RPA (Robotic Process Automation)

What is RPA

RPA is a software technology that makes it easy to build, deploy, and manage software robots that emulate human actions interacting with digital systems and software.

Robotic process automation technology, sometimes called a software robot or bot, mimics a human worker, logging into applications, entering data, calculating and completing tasks, and logging out.

Why is RPA important?

RPA is becoming increasingly important in today’s fast-paced, digital world for several essential reasons:

Efficiency and Productivity

A primary reason for the importance of RPA is its ability to increase efficiency and productivity. Bots can work 24/7 without breaks, completing tasks faster and improving throughput. This means businesses can get more done in less time, which is vital in our competitive global economy.

Cost Reduction

By automating repetitive tasks, RPA can significantly reduce labor costs. This is especially beneficial for businesses with a high volume of routine work. This frees up employees to focus on more strategic, creative, and customer-oriented tasks.

Accuracy and precision

RPA bots are highly accurate. They do not make human mistakes, which are common in repetitive tasks. This ensures that data and processes are consistently accurate, leading to better decision-making and customer satisfaction.

Compliance and Consistency

 RPA carefully follows predefined rules and regulations. This is important in industries with strict compliance requirements, such as finance and healthcare. RPA ensures that processes are consistent and follow established standards.

Scalability

RPA is easily scalable. As the business grows, you can deploy more bots to handle the increased workload. This flexibility allows organizations to adapt quickly to changing demands.

Enhanced customer experience

With RPA handling routine tasks, employees can devote more time to improving customer service and engagement. This results in a better overall customer experience, which is important for building stronger relationships and brand loyalty.

Quick Implementation

Implementing RPA does not require extensive changes to existing systems. This is a technology that can be integrated relatively quickly, providing immediate benefits.

Competitive Advantage

Businesses that adopt RPA gain a competitive edge. They can outperform competitors in terms of cost-efficiency, speed, and quality, which is important in today’s fast-paced markets.

Job Augmentation

Rather than replacing jobs, RPA often supplements human work. Employees can focus on more meaningful, creative, and strategic tasks while bots handle repetitive tasks. This can lead to job satisfaction and skill development.

History of Robotic Process Automation

Robotic process automation is a relatively new technology that has emerged in the last decade. However, the concept of automating repetitive tasks has been around for much longer.

The early history of automation starts with the Industrial Revolution and electrical machinery in the era from 1790 to 1840. Like now, people were afraid of the effect of automation on their jobs (though in the end, it all turned out very well), as AI, requires a computer.

With the idea of robots invented and widely accepted by most, William Grey Walter developed the first autonomous robots in automation history in 1948. These were coming in the form of two ‘tortoises’: Elmer and Elsie.

Without human help, the robots may find their way around obstacles by following the light and using a bump sensor. Remarkably, the success in interacting with these two ‘sensory’ inputs (light and touch) that allowed these robots to function also helped us understand our nervous system better.

The study started to gain recognition within the academic community with so much success in the field of robotics. In 1956, a conference at the University of Dartmouth introduced the word ‘artificial intelligence’ and the AI research field. This encouraged many to continue the robotics development and officially began research on artificial intelligence development.

In the early 20th century, machines were introduced to automate manual tasks such as manufacturing and assembly line processes. In the 1950s, the first industrial robots were developed to automate tasks in the automotive industry. These robots were pre-programmed to perform specific tasks and were not capable of adapting to changes in the environment.

The concept of RPA emerged in the early 2000s when companies started to explore ways to automate back-office processes using the software. However, the first commercial RPA software was not developed until 2009 by Blue Prism, a UK-based company.

Since then, the RPA market has grown rapidly, with many new companies entering the market and existing companies expanding their RPA offerings.

Today, RPA is widely used in a variety of industries, including finance, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail, to automate repetitive and rule-based processes.

Robotic process automation has also evolved to incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies, allowing bots to learn from their interactions and adapt to changing environments.

This has led to the development of Intelligent Automation (IA), which combines RPA with AI and ML to enable more sophisticated automation of complex processes.

The 1990s marked a period of big advances in AI. Chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov beat an artificial intelligence dubbed ‘Deep Blue’ at chess. NASA’s first autonomous robotics system, Sojourner, was deployed on the Mars surface. Web crawlers (and other AI-based data extraction programs) have meanwhile become a key part of widespread web use.

