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What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)? How it Helps Enterprise to Be Smart?

Unravel the impact of Robotic Process Automation (RPA), revolutionizing business tasks with software robots

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What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)? How it Helps Enterprise to Be Smart?

The global robotic process automation (RPA) market was valued at USD 2.3 billion in 2022. As per business insights, the market is projected to grow at an impressive CAGR of 39.9% from 2023 to 2030. 

Leading analyst projections position the RPA market to become a USD 13 to 15 billion industry globally by 2030 - an impressive 15X multiplication in market valuation over the next 7 years!

Reference: Statista.com

So Now, Let's have a look at robotic process automation. And how it is going to change the future industries and enterprises!

What is Robotics Process Automation (RPA) ?

Robotic process automation (RPA) refers to software programs that use automation technology like  ‘bots’ that automate repetitive, rules-based digital tasks normally performed by human workers. RPA tools use software scripts that emulate human execution of repetitive rules-based processes across applications.

Specifically, RPA leverages both user interface interactions and APIs to integrate systems and automate high-volume tasks like:

  • Extracting data from documents and websites
  • Filling out forms
  • Moving/copying files between enterprise applications
  • Connecting to databases for reading and writing data

By replicating the manual steps to perform such tedious activities, RPA allows “software robots” to quickly complete them without human involvement. This enables deployment at scale across unrelated systems with seamless efficiency.

The key advantage of RPA is freeing up valuable and scarce human talent within an organization to shift their focus from repetitive tasks to higher complexity work needing strategic decision-making, creativity, and judgment. This makes RPA a critical automation technology for accelerating digital transformation and amplifying workforce productivity.

How does RPA work?

RPA utilizes software bots emulating human actions to automate high-volume, repetitive digital tasks between enterprise systems. RPA works in three core stages:

Low-Code Capabilities: These tools offer low-code functionality, empowering users to create automation scripts with ease. The ability to build these scripts using minimal coding knowledge is crucial for swift and efficient automation processes.

Integration with Enterprise Applications: RPA tools should seamlessly integrate with various enterprise applications. This integration ensures compatibility across systems, enabling streamlined workflows and efficient data exchange.

Orchestration and Administration: Essential features include robust orchestration, configuration, monitoring, and security protocols. These functionalities are vital for overseeing and managing automated processes effectively.

RPA technology demonstrates its prowess by accessing data from legacy systems and integrating smoothly with diverse applications through front-end integrations. These capabilities allow RPA platforms to mimic human actions, executing routine tasks across multiple systems, such as logging in, copying, and pasting. While back-end connections to databases and enterprise web services are valuable, RPA's true value lies in its ability to swiftly and effortlessly integrate with front-end interfaces.

Different Kinds of RPA

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) manifests in three primary categories: attended RPA, unattended RPA, and hybrid RPA.

Attended Automation
This type of RPA resides on a user's device and operates only upon user command. Ideal for scenarios involving sensitive data handling, process initiation, or auditing purposes.

Unattended Automation
In this form, RPA operates autonomously, executing tasks based on predefined rules. Suited for streamlining the workload of back-office staff.

Hybrid RPA
Combining the functionalities of attended and unattended bots, hybrid RPA ensures comprehensive end-to-end automation. 

What are the benefits of RPA?

RPA delivers on multiple aspects - happier customers and employees driven by speed, quality and governance across operations.

Reduced Coding Efforts: RPA platforms require minimal coding expertise. Their intuitive drag-and-drop interfaces allow easy bot configurations for non-technical staff to automate workflows. 

Swift Cost-Efficiencies: By instantly relieving high-workload volume, RPA allows the reallocation of human talent to focus on complex tasks that do require judgment and creativity. 

Heightened Customer Satisfaction: RPA bots can handle high traffic volumes without getting overwhelmed by working 24/7 with no breaks.

Elevated Employee Morale: Taking away dull, repetitive tasks gives employees more strategic, thoughtful work that keeps them motivated. 

Enhanced Accuracy and Compliance: Programmed rules minimize errors in RPA-executed procedures while mandated controls facilitate auditability, which is essential for compliance. 

Seamless Integration with Existing Systems: RPA adopts existing user interfaces rather than requiring API access for integration. This ensures no backend disruption to underlying technologies and infrastructure.

Challenges associated with RPA

While the benefits are tremendous, there are some common obstacles faced in RPA programs:

Organizational Culture: Shifting roles from repetitive tasks to judgment-based responsibilities requires fostering continuous learning to upskill staff.

Difficulty in Scaling: Though capable of parallel processing, complex regulatory and policy changes make enterprise-wide RPA expansion tough

Technical Issues: Bots face runtime failures due to UI reliance, evolving screen flows, and lack of process documentation challenge bot builders.

Financial Risks: Forecasting ROI in RPA is complex, potentially leading to cost overruns.

Employee Backlash: Initial job threat perception requires clear communication about RPA's empowerment and reskilling support.

Industries that leverage RPA technology

Banking and Financial Services
Banks use RPA at a massive scale - over 36% of RPA use cases are in banking/finance for data entry, research, account opening, and regulatory compliance amounting to over 1 in 3 bots being in financial services currently.

Insurance
Insurance turns to RPA for optimizing claims processing, underwriting, policy administration, and ensuring regulatory conformance by mimicking user actions.

Retail
Retailers employ RPA prominently for customer relationship management, warehouse order flows, feedback handling, and detecting fraud - all areas with pattern-driven repetitive work.

Healthcare
Healthcare RPA use cases involve information management, prescription processing, insurance claims, and payment cycles where accuracy and audit controls are vital.

Final wrapup

RPA adoption continues seeing staggering growth as organizations recognize its potential for incredible ROI through optimized efficiency, cost savings, and talent redeployment. While assessing processes carefully for automation suitability and addressing change management remain key, the future looks undeniably digital. RPA promises better customer experiences, more empowered workforces, and accelerated transformations that flexibly keep pace with rapid business shifts. Ultimately robots allow people the luxury of being more human. Rather than replace, automation liberates human talent to create, discover, and care.
 

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