“Technology and robotics are advancing and will reduce the need for workers in the future” – Jan C. Ting
The way users interact with software in executing their jobs can very much become boring over time, when the same activity becomes repetitive and there seems to be no other innovative approach of making it efficient. 70% of all software tasks are this way; very repetitive and developers try to customize the user experience of such processes, but the lifecycle and the associated costs can make this an unattractive option for business owners.
It suffices to say, Business Process Innovation (BPI) is at the heart of all transformational agenda, where automation, business intelligence, robots, elements of artificial intelligence and mobility have become the main business solution enablers. With speed and accuracy, the expected outputs are derived.
Organizations that are profitable and competitive today are those that have taken advantage of automation.
One of such major innovative products for BPI is the emergence of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). The beauty and the performance of RPA is the sort of automation that does zero mistakes and at the same time non-intrusive.
This article will do a brief introduction of RPA and how we can familiarize ourselves to take advantage of this innovation.
What is Robotic Process Automation?
Robotic Process Automation may sound like a big tech jargon but let’s break this down to the basics.
An entity which is capable of being programmed by a computer for doing complex tasks is known as a robot. Any instrument capable of mimicking human actions can be termed a robot or a robotic activity.
A sequence of steps that leads to a meaningful activity is what we call a process. A basic understanding of a process could be the steps or activities in preparing a hot tea.
Any activity that is programmed to happen automatically without human intervention is automation.
So, in basic understanding, RPA can be defined as “mimicking human actions to do a process without human intervention”. Practically, RPA is automating manual processes, and this should get you interested.
First of all, RPA is the kind of disruptive technology that is not Information Technology (IT) led. This is not the typical IT system like big data architecture or the traditional programming language that you will require some IT experts from India or Dubai to make it happen. No!
The development of RPA has been democratized with the power of the Graphical User Interface (GUI) for everyone just like any other generic desktop applications that doesn’t require any advanced computer skills.
Where is RPA Useful?
Not everything can be automated practically and it doesn’t look likely that robotics will replace human employment in the near future; but of course, with the powers of artificial intelligence, not much can be predicted in future trends.
Where RPA is most effective are the user activities performed by organized steps or sequence, and these are the processes that can be emulated with an RPA Tool.
Few processes that can be automated with RPA
1. Invoice generation
2. Payroll generation
3. Software installation
4. Online data entry
5. Extracting information from files
6. Data conversion
7. Monitoring e-mail account to take actions
8. Recovery and file restoration between systems
Who Should be interested?
Just consider the amount of investments, research and advancements made in the field of Automation and Robotics and you wouldn’t need to be told the naked truth that, this is a technology that is in to compete with you and that makes your job threatened. Robots do not make mistakes, do not sleep and are synonymous to speed and efficiency.
The reality of digital transformation is here with us today. Irrespective of the position one may hold, software is driving all sectors of industry and today, commercial leads who are not the core IT people are taking centre stage with software enabled visualizations and analytics in board room meetings. RPA is for everybody and anyone with basic computerized controls is capable of designing an effective process with the available RPA Tools.
What are RPA Tools?
RPA tools are the robotic software specifically designed to automate manual processes. Currently, I can talk about three tools that are the top of this transformational software.
1. Automate Anywhere
Automate Anywhere is an RPA tool with over 3000 customers. Top of the grade enterprise software. Automate Anywhere gives you the freedom to choose from their bot store, pre-built robots readily downloadable to start work.
2. Blue Prism
A market leader in RPA with a variety of robot solutions to operate and perform repetitive tasks.
UiPath boasts of a collaborative platform of over 300,000 user and hundreds of built-in, customizable activities open for everyone to explore and learn.
Author: David Nii-Noi Mensah
Technical trainer in Business Software
Member, Institute of ICT Professionals Ghana
firstname.lastname@example.org | 0244476466