The 90s also mark the period when automation history has thoroughly intertwined with the management of business processes. The rise of BPM and computerized automation made the 1990s popular for big BPM systems

Automation history suffered a distinct void in technological advancement in the early 2000s. Despite Honda’s production of ASIMO (which is said to be ‘the most advanced humanoid robot in the world’) in 2000, the development of automation went quiet for some time.

Future Opportunities for Robotic Process Automation

If you inculcate and master the skills in depth, then you can expect an

Initial salary between 50 thousand to 1 lakh. Based on the data of various leading job portals such as Naukri, Monster jobs, and Indeed, Robotic process automation developers of entry-level (0-3 yrs. Exp.) can easily anticipate an annual salary of 4-10 lakhs. However, there is a massive hike in salary as you gain more hands-on experience.

For the next few years, big tech and other giants will adopt Robotic process automation due to its immense benefits. Every big company will hire persons who have expertise in RPA and pay them a huge annual package. Hence, a career in RPA is a bright career opportunity with optimistic future outlooks.

Advantages of RPA

  • Many companies are forced to define clear governance procedures to use Artificial intelligence and Robotic process automation.
  • Deployment of Robotic process automation frees up high-value resources to be put back on the front line to ensure customer success.
  • The user can reduce the cost by automating the task with the help of rp.
  • It does not require the user to replace the existing systems by using the virtual workforce.
  • 24/7 availability: Robotic process automation can run 24/7, allowing organizations to process work around the clock and improve response times.
  • Employee satisfaction: Robotic process automation can take over tedious and repetitive tasks, allowing employees to focus on more complex and rewarding work.
  • Integration with existing systems: Robotic process automation can integrate with existing systems and applications, allowing organizations to leverage their existing technology investments.
  • Increased efficiency: Robotic process automation can complete tasks much faster than humans, allowing organizations to process more work in less time.
  • Improved accuracy: Robotic process automation can reduce errors and improve accuracy by following programmed rules and processes consistently.

Disadvantages of RPA

  • It is a costly technology compared to any other technology.
  • There is a lack of technical ability in the Robotic process automation projects.
  • The complexity of implementation in RPA has decreased day by day. According to a recent study, 30 to 50 percent of the RPA project fails initially.
  • The automated task increases unemployment.  Robotic process automation is reducing the need for human power, so it has the potential to eliminate the jobs of repetitive tasks. Due to unemployment, labor is increased in the market.
  • Job displacement: While Robotic process automation can improve efficiency and reduce costs, it may also lead to job displacement for human workers who were previously performing automated tasks.
  • Integration challenges: Robotic process automation may face challenges integrating with legacy systems or custom applications, which can limit its effectiveness.
  • Lack of flexibility: Robotic process automation is best suited for repetitive and rules-based tasks, and may not be well-suited for more complex or variable processes.
  • Initial cost: The initial cost of implementing Robotic Process Automation can be high, including the cost of software, hardware, and implementation.
  • Need for maintenance: Like any technology, Robotic Process Automation requires ongoing maintenance and support, which can be costly and time-consuming.
  • Security concerns: Robotic process automation can introduce security risks if not implemented and monitored correctly. Bots can be vulnerable to cyberattacks, and sensitive data may be exposed if not handled properly.
  • Limited problem-solving ability: Robotic process automation is designed to follow programmed rules and processes, and does not have the ability to solve problems or make decisions outside of its programming.

What is the Role of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning in Robotic process automation?

  • Artificial intelligence is used in Robotic process automation software. The user can automate the workflow of any organization.
  • The automation vendor includes machine learning capabilities in automation tools to process a huge amount of unstructured data.  It uses advanced image recognition technologies to raise the quality of Graphical User Interface (GUI) automation.
  • Machine learning models can be inserted into the workflow of projects. Workflow performs machine perception tasks such as image recognition. robotic process automation can record a series of tasks that are in the GUI form. Robotic Process Automation records the cursor moves and button clicks and translates the series of actions into the code. The tasks can be performed automatically due to this code without human intervention in the future.

Which choice is better in Robotic process automation vs Machine Learning  

Robotic process automation and ML are essentially just two entities on different scales of the same spectrum. They both reduce human efforts and ease a process, automating it. The real question you need to ask isn’t which is better, but rather what the right context of their usage is. robotic process automation is a great choice for structured data found in simple data types in tables, spreadsheets, and forms.   

