“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that, automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency”.- Bill Gates Unlike Business Process Automation which completely transforms how work is executed, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) accelerates workflows that already exist. Within a company’s operational infrastructure, leadership identifies the benefits they need out of an automation initiative and based off that, processes within organizations are chosen which are repetitive, rules-based and measurable; these are the perfect targets for automation in accordance with core competencies.
In RPA, users configure and create flows for specific tasks which virtual agents or “bots” execute. Within seconds, these bots can increase throughput conducting upwards of 20-step sequences using business logic in an intelligently automated value chain. Transactions can vary in complexity from things like generating a single return policy to thousands of coordinated bots in CRM/ERP applications speeding up operations.
When analyzing the processes that will be automated, bots can observe how full-time employees (FTEs) operate by registering user events, observing variables and scraping data. Repetitive processes can be coded, sequenced and scaled without error. Using Machine Learning, RPA tools can recognize similar inputs, forecast workflows and improve task execution based on previous identification errors. Operational rules like Standard Operating Procedures should be the first to be automated as they steal productive time from employees.
Unlike limited human capital, bots can execute high-volume decisions up to 15 times faster than humans. Web-based RPA systems act as an automated assistant, quietly and autonomously processing tons of work that doesn’t require human intervention. This allows companies in a digital transformation period to scale efficiently. A group of robots is known as a digital workforce.
Traditional IT structures must be leveraged to simplify bot instructions where possible. Once automated by RPA, low-value tasks can be configured in a conditional pathway, using “if not this, then that” decision trees, that are easily understood across the organization. Organizations can choose when the digital workforce should interact with the human workforce and under which conditions, thus bringing efficiency and intelligence to the operation.
Planning and design are key parts of a solid RPA practice, carried out by the Center of Excellence. This ensures that all automated processes have optimal performance. One of the secret powers of RPA is its versatility where it can orchestrate multiple systems and third-party APIs. CIOs must select RPA software that enables a unified experience and therefore heightened productivity. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it…automate it An advantage of software robots in business is the flexible nature of its applications across any organization. When deciding what processes to automate, businesses must audit existing strategies and implement RPA in those that enhance the entire business ecosystem. Finance & IT are two departments that have historically benefitted from RPA in their processes more than others: