What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

Digitalization brought about significant changes in the way business processes are conducted. Some of those changes relate to the fact that companies have adopted new, technology-oriented strategies, which results in employees using — on a daily basis — multiple online tools, digital systems and various types of innovative software. While this remains true, yet a new developmental trend can be observable, one that pertains to the human element in a considerably lesser extent. By this we mean Robotic Process Automation (RPA). What is it? How does it affect the business world and what implications for the future does it carry? Let’s find out.

23 June 2022

Victor Marco

6 min

Blog / Business Growth

Victor Marco Author

Victor Marco

The definition of Robotic Process Automation

In simple terms, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a technology based on using software robots that are capable of performing a variety of clearly defined, repetitive tasks previously performed by human workers. Such tasks typically include moving files, responding to on-screen commands, logging into applications, navigating systems, filling in reports, or identifying and manipulating data. Interestingly, there are also advanced robots that are capable of handling more complex operations like interpreting texts, understanding unstructured data, or taking part in chats and conversations.

How does RPA work?

The set of digital skills that RPA robots (bots) use is not different from the skill set of any human worker. These bots can easily interact with various systems or applications, access data and work within legacy systems, all the time acting only at the GUI (Graphical User Interface) level (i.e. in the same way as people). Very frequently, Robotic Process Automation solutions embrace some selected mechanisms of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning models. This does not mean that RPA is the same as AI; while AI serves to imitate human intelligence, RPA technology is about making robots capable of replicating human tasks. Still, by equipping the robots with some valuable aspects of the AI potential — including e.g. machine learning, natural language processing, character and image recognition — the range of automation capabilities widens significantly.

Rapidly growing RPA software

In comparison with other enterprise technology, implementing RPA is relatively easy, which is basically why RPA implementations span across various industries and fuel diverse business processes, ranging from the financial sector and legal services, through healthcare, to customer service, retail, manufacturing, and far beyond that. Why exactly has automating business processes become one of the key objectives of many companies? Or, to put is simply, why is RPA growing so fast?

What are the benefits of using RPA software?

One of the greatest advantages of introducing RPA is streamlining the workflows and business process. This means enabling employees to attend to higher-value tasks and issues, ones that are more likely to require cognitive and problem-solving skills (creating content, devising innovations, cooperating, etc.) and that usually aim at improving customer experience (e.g. interacting with clients, responding to demands and requests).

Aside from minimizing the necessity of human intervention, RPA adoption also leads to greater efficiency, as software robots can work incessantly and more consistently than any human being. All the above-mentioned factors have long-term business benefits, such as increasing organizations’ profits, promoting their operational flexibility and improving the level of employee satisfaction. What else can be expected after implementing this form of business process automation technology? Let’s have a look.

  • RPA software tools help attend to specific operational issues in innovative and powerful ways and better address the needs that result from those issues. This considerably facilitates carrying out digital transformation in companies.
  • As RPA tools help reduce the risk of human error and by this ensure greater accuracy, business operations and key processes can be significantly improved and lead to better business outcomes.
  • Because RPA bots can easily adapt to workflows and work only on the presentation layer of computer networking, implementing software robotics causes no disruption to existing systems and does not require reengineering of processes.
  • The adoption of automation tools ensures that the employees can be allocated to priority tasks, which allows for cutting staff costs and building cost savings.
  • Intelligent automation of business process management can also contribute to boosting the morale and productivity of the employees by removing tedious tasks and repetitive processes from their work schedules. It also promotes the development of the staff’s ability to reach for strategic solutions and improves their decision-making skills.
  • The decision to automate processes ensures greater customer satisfaction by increasing responsiveness and reducing wait times, which always aligns with every company’s business goals.

Using a software technology makes it possible for knowledge workers to focus on high priority tasks

How to implement RPA successfully?

If you plan on implementing Robotic Process Automation software with the aim of getting long-lasting results, it is vital you follow some valuable tips to make sure you are well-prepared for such an endeavor.

Make sure you have the right mindset

Remember to cautiously manage your expectations and have your eyes open so that you can see both the potential benefits and challenges accompanying them. Also, take into account what demands you will need to meet and how RPA technology can help you achieve this goal. Pay special attention to customer experience as this is one of the vital components of the success in today’s business world.

Get started

If you decide to set out on the automation journey, you need to make sure that people within your organization understand the real value of intelligent process automation. This means demonstrating why certain solutions are effective in terms of improving performance, ensuring the onboard commitment to the projects, establishing your core team and assigning the members to particular tasks.

Focus on the development of major cross-enterprise processes

After launching all the initiatives, you need to focus on expanding them. This means that more people need to be involved (including RPA developers, business analysts, implementation managers, etc.) and that greater attention has to be paid to the process improvement strategies. Also, you will have to work on enhancing your abilities to execute and monitor all tasks that are crucial to the development of complex automations.

Make transformation a real thing

RPA capabilities can be fully understood when everyone in the company is presented with their new digital assistant that is supposed to transform their workdays. At this stage it is important to provide necessary training so that people can appreciate and take advantage of the robot’s assistance, as well as to encourage innovation and promote the attitude of openness to new automation opportunities.

RPA technology for providing digital workforce in your company

Using the automation platform that increases employee satisfaction

There is no doubt that automating manual tasks can change the everyday reality of many enterprises. Applying RPA technologies can facilitate multiple office operations, accelerate the digital transformation process in your company, promote the customer-oriented approach, increase your profits, and make your employees feel satisfied and acknowledged. And these are just a handful.

Do you want to know where exactly your RPA journey will take you? Nothing stops you from finding out, so embrace the opportunity and set the ball rolling.

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