Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has been around for almost two decades. Despite its long history, the use of RPA in general business practices is growing rapidly. The value it brings organizations small and large is expansive and is expected to grow exponentially over the next 3-to-5 years. Gartner reports that the use of RPA grew over 63% last year alone. While the possibilities for leveraging automation are endless and the opportunities are exciting, with any new technology and innovation comes uncertainty and fear of the unknown. This fear of the unknown often stifles growth and long-term innovation.
When an organization takes a step back to think of RPA from a business evolution perspective, the value-added benefits begin to unfold.
In an effort to provide clarity around RPA, Liberty Source debunks a few myths about RPA.
Robotics Process Automation is comprised of a set of physical robots
Hollywood thrives on dramatizing the use of human-like robots on the movie screen, however the use of RPA is vastly different on the computer screen. RPA is software that enables lean processes by performing routine, mundane processes. RPA software, or a ‘bot’, is oftentimes referred to as a virtual or digital worker. A bot is created for a specific and repeatable task or business process and is curated by using a series of algorithms. Without automation, these repeatable tasks hinder the human workforce from providing culturally empathetic insight and cognitive decision making to broader value-added strategies and processes.
A human workforce should be free to use their deep cognitive abilities on more meaningful work, while RPA should be implemented to handle the tedious, repeatable, everyday tasks.
RPA is only needed in tech-heavy organizations
RPA is actually best suited in people-heavy organizations. Operations which require constant human interaction should leverage RPA to reduce the time spent on repetitive and standardized tasks, freeing their employees time to focus on customer interactions and problem solving.
Behind every implementation of RPA, should be an understanding and basic design of the business processes required to run a department. This documentation should be owned by the operating unit overseeing the processes, not defaulted to an IT department in a tech-heavy organization.
The use of any RPA software can be easily trained to applicable end-users, not just to leaders within an IT Department.
RPA will eliminate human roles
RPA will NOT and does not take work from the human workforce, it merely changes the way in which humans work. RPA increases productivity by eliminating the defined repetitive tasks and reinforcing human insight. It enables the workforce to do what humans do best: build relationships, apply cognitive insights, and evaluate barriers to success.
RPA is not designed to eliminate jobs. Process automation will remove a few roles that are defined, rule-based and narrow in scope, thus empowering organizations and employees to re-evaluate value-added opportunities, changing job responsibilities to focus on the development, maintenance and success of the RPA component within the function.
Once RPA is deployed, we don’t need to do anything else
RPA is not complete automation. Therefore, humans are needed to provide thought and decision-making to identify exceptions within the processes and train the system to manage these exceptions. Allowing the software to evolve into the best version possible for the business function. The human layer in automation is also called the cognitive service layer which is the key ingredient to successful RPA implementation.
The perfect mix of digital innovation and a cognitive service layer sets the foundation for business evolution that provides optimal return on investment.
RPA does not understand complex tasks
If a process or task can be defined, the bot can be taught. Before implementation of any RPA software, the processes should be documented and mapped, uncovering the rule-based and logical nature of even the most complex task or process. Through breaking down the most complex process you will find ways to successfully implement new automation.
RPA is designed to perform tasks based on data and instructions provided by a human. No matter how completed a process may be, by breaking down the process into smaller bite-size tasks permits the bot to learn and the human to analyze.
With these myths debunked, rest assured that RPA is a tool that provides value-added benefits. Liberty Source is here to help you on your journey of unlocking the potential of RPA and maximizing your ROI.