Like humans do: Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the use of software that interfaces with computer systems in the same way as humans would. It uses AI and machine learning capabilities to handle high-volume repeatable tasks that used to require humans to perform. Such tasks can include calculations, queries and maintaining records and transactions. The software agents that perform these tasks are known as software robots or bots. They mimic human workers and can do what humans did previously: logging into applications, processing tasks and logging out, while making reasoned decisions with their new AI abilities.
Instead of a physical robot sitting or standing at a terminal and tapping keys, a software robot achieves the same results by interacting with keyboard and mouse controllers in a virtual environment. Apart from the absence of a screen and keyboard, it acts exactly as a human user would. With AI and machine learning, bots are getting smarter and more capable of autonomous action.
Why is RPA useful to businesses? Because it sits outside an organization’s IT infrastructure and has no need to be integrated with it via APIs and data layers, thus avoiding a good deal of time and expense. RPA can be implemented quickly due to the conceptual simplicity of its interface and the lack of necessity for development and integration work. It leaves existing IT infrastructure untouched and is particularly useful where a number of different complex systems are in use.
RPA technology creates cost savings for manual and repetitive tasks and can help organizations improve their customer service, employee productivity, regulatory compliance and data processing efficiency. Applications include financial services, healthcare patient records, HR and payroll, supply chain, accounting and customer service.
RPA can be implemented in a short time by operations employees with no programming skills but with knowledge of the processes being automated. RPA tools are available which enable this process with drag-and-drop process flowcharts.
C-suite decision makers are hearing more and more about how RPA can boost their bottom line, but many are still in the dark about what it actually is and how they can implement it.
Enter the RPA Academy. It’s a New York-based on-demand online school offering business leaders training in all things RPA. Courses include The RPA Strategy and Implementation Blueprint, Introduction to RPA for Financial Services, How to Build a Workforce of White Collar Robots, RPA Trends & Tips Update webinars, and the intriguing RPA & Citrix: a Love Story.