A Brief Introduction to RPA

A brief guide to understanding RPA and how to get started with it

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RPA which stands for Robotic Process Automation is a visionary technology that helps organizations automate mundane tasks. Whilst some business organizations have acclaimed this technology to be a game-changer, some are still uncertain about it and continue to live in their 'AI is going to replace my job' mindset.

This delusion needs to change. Every organization despite its size needs to adapt to RPA so, in this article let's understand what RPA is and how can it help you or your organization strive for success.

What's in this article?

A brief overview on the below topics:

  • What is RPA?
  • Why do we need RPA?
  • How to get started with RPA?
  • The future of RPA

What is RPA?

RPA is a technology that involves the creation of software, otherwise called the robot. The robot emulates human actions and works with any digital system to execute a business process efficiently and quickly without errors.

The robot is capable of executing a business process of any complexity, in the same way, a human would - as it can log in to web pages, access databases, send & receive emails, monitor systems, scrap data, generate files, and do much more.

Robots can work independently or in tandem with the user depending on the business needs. It can also be scheduled to run at a specific time.

Besides, an RPA implementation doesn't just speed up the business process execution, it helps businesses become more productive, reduce costs, mitigate risks, and improve their overall operational efficiency.

RPA is driving digital transformation by changing the way humans work. With this technology, humans can engage in more real-time activities while the robot executes mundane tasks. Humans can log in sporadically and check on the robot's work.

Why do we need RPA?

The primary goal of RPA is to help businesses become more productive and generate more revenue despite the domain/industry, the size of the organization, or the complexity of the business process.

In general, a mundane business process that requires high effort and frequent human intervention is chosen for automation. This way, the robot can do the tedious work while the employees can engage in more meaningful work.

However, there are several other reasons why any business organization needs to adapt RPA:

  • Significant increase in cost savings, ROI.
  • Improves overall business efficiency, helps employees become more productive.
  • The robot makes no mistakes, leading to increased accuracy.
  • RPA is non-invasive, meaning it doesn't require new infrastructure to build new automation solutions.
  • RPA solutions are quicker to build and deploy compared to traditional automation solutions.
  • All RPA solutions are scalable, which means they can be enhanced or customized whenever required.
  • RPA is more like the best investment an organization can make to help their employees work efficiently.

How to get started with RPA?

Every organization needs to plan its automation journey based on the below factors before reaching out to an RPA vendor:

➡️ Understanding what can be automated:

Despite the countless benefits RPA brings to the table, some processes simply cannot be automated ie, the process may require certain modifications before chosen for automation. However, what can be automated depends on the below factors:

  • Is the process rule-based?
  • Is the process stable, or does it undergo frequent changes?
  • Does the process have standard electronic readable input?

Depending on the answers to the above questions, and some other factors like frequency, and complexity, a process is chosen for automation.

➡️ Reading whitepapers:

As stated earlier, several industries have already opted for RPA so, reading whitepapers is the best way to understand the use case that was chosen for automation along with the challenges, complexities, and automation solution that was provided. You can learn more about whitepapers, here .

➡️ Choosing an automation tool:

This is the most crucial step of all. There are so many good tools in the market, each being the best in its way so this decision has to be made based on factors like technical features, cost, ease of use, etc.

➡️ Reaching out to sales teams:

Reach out to sales teams of different RPA vendors to learn more about automating your business process & automation in general. The sales team will help you understand everything you need and prepare you for an RPA PoC.

The future of RPA

To put it in simple words, the future of the RPA industry is bright. However, to put it in a more detailed way, let's consider the below points:

➡️ Industry Growth:

RPA is fairly a new technology compared to other domains in the enterprise software market and with its existing popularity, it's not going to fade away anytime soon.

Besides, the technology is starting to gain more attention and popularity as several business industries such as BFSI, healthcare, high tech, retail, manufacturing, and government are starting to implement scalable automation solutions for their business processes.

Records also state that the revenue of the RPA market has reached from $846 million in 2018 to $1.3 billion in 2019. The industry is expecting to hit $2.5 billion and grow at a compound annual growth rate of 70% to 85% in 2020/2021. With this growth, it is here to stay and drive digital transformation.

➡️ Career Growth:

The RPA industry has different categories of people working in different teams such as a CoE lead, developers, business analysts, pre-sales engineer, solution architects, etc.

As the industry expands, several organizations have started to provide RPA services along with traditional software development services. This creates a demand for skilled RPA personnel.

RPA has also become a new buzz among college students as several companies have started to hire college graduates with less than a year of experience. Some universities have also included RPA in their subject curriculum.

Business industries are just starting to understand the benefits that RPA brings to its business therefore, as far as the future is concerned, it is certainly bright.

We'll talk more about RPA career path in the future articles.


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