Where robotic process automation demonstrates its ability with actual functioning and actions, ML does that by backing up the decisions behind it. ML enables methodologies that make processes like RPA much more efficient. Features like Natural Language Processing (NLP) enable command machines like RPA with only voice commands. Combining both technologies allows you to accomplish feats that were once considered impossible. 

What is the use of RPA in Daily Life?

IndustryApplications
ManufacturingRobotic process automation can help automate tasks like data entry, quality control, and equipment monitoring.
ITRobotic process automation can help automate tasks like software testing, data entry, and monitoring system performance.
Call Center applicationsAny organization with a call center setup can use automation to manage high-volume requests. An automated platform can do anything from changing details across multiple systems to processing a returns request. This is an optimal way of using your resources and is more likely to lead to happy customers who are helped quickly and efficiently.
Supply Chain ManagementRobotic process automation can automate tasks like order processing, inventory management, and shipment tracking.
Finance and AccountingRobotic process automation can automate tasks like invoice processing, accounts payable and receivable, financial reporting, and reconciliation.
Credit card applicationBots are fundamental to most credit card applications in the modern world. RPA can be programmed to gather information such as documents and credit and background checks. The software can also decide whether the individual’s application is a success and they can receive the card.
Processing orders on E-commerce sitesIf you’re responsible for an eCommerce website, then you can use RPA to automate the process of customer orders.  

Why consider a career in RPA?

A career in RPA offers many exciting opportunities and benefits:

In-demand skills –

RPA is a rapidly growing field, and organizations are actively looking for professionals who can implement and manage automation solutions. This demand makes Robotic Process Automation professionals highly popular in the job market.

Higher efficiency –

RPA dramatically improves the efficiency of businesses by automating time-consuming, repetitive tasks. This means you can have a significant impact on streamlining processes and increasing productivity.

Diverse Applications –

Robotic Process Automation is not limited to any specific industry. It is used in finance, healthcare, customer service and more. This versatility opens doors to different career paths and industries.

Career development –

As you gain experience and expertise in RPA, you can advance to higher-paying positions such as RPA developer, RPA architect, or even RPA consultant. This area provides room for growth and specialization.

Job Security –

Automation is here to stay. Rather than eliminating jobs, RPA often enhances existing roles. This allows employees to focus on creative and strategic tasks while bots handle repetitive tasks. This means job security for professionals who adopt this technology.

Continuous learning –

Robotic Process Automation is an emerging field, and staying up to date with the latest developments keeps your skills relevant. This means you will have the opportunity for continuous learning and professional development.

How to start a career in RPA

Here’s a general roadmap to start a career in RPA:

Learn the basics – 

Start by learning the basics of Robotic Process Automation, including its principles, tools, and technologies. There are many online courses and certifications available to help you get started.

Choose an RPA tool –

Robotic Process Automation software tools are the heart of automation. Popular options include UiPath, Automation Anywhere, and Blue Prism. Pick one and become good at it.

Gain practical experience –

Practical experience is invaluable. Try automating simple tasks to gain confidence and expertise. You can also participate in Robotic Process Automation projects or internships.

Explore Advanced Skills –

As you progress, explore more advanced topics such as process analysis, bot deployment, and integration with other systems.

Certifications –

Earning certifications from Robotic Process Automation tool providers can increase your credibility and open doors to better career opportunities.

Networking –

Connect with professionals in the Robotic Process Automation field through LinkedIn, forums, or local RPA meetups. Networking can lead to valuable insights and job opportunities.

Stay informed –

Keep up with the latest Robotic Process Automation trends and technologies. The field is dynamic, and staying informed will help you stay competitive.

FAQ

1. What is RPA (Robotic Process Automation)?

  • RPA is a technology that uses software robots or “bots” to automate repetitive, rule-based tasks in business processes.

2. How does RPA differ from traditional automation?

  • Robotic Process Automation focuses on automating tasks that involve interactions with computer systems and applications, often without requiring changes to existing systems.

3. What are some common use cases for RPA?

  • Common RPA use cases include data entry, invoice processing, customer onboarding, report generation, and data extraction from websites.

4. What is a software robot or bot in the context of RPA?

  • A software robot, or bot, is a virtual worker that mimics human actions to interact with computer systems and automate tasks.

5. What is the difference between attended RPA and unattended RPA?

  • Attended RPA involves bots working alongside humans, assisting them with tasks, while unattended RPA operates independently, often in the background.

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