity, efficiency, save money and time. It also reduces the risks and manages compliance.
The global RPA industry has made enormous advances in 2020-2021. 2022 might just certify to be the game-changer for RPA where it extends into newer terrains and achieve new capabilities. Automation will pursue to fasten its position as a necessary enterprise technology with RPA at its heart.
Even though RPA software can be found across all industries, significant adopters include insurance companies, banks, telecom companies, and utility companies. RPA tools should consist of role-based security capability to ensure action-specific permissions. They should also offer configuration as well as customization of encryption capabilities for securing certain data types.