What does Robotic Process Automation do?
As with any new technology, the definition seems to change a lot but I like to think of RPA as a great tool for doing the onerous, simple tasks normally managed by people.
RPA is not overly intelligent – it doesn’t employ Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning.
It simply automates simple tedious tasks like:
- Automatic responses to emails
- Processing transactions
- Simple Chatbots
What are the benefits of RPA?
Like Business Process Automation, RPA can deliver:
- Reduced costs – effectively through the elimination of human labour.
- Improved consistency – robots (assuming they are programmed effectively) will always process tasks in a consistent manner.
- Improved customer experience – mundane tasks can be completed a lot quicker which results for time savings for the customer. And because robots don’t need to have a break or sleep, functions that previously could only be handled during business hours can now be deployed 24/7.
Risks of Robotic Process Automation
Like any new technology, businesses should tread carefully.
Risks of implementing RPA include:
- Set up can be expensive.
- You need to manage the people impact.
- Processes can and do change over time – even the slightest change can either break the robot or require substantial reprogramming.
- Integration can get tricky if you have multiple robots all interacting with your various systems.
- In fact, where RPA is engaged you need to ensure that if there is a malfunction of any kind, it doesn’t cause a downstream impact.
Bottom line – if you are looking to introduce RPA, the golden rule is test, test and test before a full-scale deployment.
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