Robotic process automation (RPA) is an important and emerging technology of the 21st century. Robotic Process automation entails using software with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities to perform large amounts of repetitive tasks that have historically needed a human to take care of them.
Once RPA software been trained to the organization’s needs and processes, the software can manipulate data and autonomously communicate with other systems.
Unlike traditional IT automation, RPA software is trainable so that it can easily adapt to changes in workflow and parameters. Once RPA software been trained to the organization’s needs and processes, the software can manipulate data and autonomously communicate with other systems. This makes RPA ideal for several functions in large organizations with many complex systems in a variety of industries, and RPA has been successfully implemented in supply chain management, accounting, human resources, customer relations, and other roles.
Risks of Robotic Process Automation
- RPA is extremely expensive to implement. While it is a worthy investment that results in greater productivity, RPA software is still incredibly cost-prohibitive for many organizations. RPA has been successfully utilized in smaller organizations but even larger ones may have trouble justifying the shift to RPA if cash flows are poor.
- Senior IT roles may become overburdened. Because RPA automation eliminates several low-value positions, senior IT managers are facing larger workloads from potentially having to pick up lower-ranking employees’ work as well as having to implement and manage the new RPA systems. There is concern that it will create too much extra work and stretch resources. This could reduce morale and cause issues with attracting and retaining talent.
- RPA will redefine many roles that merit additional training and new skills. Depending on the size of the organization and other factors, providing additional employee training could be costly and as RPA software continues to evolve new hires may not be able to immediately adapt.
- RPA presents security concerns. Depending on the level of regulation that applies to the organization, RPA can present security concerns when it comes to access controls. While robots can be trained to never stray from the policies that would apply to a similar human user, a glitch or disaster could still cause a robot to potentially run free on the network.
Benefits of Robotic Process Automation
- Robotic Process Automation software is adaptable and can self-learn and self-correct. RPA is extremely useful for organizations that have a diverse array of complex systems that must sync together such as human resources and payroll. If a form for the human resources department is missing vital information for an employee’s file like an employee ID number, this would be flagged as an exception and an employee would manually need to look up the ID number and input it before sending it to payroll. RPA would be able to adapt to these exceptions and look up the missing information its own.
- Elimination of humor errors and facilitation of regulatory compliance. Human errors are eliminated in data input and processing. Humans make mistakes all the time and they can result in minor inconveniences or repetitive and costly
Robotic process automation technology doesn’t just automate tasks, it also monitors them 24/7 and can easily retrace its steps, this relieves many organizations from burdensome audits because compliance is simplified with RPA.
penalties if these mistakes cause the organization to fail a regulatory audit. Because RPA technology doesn’t just automate tasks, it also monitors them 24/7 and can easily retrace its steps, this relieves many organizations from burdensome audits because compliance is simplified with RPA.
- Greater service levels and reliability. RPA is very effective at managing operational risks and performing tasks that are repetitive and don’t entail complex decision-making like compiling reports from existing records. RPA can not only perform this task with great speed but also with 100% accuracy and at any hour of the day.
- Employees can shift their focus to tasks that require a human touch. Implementing RPA will eliminate the need for many jobs in the long run because the software can function all day, doesn’t need a cost of living adjustment, and always produces accurate results. However, humans are still needed for other aspects of keeping the organization running smoothly and with their attention now diverted from business processes, they can focus on customer service, quality testing, and other value-added processes that can’t be easily accomplished through machine learning.
Overall, Robotic Process Automation can increase efficiency and productivity while minimizing risks and reducing lead times on processes. Processes aren’t just automated, they’re also monitored and synced. RPA software is a rules-based engine configured to replicate business processes that the organization has already implemented and without the risks stemming from human errors and moralities. While very expensive to implement, despite cost and security concerns it can be an investment worth making in your organization’s efficiency.