The digital revolution has brought us many wonderful things but also caused much anguish. Forms used to be filled out three times, but now information is copied and pasted with hundreds or thousands of tedious, repetitive keystrokes. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is used to avoid these lengthy processes. Below, you’ll learn exactly what RPA is, the steps involved, and the benefits of RPA over traditional methods.
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Definition of Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Essentially, RPA is a method of automating processes in which software robots perform repetitive and manual digital tasks. These are known as RPA bots or digital assistants. The nature of an RPA bot is to mimic human behavior in software interfaces. In general, a distinction is made between the two types of Automation.
This is supervised Automation. This is mainly used when the entire process can only be automated partially with human interaction. This means that in some cases, the Automation has to be triggered by a human, for example, by pressing a button. The term Robotic Desktop Automation (RDA) or “digital assistant” is often used here since “attended” bots are usually aimed at front-house activities, and the activities on the desktop can be traced.
- Communication with employees is a prerequisite.
- Employees coordinate interactions between people and bots within the organization.
- Bots run both on private servers and in the cloud.
With this form of Automation, no human action is required as certain events automatically trigger it. “Unattended” bots mostly perform back-office tasks without the user’s noticing. These can analyze large amounts of data for the employee and make them available in a structured way. The term “digital worker” is used here.
- Automates extensive back-office processes.
- Bots follow set procedures without human guidance.
- Specific commands in the process chain trigger bots.
- Bots run both on private servers and in the cloud.
Pros & Cons of RPA
RPA technology offers significant benefits to many organizations. Simply put, the greatest benefit is increased business performance. This is due to several factors:
- more efficient workflows
- Lower personnel costs due to reduced working hours and job cuts
- Minimizing human errors in data processing
- better and consistent data quality
- more time for innovative tasks through relief in the back office area
- no failures/illness/fatigue
- Increase in employee satisfaction
- increased attractiveness for qualified specialists
- increased data security, data protection and compliance with legal regulations
Since the process of RPA implementation is difficult for many due to insufficient knowledge about Automation, there are also some disadvantages. This should be clear in advance to avoid complications as early as possible:
- Damage to reputation in job cuts
- Risk potential in the implementation of well-established workflows
- The configuration of a bot is not always flexible
Which Processes Are Suitable For RPA?
Opening emails and attachments
Logins to applications
Moving files and folders
copy and paste
filling out forms
Reading data from the intranet
Communication with existing API
Data matching and calculation
How To Successfully Introduce It In Your Company?
To enable the process of Automation and to make it efficient in the long term, it is necessary to go through the following 6 phases.
The first step is understanding what RPA is and its benefits. It is also essential to explore the market to find a suitable provider. Each provider has different priorities; these should match their own long-term goals.
The process landscape of a company is made up of many mixed processes. These are usually incompletely documented, or there needs to be documentation. However, RPA requires a predefined approach. It is, therefore, important to correctly identify the processes and determine which are suitable for RPA.
Once the processes eligible for RPA have been identified, they should be ranked according to their specific priority. It is good to initially focus on processes with the least complexity and impact on the company.
In the fourth phase, one of the previously defined processes is automated together with the company. At this point, the company should already be able to automate the process with little support from an IT professional and thus generate new knowledge internally. In the beginning, important key figures are identified, which can be used to assess the pilot’s success.
After a four-week testing period, the results are either positive or negative. This evaluation serves as a basis for deciding whether to use the procedure regularly or abolish it. All data must be properly documented.
Once the company has successfully implemented the first pilot and gained sufficient experience, developing a long-term automation strategy that aligns with the company’s digital transformation is important. At the same time, a Center of Excellence (CoE) should be created. Management support is necessary in this phase since the transition to an automated company should be accompanied by change management.
Why Do You Need A Center of Excellence (CoE)?
An RPA Center of Excellence is a major group that oversees all RPA initiatives’ success. This category includes people from the process manager to IT specialists to various company representatives. At best, the group will have visibility into all RPA initiatives, allowing them to establish accurate RPA standards and practices that ensure the organization’s RPA investment is worthwhile.
The RPA-CoE may have responsibilities including:
- RPA service and support
- training of employees
- Setting RPA standards
- Establishment of a company-wide RPA strategy
- Monitoring the success of all RPA processes
Consider the CoE a critical component of your RPA project and start implementing it as early as possible. A well-organized and managed CoE ensures that your RPA investment pays off in the long term and that you are always one step ahead of your competitors.
The Largest Technology Partners on The Market
The demand for providers of robotic process automation has increased significantly in recent years. Researching RPA vendors alone can lead to over 15 different vendors. Many of these companies have long been involved in test automation and have since expanded into process automation. Today’s providers have other focuses or target groups. It isn’t easy to keep track of things here. Above all, choosing the wrong provider can be expensive, and the intended success does not materialize. Gartner publishes the Magic Quadrant annually to better understand the market to provide an up-to-date overview.
Vendor UI Path
UI-Path is probably the most well-known RPA software provider out there. Founded in 2005, the company focuses primarily on automation scripts and has gradually focused on process automation. UI-Path was specially developed for Windows and required the installation of extensive software. However, there is also a stripped-down community version that’s free for businesses. The paid version of UI-Path has numerous licenses that must be individually tailored to the customer’s requirements. There are ready-made packages, but some of them require additional licenses.
Provider Automation Anywhere
Automation Anywhere is arguably the most popular RPA software provider. A unique selling point of the provider is its platform independence. This means that the application is accessed directly from the Internet browser and does not require extensive installation on the computer. However, a small piece of software must be installed on the computer to automate a process. This installation does not require any additional permissions. Because of this simplicity, Automation Anywhere is an easy-to-use tool suitable for companies of all sizes.
Organizations using intelligent Automation can leverage RPA to automate processes that are efficient, accurate, and aligned with business goals. Rather than wasting people’s time on pointless and unproductive activities, such as B. using software that uses few solutions, intelligent Automation handles increasingly complex tasks with infinite flexibility, better connectivity and greater accuracy.