If you are not learning about robotic process automation then probably you are already behind the technological wave sweeping the modern work landscape. Similar to how mechanical robots have been replacing humans for Industrial and mechanical work, software robots will be replacing high percentage of white collar jobs. And that is robotic process automation.
Some of the modern RPA tools are extremely powerful and can be used by non programmers to develop software tools capable of automating any business process previously done manually by humans. And this might include even processes spanning different software and technologies.
Rpa software can interact with word files, excel files, desktop applications, emails, websites, databases etc to perform certain tasks, and those RPA robots will be able to perform those tasks much more consistently, reliably and timely. Of course you shouldn't be worried about a scenario where all the white collar jobs will be gone and replaced by robots, because the ultimate winner emerging out from this technological revolution will be humans as we would be able to spend more time on more creative aspects of work. It is expected that about 30% of the white collar job will be replaced by automation by the year 2025.
The ideal candidate for RPA tasks are usually high volume and repeatable in nature. These tasks may include data entry, maintenance of records and transactions queries etcetera. RPA generally involves use of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to build software bots to mimic a human worker to do manual tasks. RPA software is used not part of the core IT infrastructure of the company and usually sits on top of it. So even if the underlying technology or the software process changes, no major changes are required on the RPS software side and basic tweaks will do the job.
Some of the benefits of RPA include:
- improved quality of work
- helps business operations and processes comply with the standard
- faster delivery of work
- improved productivity and efficiency by digitising and auditing process data
- cost savings for manual and repetitive tasks
Some of the applications of RPA include:
- accounting - companies can use rpa for general accounting and maintenance of ledgers
- healthcare - medical organisations are using rpa for handling patient data records, billing, reporting and Analytics
- human resources - RPA can be used in human resources for onboarding and offboarding, timesheet submission processes and other HR compliance workflow
- supply chain management - automation from RPA can be used for procurement, processing, inventory management, tracking shipments etc.
Difference between Rpa and regular automation is the flexibility associated with Rpa. Rpa can be used to change workflows on the fly without too much effort while general automation requires large effort to make changes.