The robotic process automation (RPA) does not represent either physical or mechanical robot, even if it brings to our mind a vision of some electromechanical machine.
In the term of robotic process automation, robot refers to a software-based solution, programmed to carry out procedures, processes or tasks on the repetitive way that are usually done by humans.
This concept has been developed and relatively widely applied since recent. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to present the basics of RPA, its applicability, benefits and some elements of the technology behind.
What Is Robotic Process Automation?
RPA is a technological imitation of a human worker with the goal of automating structured tasks in a fast and cost-efficient manner. It represents computer software programmed to execute repetitive labour-intensive tasks.
Nowadays, many international companies such as Walmart, AT&T, Ernst & Young and American Express are using RPA in everyday business. Some examples of the typical tasks that are automated using RPA are:
– sending emails,
– opening applications, and
– copying and pasting information from one system to another.
Reasons To Automate
- Decreased cost
- Customer Satisfaction
- Data for Process Improvement
- Scalability and flexibility
- Improved Efficiency
RPA is a tactical move to be used in the short term until a traditional automation project can be planned and implemented. RPA is non-disruptive and is almost agnostic of the underlying technologies.
The traditional automation of business processes (BPA) is a strategic information system transformation move, highlighting all of the places where existing processes can be automated with better system integration or the set-up of a specialized process software.
While implementing RPA there is no need for high programming skills since it could be deployed on a server or on the user’s desktop and it automates actions at the User Interface level.
The traditional business process automation comprises the following solutions:
– BPM suite (BPMS),
– enterprise resource planning (ERP) system,
– application programming interfaces (APIs),
– service-oriented architecture (SOA) as the main basis of an IT infrastructure,
– integration platforms, and/or
– specialized process software.
Applications are integrated at the API/services level, the database level or infrastructure level. BPA integration requires much higher programming skills than RPA does.
The scope of traditional process automation is large and it covers workflow-automation tools, specialized process software, structured and unstructured data, complex interfaces. On the contrary, RPA is not a suitable option for processes that manipulates unstructured data, that are based on complex processing instructions processes with high exception rate. RPA is only used for scenario-based tasks.
Traditional automation is often related to downsides like higher implementation cost and duration, the complexity of integration, capacity of integration solutions and limitation of legacy systems.
In contrast to this, RPA is non-intrusive and doesn’t require changes to existing applications, implementation is faster and project costs are in general less expensive than traditional automation projects.
When it comes to an organizational impact, RPA layered on top of existing applications; it doesn’t require extensive employee training, therefore training like the simple use of demonstration videos could be sufficient. Traditional automation is disruptive. It is initiated by IT specialists and requires a significant change in management practice and training of employees.