Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the application of technology, governed by business logic and structured inputs, aimed at automating business processes to eliminate tedious tasks.
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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