There is a lot of talk about robotic process automation in the news as of late. The vast advancements made in robotics and AI are transforming the process of work today, as we know it. We often associate the idea of robotics with some physical presence. Physical robots are indeed performing all types of repetitive tasks. Robotic order pickers traverse large warehouses filling orders. Industrial floor scrubbers keep retail floors perfectly clean while industry robots perform a perfect weld every time. You can even have a robot grill you the perfect burger or pour a consistent cocktail.
What is Robotic Process Automation?
Physical robots are introduced into workspaces to replicate the actions of human workers. Often the tasks they perform are tedious, mundane, and sometimes dangerous. In most cases, physical robots save human workers from the drudgery of performing mind-numbing recurring tasks all day. Monotonous low-value tasks are not limited to the industry sectors. Think of the repetitive task processes workers perform within the traditional office all through the day.
- Opening emails and attachments
- Filling in forms
- Copying and pasting
- Collecting statistical data
- Extracting structured data from multiple sources
- Reading and writing to databases
- Processing payroll or insurance claims
Chances are nearly everyone in your office who performs these types of tasks to some degree today. Is this really what you want to pay your professional staff to do?
Thanks to Robotic Process Automation (RPA), the 21st-century office is being streamlined and liberated. Like traditional robots, RPA automates the manual steps of human work. In this case, those steps often involve mouse clicks and the parsing of data cells in a spreadsheet. RPA tools enable software bots to interact with software applications by mimicking the actions a human would perform. Activities can include logging in and out of apps, copy and paste routines, and filling out forms. By automating tedious tasks and rule-based business processes, companies can enable their employees to dedicate more time to either serving customers, solving problems, or contributing to innovation that creates far more value for the business. A great example of RPA solution used today is QA Automation, automating the quality assurance process of system testing. Read about the benefits of QA automation in our most recent blog.
The Dramatic Growth of RPA
According to Gartner, RPA software revenue grew by 63.1 percent in 2018. At $846 million, RPA is the fastest-growing segment of the global enterprise software market. Gartner expects RPA software revenue to reach $1.3 billion in 2019. Other studies show that the global RPA market size will reach $3.97 billion by 2025. Expenditures on RPA in the global financial services market alone is expected to amount to $955.2 million by 2023.
The Benefits of Robotic Process Automation to Your Business
The implementation of software bots within online customer service environments has proved hugely successful for businesses and customers alike. So much so that customers today prefer bots to humans, while 88 percent of companies report that the realized benefits of these types of bots have met or exceeded their expectations. Similarly, several recognized benefits are stimulating the growth of the RPA market as well.
- Cost Savings: RPA can bring immediate cost savings by reducing expenditures as work can be scaled out. Work is performed 24/7, and significant time savings are captured as bots can perform these traditional human enabled tasks far faster than human workers with no interruptions to the job process.
- Increased accuracy: Bots are not susceptible to human error. They do not make typos or get distracted. Error-free work translates into greater efficiency and higher quality, which results in greater satisfaction rates and success.
- Better control: In the past, some businesses have chosen to farm these types of tasks out to external parties, which introduces inherent risks. RPA can keep these processes in-house, allowing management to retain complete visibility and control of them.
- Greater adherence to regulatory compliance and standards: Because bots follow a highly defined set of instructions preconfigured to create an audit history that can easily be captured and retraced for review. Bots can work under the strictest of compliance standards
- Employee Empowerment: Don’t think your employees enjoy performing mundane tasks. Migrating these types of work processes to software bots liberates them from the routine, allowing them to contribute ideas and value-added work to the organization
The low technical barriers that are characteristic of RPA tools can be surprising to those introduced to this new liberating approach to work. Robotic process automation does not require high-level programming skills from internal employees. Once RPA tools have been created and customized, non-technical staff personnel can easily add and modify processes, sometimes using drag and drop like menus. Because software bots simply work at the application layer like any human worker, companies do not have to purchase new systems to accommodate these automated processes. This minimizes the investment required to obtain the many benefits that robotic process automation can bring to your business.
RPA and Xcelacore
Xcelacore has been helping many companies create and implement robotic process automation solutions for them to help accelerate their digital transformations and liberate their professional office staff. Xcelacore recently debuted a proof-of-concept for a social media marketing firm. Online marketing is driven by data performance metrics such as “# of followers,” shares, clicks, and engagements. Often this requires marketing specialists to perpetually log onto to social media platforms to collect and correlate the performance matrix for each of their clients.
Xcelacore created an RPA software tool to direct a bot to perform these types of tasks. To the casual onlooker walking by, the browser-based application interaction occurring on the assigned desktop would probably appear to be human-induced as applications such as LinkedIn, Sprout Social and were accessed through natural logon processes. Data was appropriately downloaded and stored into spreadsheets each day. AI-driven metrics can then be applied to the obtained data overtime to find quantitative patterns.
There are few businesses if any, that cannot benefit from RPA. These virtual business assistants can work for your business in ways you probably cannot yet imagine. Xcelacore can help you envision it, though, and even better, make it a reality. The future of work is now. Let us help put it in place for you.