Have you been hearing a lot about robotic process automation (RPA) and business process automation (BPA) lately? You’re not alone, the popularity of RPA/BPA software solutions is skyrocketing and companies of all sizes are embracing this new technology in their workflows.
But the speed at which RPA/BPA burst on the scene has left a lot of people feeling confused about what exactly it is and what it can do. In the following article we are providing a crash course on automating business processes, focusing on Robotic Process Automation.
What’s the difference between RPA and BPA?
For starter, we need to explain what’s the difference between Robotic Process Automation and Business Process Automations solutions. BPA software solutions allow teams to create process automation workflows which can integrate with multiple and diversified systems that exchange information and handle scenarios encompassing automation of certain human tasks. BPM is about making sure the infrastructure of your business processes is solid.
RPA, on the other hand, is designed to operate processes as a human would, so it exists on a more surface level. The software may be referred to as a “virtual assistant” because of the way that it helps out the user with individual tedious tasks. It’s faster to implement, ready to use with almost any software, and easily altered or updated to adapt to the changing world. As far as we see it, RPA and BPM are not in conflict with each other. They both have the same goal with different implementation strategies.
Companies like ours provide solutions that allow companies to create automation models visually without any extra code. The complete manual operations can be recorded, scheduled and triggered by a bot as required. The models can be built with ease, in lesser duration and often, with zero coding once implemented.
When to robotise your business
According to Horses for Sources, the robotic process automation market is expected to reach $629 million in 2018. By 2021, it is predicted that the market will exceed one billion.
What does this mean for you? RPA is becoming an important part of the growth strategy for companies across a wide variety of industries, and you’ll want to build your expertise on the subject to maintain a competitive edge.
Robotic process automation may be new to your business, but key to its popularity is its ability to integrate with and streamline existing systems. For example, RPA can work together with document management or network monitoring solutions to fully automate critical business processes.
RPA, an investment for the future
RPA tools have the main function of putting a software robot to execute business processes that are perfectly delineated, result in repetitive tasks and have a strong sense of objectives based on specific rules. When we speak about robot, we mean a software agent designed from scratch to think about this specific task.
Insurers, banks, real estate agents or retailers are some examples of organisations that are already investing on RPA agents. But any other industry that has repetitive tasks that can benefit from automation, find in RPA a strong ally.
Where do the RPA gains come from? From the very concept of robot. Robots guarantee better production cycles, since they work 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. In addition, unlike humans, robots make no mistakes in performing tasks like copying data between systems, thus significantly reducing recurring errors by typing.
Also, robots can be scheduled according to their purpose. That is, it may not be advantageous for a given task to have a constantly active agent, but one that only works on weekends or in specific situations. This flexibility can be outlined with just a simple configuration, and the robot itself will know when it’s time to take action.
Robots allow for longer production cycles, coupled with lower costs and error rates, effecting in organisational efficiency and savings.
Are robots a threat to human jobs?
When considering the application of these systems in workplaces, you will most likely come up with the ethical issue related to robotics and hear people worrying about their jobs being threatened and replaced by robots.
Does investing in robots mean disinvesting in qualified human resources and making them redundant? The short answer is no. By freeing people from repetitive, boring, prone to error and time-consuming tasks that, like it or not, need to be fulfilled, it will be possible for them to focus on more creative and strategic processes in business areas, where human performance is critical, thus more business value is produced.
How to start
To understand how your business can benefit from robotic process automation, you will first need to analyse the different processes that exist in your organisation. Look first and foremost for repetitive, high-volume tasks that include structured data or that are still done manually. You don’t need to look far. Data extraction? Daily reports? Files management? Each organisation has countless processes which can be automated fully or to certain point. RPA can also be responsible for importing and exporting data between different systems, can do data analysis and reporting, can manage emails and even control the input of information into online forms.
A very important aspect of RPA solutions is that it must be the robot performing the tasks we want to automate in the same way as a human would. Robots must use existing applications and systems without the need to change them.
Investing on robotic process automation systems is a great win for the company – both in terms of customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction. Our experience shows that RPA tools can generate savings of more than 40% in the costs of certain processes, the definition of RPA starts to be more tangible. Having tools that ensure greater responsiveness to competition like also flexibility is something that companies should not ignore.
Are you ready to robotise your business?