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  • Roopal Mundepi

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) - Explained!

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a highly adaptable software that allows anyone to automate digital operations in a matter of minutes. It's a piece of software that makes it simple to create, deploy, and manage software robots that mimic human actions when dealing with digital systems and software. RPA enables software developers to create software robots, or "bots," that can learn, mimic, and then execute business processes according to rules. RPA automation allows users to create bots by watching human digital activity. Software robots, like people, can grasp what's on a screen, type the correct inputs, navigate systems, recognize and retrieve data, and conduct a wide range of predetermined tasks.


RPA software bots can communicate with any application or system in the same way that humans can, with the exception that RPA bots can work nonstop, far faster, and with 100 percent accuracy and reliability.

Brief History of Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

RPA is a toolkit that combines numerous technologies into one. It can be used for a variety of automation tasks. Even though the word "RPA" was coined in the early 2000s, the original development took place in the 1990s.


Machine Learning (ML) is one of the technologies that aided in the development of innovation, ultimately leading to the establishment of RPA. 'Arthur Samuel' invented Machine Learning in 1959. Machine Learning enabled computers to do a variety of important jobs, including translation and text summarization, among others. However, computers could only process language to a certain extent. It paved the way for the creation of 'Natural Language Processing (NLP),' which aided computers in better understanding and processing human language. NLP joined 'AI (Artificial Intelligence)' and 'AI (Artificial Intelligence)' in 1960 to build the interactions between computers and human languages.


Then, in the 1990s, technology moved even further toward the construction of RPA, with only a few additional breakthroughs.


Why is Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Required?

Robotic Process Automation improves corporate procedures and outcomes in a snowball effect. RPA provides immediate and verifiable business advantages.


RPA has several major benefits, including the following:

  • Cost reduction

One of the most significant benefits of RPA it may achieve is the rapid cost reduction. By automating tasks, a cost savings of over 30% can be realized over the productivity yield. In addition, software robots are less expensive than full-time employees.

  • Increased Productivity of Employees

RPA allows humans and robots to focus on doing what they do best. Because RPA frees employees from mundane chores, they can devote more time to connecting with clients, managing relationships, and other activities in which they excel.

  • Accuracy and quality

RPA improves the accuracy of procedures that have a high risk of a human mistake by providing increased services. Robots are dependable and constant, and they do not protest when they are forced to work nonstop. They lower the number of rework cases and improve quality. The crucial aspect is that robots strictly adhere to laws, resulting in 100 percent accuracy.

  • Better customer experiences

By distributing RPA, high-value resources can be freed from additional repetitive tasks, allowing them to return to the leading edge by assisting consumers.

  • RPA is adaptable

RPA technology can be applied to any software system. Since RPA mimics human actions, it does not involve coding changes to your applications, making it flexible and adaptable to virtually any business.

  • Improved Control

Various businesses prefer to transfer busy tasks to other parties. This carries the danger of human mistakes, inefficiency, and other issues. RPA provides a superior solution, and because the job is kept in-house, the company maintains the highest level of ownership, control, and conclusion.

  • No learning of new tools

To use RPA, you don't need to learn a new tool, as the name implies. You can copy and paste data and move files and directories as needed by simply logging into any application and connecting to system APIs, then storing and sharing it. Menus are simply navigable and well labelled so that anyone can utilize them.


Where Does Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Come into Play?

1. Sales operational activities

We're dealing with data replication, invoice creation and distribution, and a smooth CRM update, among other things. Regardless of size or domain, sales are a critical and fundamental part of all types of enterprises.


Consider the tedious chore of maintaining data consistency between CRM and accounting records. We don't want to ruin your mood for the remainder of the day, so you may now let go of the thought. The good news is that these operational tasks can be handled entirely by software robots. Automation, for example, can make bills available to consumers considerably faster than manual processing.

2. Purchasing-to-Payment

Because it is inherently reliant on the interaction between the purchasing department and the accounts payable department, this subdivision of the procurement process can be considered the pinnacle of inter-departmental collaboration.


"Automation in a system that is primarily defined by the integration of multiple systems?" There's no need to lift your brows. Front-end software robots are capable of accomplishing this, ensuring that transactions are well-matched with consistent data.


A case study of RPA implementation in an Australian FMCG food company using software robots to automate payment portal receivables can be found below.

