The robot market is booming as data is increasingly being leveraged by firms to increase their productivity, improve the user experience and reduce costs. In fact, according to a study for 60% of the jobs in the world at least 30% of tasks could be automated.
In today’s digital world, businesses need performant technological tools to collect and process the enormous amount of data generated on a daily basis. Nowadays, process automation is a key strategic element for businesses that seek to improve their business processes, add value to their services and gain a competitive advantage.
Robotic process automation or RPA refers to software robots that run virtually and automate repetitive digital workplace tasks such as the collection, transfer and entry of data, the transaction process, the management of files within servers and much more. It generally consists of a virtual infrastructure, a suite of software and a specific methodology.
RPA software is an innovative automation technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, which helps businesses and organizations optimize their time and resources. RPA automates complex rule-based tasks for websites and applications so that employees can focus on more important matters rather than routine daily tasks.
There are three main types of robotic process automation, the most adequate one for your business will depend on the processes and tasks you require the IT solution to perform:
A software robot is a program designed by a set of instructions and commands, which is built to automate processes. There are different types of software robots such as chatbots and virtual assistants. They can be installed on a physical server, PC or virtual machine.
Software bots can be used for an endless number of different tasks and they are divided into two categories:
These types of software robots are used to simplify business processes that involve human interaction (customer service, sales, etc.) and judgment. Front office bots are leveraged by businesses in order to streamline operations and take on certain tasks so that employees can focus on more complex and value generating tasks.
For example, companies that integrate chatbots are able to answer customer queries, resolve complaints, track orders and much more. They are available 24/7 and they constantly learn and improve thanks to artificial intelligence.
Robotic process automation is also great to automate background processes. Back office bots take care of tasks such as transferring files, monitoring systems and reporting. RPA enables seamless integration of front office and back office processes. For example, data collected during a customer transaction can be automatically added to a report and shared with different departments within the organization.
RPA typically consists of a cognitive automation platform (CAP) and a united test management solution (UTMS):
Configurations are generally rule-based and setting up an RPA can normally be done within a couple of weeks depending on the client’s needs.
Process automation is not a new discovery, it’s been around for a while. However, up until now, firms had generally been investing in enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications or outsourcing activities as a means to expand their operations and improve their efficiency.
In recent years, organizations have been shifting their focus from traditional IT solutions towards RPA. This is mainly due to the fact that traditional process automation tools require heavy investment, longer implementation and they don’t adapt to change.
Unlike traditional solutions, RPA helps businesses fully automate processes for a fraction of the resources (time and money) and can be implemented in just a few weeks. Furthermore, it adapts to the existing infrastructure and internal systems so companies don’t have to pay the cost of replacing those elements.
RPA is increasingly being implemented in the banking and financial sector in order to reduce the burden of repetitive tasks such accounting, data entry and invoicing. RPA helps businesses calculate taxes, process receipts and pay invoices in a timely manner. This helps companies increase their productivity, reduce their margin of error and improve overall efficiency.
RPA can be leveraged in different ways in this sector. It is used to fix technical issues, provide technical customer support, backup data, manage support tickets and conduct system maintenance.
Human resource departments have to process and manage large amounts of data and keep detailed records of every employee in the organization. RPA tools enhance the efficiency of HR staff by automatically calculating benefits, storing documents, reviewing timesheets, managing onboarding and much more.
Perhaps one of the most valuable aspects of RPA is its ability to collect and analyze data. Automation tools can gather data about just about anything whether it be related to issues, costs, efficiency, productivity, etc. It’s a great way for businesses to find areas of improvement and monitor their performance. After all, data is key for strategic decision-making.
Procurement teams typically spend a great deal of their time performing administrative tasks, which is why companies are gradually incorporating RPA. In fact, businesses that are investing in RPA have been able to streamline their operations, reduce personnel costs and add value to their service. Invoice processing and requisition approvals are just some of the tasks that can be automated using automation tools.
As robotic process automation evolves, we will see more and more companies adopt RPA solutions and an increasingly large amount of tasks will be performed through automation. Companies that recognize the benefits of automation early enough will be able to streamline their processes and capture a larger share of the market.
Here are some examples of tasks that can be performed by automation software:
RPA is generally used to automate business processes that are repetitive, rule-based, prone to error and involve data.
The bottom line is robots are here to stay. Companies that understand this reality and leverage RPA will be able to gain a significant competitive advantage while increasing their profits and efficiency. Robotic process automation offers benefits for organizations and companies across all industries. Apart from the fact that RPA software is easy to implement, using RPA tools will help you optimize your workflow and scalability. You will also be able to monitor your performance and improve your processes thanks to strategic decision-making driven by data.
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