What Is RPA? A Revolution In Business Process Automation



What Is Robotic Process Automation?

RPA is a technology application controlled by business logic and structured inputs aimed at automating business processes. Companies can use RPA tools to configure software or “robots” to capture and interpret applications for transaction processing, data manipulation, triggering responses, and communicating with other digital systems. RPA scenarios range from something as simple as generating an automated response to an email to deploying thousands of bots programmed to automate tasks in your ERP system.

What Are The Benefits Of RPA?

RPA gives organizations the ability to reduce labor costs and human error. David Schatsky, Managing Director of Deloitte LP, points to his experience in implementing RPA, where the bank redesigned the billing process by deploying 85 bots to handle 1.5 million requests per year and run 13 processes. The bank added capacity, equivalent to more than 200 full-time employees, at about 30 percent of its recruitment costs, Schatsky says.

Bots are generally inexpensive and easy to implement, requiring no custom software or deep system integration. Schatsky says these characteristics are important when organizations seek growth without adding significant costs or creating friction among workers. “Businesses are trying to make room for breathing so they can better serve their business by automating low-value tasks,” says Schatsky.

Businesses can also augment their automation efforts by injecting cognitive technologies such as ML, speech recognition, and natural language processing into RPA to automate higher-order tasks that previously required human perception and judgment.

These RPA implementations, which can automate more than 15 to 20 steps, are part of a value chain known as intelligent automation (IA), Viadro says. “If you break down all the major companies and ask what their agenda for 2018 is, almost 100 percent will say intelligent automation,” says Viadro.

According to Gartner, by 2020, automation and artificial intelligence could reduce staff requirements for business-sharing service centers by 65%, and the RPA market will exceed $1 billion by 2020. By then, 40% of large enterprises will adopt RPA. RPA software tools have grown from less than 10% today.

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