3. Extraction of data

We can all agree that data input is a nightmare of boredom for your personnel. Even if RPA can't eliminate your problems, it can help you manage them. It substantially eliminates the need for human data entry because it has rudimentary pattern recognition capabilities and can convert almost any type of text into editable and searchable machine-encoded text. As a result, there are fewer errors and speedier results, and staff is less tired and bored.

4. Management of data

Relevant data comes from a range of places — personal records and files, operational performance datasheets, and so on — and must be compiled and analyzed consistently. Furthermore, the final results must be communicated to business executives promptly.


This necessitates a great deal of meticulous processing and attention to a myriad of details. This is time-consuming and nerve-wracking for humans. On the other hand, software robots can do it quickly, accurately, and without the need for stress bonuses.

5. Payroll administration

Nobody can deny the inconvenient nature of payroll and, to make matters worse, the requirement of an error-free procedure. You probably don't want to meet face to face with one of your supervisors who has been paid the same salary as a janitor with the same name.


As you read: "What about modern payroll software?!!" we notice a skeptical scowl on your face. Adopting up-to-date payroll software may not be easy, especially if your organization relies heavily on legacy systems. The use of software robots can then assist in automating the procedure.

6. Inquiries about the portal

This technique, when automated, also makes use of software robots' integrative capabilities. Portals serve as a critical link between businesses and their suppliers. The plural is important since it emphasizes the value of data integration. Bots can be used to connect all of your portals, allowing staff easy access to compiled data.


Limitations

1. Attrition is one of the limitations. RPA bots do not usually replace workers, although it is a possibility. Furthermore, because firms may employ bots to handle increased workloads, they won't need to hire the extra workers who would have handled the task otherwise.

"RPA vendors claim that technology eliminates monotonous and redundant tasks, but in reality, people were paid to perform those tasks. As a result, employment and hours are being cut, and work is being eliminated "According to Weilerstein. "It's a real source of concern for individuals, and it's also a question of business optics."

2. A colossal amount of technology. Organizations risk generating an unmanageable collection as more bots are added to do more tasks, making management and maintenance more difficult and costly.

3. Increased complication. When RPA isn't properly documented, controlled, and governed, it can produce layers upon layers of software, according to Weilerstein. It adds to the complexity, making business improvements more difficult to achieve.

4. Exaggeration of troublesome processes. Experts say that organizations that automate processes without first reviewing and if required, reengineering and optimizing them risk automating problematic processes. This entails increasing inefficiencies, errors, and anything else that was previously wrong with the process. It also increases costs, potentially negating any intended return on investment, and introduces additional hazards.

5. The change has been thwarted. According to Martelon, executives who view RPA as a tactical point-by-point solution rather than a tool that is part of a holistic plan will reap fewer rewards. Enterprise leaders who want RPA to help them achieve their digitization goals need a strategic framework for prioritizing automation initiatives and a clear understanding of how those projects fit into their larger strategic goals.


Patent Data Analysis- Robotic Process Automation (RPA)


The graph below depicts the evolution of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) applications during the last five years. In the most recent years, RPA applications seem to have declined, but the technology appears to be increasing again in the future years.

As can be seen in the graph below, Uipath and Beijing Laiye network Technology are at the top of the list with 249 and 208 patents respectively. UiPath is a multinational software company that creates a robotic process automation (RPA) platform. While Laiye has a lot of RPA and AI experience. This exemplifies why they're the best at what they do. We can see a graphical representation of the top 10 players of RPA which own 42 percent of the total patents and where the aforementioned research tendency is more concentrated.

Future of Robotic Process Automation (RPA)


The Major Findings of the Global Robotic Process Automation Market

  • RPA is increasingly integrating with artificial intelligence, and knowledge-based RPA is gaining favor among end-users.

  • The BFSI (Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance) industry is the major user of RPA systems.

  • APAC would provide excellent investment prospects to RPA industry participants.

  • RPA providers are forming alliances in order to consolidate competition.

Many clients have benefited from the robotic process automation (RPA) industry, which has helped them boost speed, offer more accuracy, create greater consistency, lower costs, give scalability, and enhance quality. Constellation Research forecasts market revenue of $2.2 billion in 2021, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.8%, and rises to $5.07 billion in 2026.


Due to economic growth and increased knowledge of business process automation in regional nations like India and China, Asia-Pacific (APAC) will expand the quickest in the robotic process automation market in the near future. Furthermore, organizations in the region that have implemented RPA solutions are reporting increased productivity and process efficiency, as well as an improvement in their industry position.


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