When Albert Einstein said that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, in the same manner” he may not have been referring to repetitive tasks, but there’s no doubt that repetitive tasks can drive one insane. Enter Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to the rescue!
What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?
In simple terms, Robotic Process Automation is a way of doing business with the aid of artificial intelligence. RPA Software makes workers more productive as instead of carrying out monotonous and boring work, they are redeployed to carry out more interesting assignments. Given the rote nature of the type of work carried out via RPA Software, the goal of RPA becomes apparent. This tool can eliminate the tedium in billing, data entry, and other spheres. RPA Software has been a revelation in the Banking and Finance industries as it is the go-to in carrying out checks such as due diligence or other checks on customers. RPA Software can be thought to split-out text and images. It can also be used to extract videos and even put recorded conversations into writing. RPA Software can do almost everything and that is why some have stated that they will soon totally replace human effort or labor. This postulation is debatable as even at best, RPA is complementary.
Merits and Demerits of RPA Software
When deployed and utilized properly, RPA Software has the following advantages:
- RPA saves employees from the brain-draining repetitive task
- Reduction of error: Human nature is error-prone. The same cannot be said for RPA Software. Usually, any error from RPA can be attributed to some error from human input. RPA Software operates on a “garbage in garbage out” standard.
- RPA Software requires less time to carry out automated work
The demerits of RPA Software are:
- RPA Software does not come cheap. Besides the costs of setting up the RPA Software, there’s also the cost attached to consulting IT experts
- Setting up RPA Software can also be time-consuming when one factor in consultations with IT experts
- RPA Software need maintenance and management
- Most RPA Software are unable to handle data from handwritten or unstructured documents
- Most RPA software are unable to handle differences in set standards
Choosing your RPA Software Product
In this age of digital transformation, the market is awash with different RPA Software products with varying specifications and capabilities. This why it is essential that when choosing an RPA Software product, verifying its features, and ensuring that it is fit for the purpose the company is germane. Ensure that all bots are tested and that they work properly.
10 Key Factors to Consider when Choosing RPA Software or bots
1. How easy it is to set up the bot:
Setting up good RPA Software shouldn’t be a cumbersome task. There should be an ease to setting it up for a variety of users and tasks. For example, something as simple as defining bots and business rules should be done while utilizing a low-code environment.
2. How it handles low-code:
It should have low-code capabilities. A bot with low-code handling capabilities is quicker to use as compared to one where the method of imputation is purely graphical.
3. Unattended and Attended:
Bots that work “unattended” can effectively perform tasks in reaction to an event while those that “attended” perform only well-defined tasks.
4. Hyperautomation – Learning Capabilities:
This refers to the combination of tools of automation to carry out work. Typically, it involves using the machine learning capabilities of the RPA Software to analyze documents and revert to the user.
5. How it handles exceptions and human supervision:
Most bots make probable estimates of certain results. No matter what these estimates are, they should not be made to set in stone. Any RPA Software utilized should allow room for human supervision or review of its result.
6. Arrangement and Administration:
Ideally, software needs configuration. There’s also the need to allow users to create and operate the software- and this is especially true of unattended software that needs to program in such a way that can perform tasks in reaction to an event while utilizing certain resources.
7. Cloud bots:
Originally, RPA Software ran on Company Servers and desktops but at present, this is no longer tenable. The Cloud is now the new real estate for companies in this era and is regarded by some to be the “on-demand availability computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power, without direct active management by the user”.
8. How it Processes and mines task:
This aspect usually takes up the most time in the setting up stage of RPA. Getting assistance from RPA software in mining and constructing task flow from observation can ease the automation process.
Scalability here generally refers to the ability of the RPA software to adjust to change. It is expected that the more automation the software handles, the more there may be a chance of scalability issues, especially when it comes to unattended bots. One method of resolving this issue, should it arise, is the implementation of the cloud.
10. How it works with other applications
The whole point of RPA software is to enhance productivity and to achieve this it has to source information from other applications. Where it can’t get the data out of these applications, it results in what is termed RPA Software implementation fail. It is for this reason, amongst others, that it is important that you appropriately test and verify even basic features of the software.
There’s no doubt that content intelligence is the future. However, RPA Software has a long way to go before it can be pushed forward as an alternative to human effort. But as we have seen, with minimal inputs, they can improve the quality of work carried out by humans and relieve employees of the burden of repetitive, mundane, and robotic tasks. When choosing technology to maximize human potential, it would be foolhardy to choose one that does not have the features necessary to carry out the task for which it is purchased.