21st century innovations have finally begin to affect the world at large in a significant way. Business has always been the domain of the traditional; things seldom change in the world of business. However, one game changing technology is making people’s heads turn and seriously consider its ramifications on the entire industry and the very foundations of business: robotic process automation. |
Robotic process automation, also sometimes shortened to Robotic Process Automation or simply automation, is a cutting edge technology based on the principles of big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence and neural networks. Automation has always been something that has been studies strictly under the academic domain, but its immense potential has been finally noticed by commercial interests.
Robotic Process Automation involves computer programs, often called ‘bots’, to perform tasks ranging from very simple to extremely complex. These programs are extremely powerful in that they are designed to perform and replicate tasks and operations on a computer similar to a human. These programs are designed to make human activity redundant.
The bots implemented in Robotic Process Automation can be ‘dumb’, in that they can perform only repetitive tasks or work that has strictly guided rules, for e.g. updating lists or data entry, or they can be ‘smart’, in that they perform operations after taking into account multiple variables, other information and according to a well set out algorithm. These smart bots can actually replicate human intelligence and they ‘learn’ over time; they are designed to recognise how a particular input creates outputs and based on that information figure out what inputs to make for obtaining the desired output.
There really is no limit to what can be achieved through robotic process automation. Programs have been created to compose music, and humans are unable to tell the difference between music created by a human and that created by a software program. Automation software can also be used to write short stories and literature without any human involvement whatsoever, the resultant prose being indistinguishable from the work created by a human on any objective criteria.
The extreme versatility of these automation bots opens up a new avenue in how business is conducted. Automation presents itself as the perfect means to achieve cost reduction and efficiency. By making human involvement non-existent, especially in the fields that require little to none additional development work to be suited to implementation of automation, the entire business endeavour becomes faster and better. A computer program does not need off days, can work continuously for 24 hours a day and seven days a week, and does not need to be paid for its troubles. Software bots are the perfect alternative to outsourcing, which is what has traditionally been thought of as a means of cost reduction but one that has often resulted in inefficiency and time delays. When in house work is made possible at a lower cost by virtue of automation, the business becomes more tightly integrated and efficient.
So it can be of great use if it is implemented in a proper way.
Robotic Process Automation has tremendous potential and can really spark off the next industrial revolution. No technology has presented us with the scope of growth and efficiency of resources as Robotic Process Automation . While businesses must investigate if their work is indeed suitable to be automated in the first place, there really is no reason to not opt for automation if it is.
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