Robotic process automation (RPA), also referred to as software robots, is a form of business process automation (BPA) – also now as Business Automation or Digital Transformation – where complex business processes are automated using technology enabled tools harnessing the power of Artificial intelligence (AI).
Robotic process automation (RPA) can be a fast, low-risk starting point for automating repettitive processes that depend on legacy systems. Software bots can pull data from these manually operated systems (most of the time without an API) into digital processes, ensuring faster and more efficient and accurate (less user error) outcomes.
Workflow vs RPA
In traditional workflow automation tools, a system developer produces a list of actions/steps to automate a task and define the interface to the back-end system using either internal application programming interfaces (APIs) or dedicated scripting language. RPA systems, in contrast, compile the action list by watching the user perform that task in the application’s graphical user interface (GUI), and then perform the automation by repeating those tasks directly in the GUI, as if it is manually operated.
Automated Testing vs RPA
RPA tools have strong technical similarities to graphical user interface testing tools. Automated testing tools also automate interactions with the GUI by repeating a set of actions performed by a user. RPA tools differ from such systems in that they allow data to be handled in and between multiple applications, for instance, receiving email containing an invoice, extracting the data, and then typing that into a financial accounting system.
Used the right way, though, RPA can be a useful tool in your digital transformation toolkit. Instead of wasting time on repetitive tasks, your people are freed up to focus on customers or subject expertise bringing product & services to market quicker and provide customer outcomes quickly – all adds up to real tangible business results.
Now, let’s be honest about what RPA doesn’t do – It does not transform your organisation by itself, and it’s not a fix for enterprise-wide broken processes and systems. For that, you’ll need digital process automation (DPA).
Gartner’s Magic Quadrant: RPA Tools
The RPA market is rapidly growing as incumbent vendors jockey for market position and evolve their offerings. In the second year of this Magic Quadrant, the bar has been raised for market viability, relevance, growth, revenue and how vendors set the vision for their RPA offerings in a fluid market.
Choosing the right RPA tool for your business is vital. The 16 vendors that made it into the 2020 Gartner report is marked in the appropriate quadrant below.
The Automation Journey
To stay in the race, you have to start fast. Robotic process automation (RPA) is non-invasive and lightning fast. You see value and make an immediate impact.
Part of the journey is not just making a good start with RPA implementations but to put the needed governance around this technology enabler. Make sure you can maintain the automated processes to quickly adapt to changes, integrate with new applications, align with continuously changing business processes while making sure that you can control the change and clearly communicate it to all needed audiences.
To ensure that you continuously monitor the RPA performance you must be able to measure success. Data gathered throughout the RPA journey and then converted through analytics into meaningful management information (MI). MI that enables quick and effective decisions – that’s how you finish the journey.
Some end-to-end RPA tools cover most of the above change management and business governance aspects – keep that in mind when selecting the right tool for your organisation.
So, do you want to stay ahead of your competition? Start by giving your employees robots that help them throughout the day.
Give your employees a robot
Imagine if, especially in the competitive and demanding times we live today, you could give back a few minutes of time of every employee’s day. You can if you free them from wrangling across systems and process siloes for information. How? Software robots that automate the desktop tasks that frustrate your people and slow them down. These bots collaborate with your employees to bridge systems and process siloes. They do work like tabbing, searching, and copying and pasting – so your people can focus on your customers.
RPA injects instant ROI into your business.