RPA is a technology application that automates business processes. It is driven by business logic and structured inputs. Using RPA tools, a company can configure software or a “robot” that captures and interprets applications. The goal is to process transactions, manipulate data, trigger feedback and communicate with other digital systems without manual input. RPA’s uses range from a simple automated response to an email to thousands of bots programmed to perform tasks in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
RPA can reduce personnel costs and human errors.
Bots tend to be inexpensive and easy to implement because they don’t require custom software or deep systems integration. That’s an important point, according to Schatsky, as companies look to grow without spending more money or causing tension between employees. “Companies are trying to get some leeway so they can run their business better by automating simple tasks,” Schatsky said.
In addition, companies can speed up the automation process by combining RPA with cognitive technologies such as machine learning, speech recognition and natural language processing. This makes it possible to automate more complex tasks that previously required the perceptual and judgmental skills of humans.
RPA implementations that can automate more than 15 to 20 steps are part of a value chain known as intelligent automation (IA), Viadro explains. “If you had asked all the major companies in 2018 what was on their agenda, almost 100 percent probably would have said intelligent automation,” he says.