Robotic Process Automation is the brand new technology that looks straight out of a science fiction story but is actually commercially available in the here and the now. Sophisticated computer software called ‘bots’ can be used to perform tasks that have heretofore been done by humans. This includes straightforward if mundane work like data entry or sorting operations as well as more complicated endeavours that might require problem solving and decision making. These programs are so good at replicating human intelligence that they have been used to compose music and write prose; the resulting works are of so high quality as to be indistinguishable from musical pieces or stories written by humans. |
Needless to say, Robotic Process Automation holds tremendous potential. For businesses, a tremendous amount of resources can be saved by eliminating non-essential personnel. In fact, the primary reason businesses opt for outsourcing is to save on the costs of hiring personnel locally and those of additional benefits and the various derived costs that might result due to the actions of the employees. While outsourcing has been effective, there are certain disadvantages: splitting the process into parts creates dependencies and inherently creates inefficiencies. Insufficient or improper communication also results in errors and lost time. But most importantly, costs of outsourcing have been rising steadily over the past years, making outsourcing not worth the disadvantages it brings.
While Robotic Process Automation might seem like a miracle solution to the outsourcing conundrum, things are not so simple. Before you take any steps, you must ensure that your business is a good fit for robotic process automation implementation. Not all businesses are created alike; some avenues benefit more from outsoursing, some less. Similar with automation; some businesses will be able to automate only a part of their workflow while some will be able to automate entire processes.
Creating a robotic process automation implementation checklist might help decide the suitability of a business for the same. At present, works that can be strictly defined by rules and regulations without much scope for making executive decisions can be automated to high efficiency. The algorithms for automating such work have been heavily tested and attaining consistent reliability is not an issue for these programs. Work that might require decision making operation can be automated to a lesser extent. While there are ‘smart’ bots that can take decisions, they are not that well developed at present to be ready for immediate implementation. Also, current applications tend to be closely tailored to meet the requirements of that particular assignment, meaning that such a program must be reconfigured to be used elsewhere or if some of the core variables need to be changed to reflect changes in the process.
It is still new for Robotic Process Automation. But they are getting better every day and it is only a matter of time before they attain full commercial relevance. What effects that might have on the world economy remains to be seen, to say nothing of the potentially legal ramifications of implementing such schemes. But as with any new technology, it will certainly be disruptive.
Robotic Process Automation is the next frontier in bringing the benefits of cutting edge 21st century technology to more traditional business avenues. However not all enterprises are suitable for Robotic Process Automation implementation. Given certain criteria are met, automation has the potential to save a significant amount of resources and boost the overall efficiency of the entire endeavour.
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