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Exclusive Guide to Robotic Process Automation

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Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the newest form of digital business process management. It is also known as or sometimes also referred to as robot automation, robotic process automation (RPA), cognitive robotic process automation (CRPA). Basically, it refers to the software that mimics human actions. There are numerous applications for RPA in various verticals. This is a comprehensive guide on RPA with an exclusive list of 10 tools for you to get started with RPA.

RPA has been around since the 1990's, but did not gain popularity until late 2014 when large enterprises like Citigroup, Barclays Capital, and Barclaycard US began deploying it. Robotic process automation is growing exponentially and has been projected to solve a lot of problems in businesses.

In Robotic Process Automation, software robots mimic the actions of human workers by automating repeated tasks sets across disparate systems. RPA follows a simple "if-this-then-that" rules-based approach to automate business processes faster, cheaper, and better.

"Is Robotic Process Automation right for me?"

RPA can cut costs by up to 50% in some situations. If your business is looking to automate simple repeatable tasks inside of spreadsheets or other backend business systems then it is right for you. A great rule of thumb would be that if it takes more than two clicks to do something in your business process, it might be good for RPA.

"What are the components of RPA?"

The components of Robotic Process Automation are software robots (bots), Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, and cognitive computing (to name a few). Software robots act like mini computers that execute rules based on "if-this-then-that" type instructions. They mimic human actions and speed up the process of completion. Machine learning allows bots to learn from past executions and make recommendations for future action items.

A great quote by Aaron Levie (CEO - Box) sums it up very nicely: "The dirty secret about software is that it's really about people." RPA makes our lives easier. If we program bots to complete simple tasks with no resistance, then who do the hard things?

"What are some benefits of Robotic Process Automation?"

Some of the top benefits of RPA include increased speed, accuracy, and process optimization. It also helps in freeing up man hours, reduces human error, and prevents mistakes. RPA is also beneficial for the environment by reducing paper usage and can become a core differentiator for businesses versus their competitors.

"What are some limitations of RPA?"

The biggest limitation around RPA is that it requires process understanding. The bots are only as good as your understanding of the process and your ability to program. You will need to invest in consultancies or system integration partners that can help you develop good bots.

"Who are some vendors for RPA?"

Some of the popular stakeholders in Robotic Process Automation include Blue Prism, UiPath , OpenSpan, Fidelity Investments , Sutherland Global Services , Deloitte, IBM , Pegasystems, Automation Anywhere , NICE, Kofax , DigitalGenius (rebranded as Finyear), and more.

"What are some of the best use cases for RPA?"

Some of the top use cases include finance & accounting operations, insurance claims processing, banking operations, mortgage processing, recruitment & HR operations, customer service centers , telemarketing & telesales , travel claims processing, mobile network operator billing process , R&D department, etc.

"What are some of the challenges businesses face with RPA?"

Aspect of change management and resistance to automation are some of the biggest challenges around Robotic Process Automation. If your employees are used to doing something a certain way, then they will resist change and automation may be viewed as threat by them.

"Does RPA work with both structured and unstructured data?"

Yes, that is one of the main strengths of RPA. Unlike traditional software programs like accounting software or payroll software , bots can work with both structured and unstructured data.

"What are some examples of how RPA is used in the real world?"

Some of the most popular use cases include back office operations, customer service centers, call centers, credit card fraud detection, insurance claims processing , global banking & BPO operations, etc.

"What are some of the challenges people face when they try to deploy RPA?"

The biggest challenge is that you need process understanding. You need to understand how your business works and what all can be optimized with RPA . If you don't have someone internally who knows this information, then you will end up spending a lot of money on consultancy or system integration partners.

"What is the future of RPA?"

RPA is also expected to be used heavily in digital transformation initiatives by 2020. According to Gartner, "By 2020, more than 50 percent of large organizations will use RPA tools for at least one core application. By that same year, 10 percent of mid-size businesses and large enterprises will be using chatbots and virtual digital assistants as integral parts of their software systems."

Conclusion: The future of RPA is bright. Many organizations are already offering it and others are still trying to understand how they can use it in their business. If you want to start using RPA, then try to get all your stakeholders together (including managers, employees, consultants, suppliers) and discuss the various possibilities with them.

What do you think about RPA?

The future of RPA is bright. Many organizations are already offering it and others are still trying to understand how they can use it in their business. If you want to start using RPA, then try to get all your stakeholders together (including managers, employees, consultants, suppliers) and discuss the various possibilities with them.

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