Robotic Process Automation or more commonly known by its acronym – RPA – has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years and is positioned to continue to gain hype in the foreseeable future. As the technology becomes more commonplace it is becoming increasingly important to understand what RPA is and how it will help shape our workplaces of the future.
What is RPA
When looking up what RPA is online you may come across a definition that follows something like this “Robotic Process Automation is any set of logic driven tools that help automate process”. Although this sums up what RPA is, it really doesn’t paint a good picture of how exactly this technology is being utilized today. While logic boards in manufacturing lines certainly fit into the category of RPA, it isn’t what is getting your executive board excited.
When people talk about RPA, they are more likely referring to the software solutions that exist today that help map out and automate traditionally tedious back office work. RPA developers create “bots” that simulate actions that an employee makes on a computer. These bots run through a virtual process map while replicating the same actions an employee would make be it clicking, emailing, reading pdfs, or running analysis in Excel. Activities such as accounts receivable, report generation, supply chain management, and customer support all are common areas of which RPA is being applied to help reduce the tedious nature of our day to days.
Why You Should Be Excited
Everyone has some part of their job that they dislike. For me its expense reporting – it takes to much time to fill out all the same fields over and over again. While the application we use for expense reporting is not complicated, it just takes to long to document all of my travel receipts. The hour a week I spent on expense reporting was an hour a wish I could back. Luckily, I was able to create a bot to do it for me – freeing me from my least favorite task of the week.
I would also often make mistakes while filing my expense – something I know our accountant hated. It’s human nature, we are going to make mistakes, and while the slight key errors I would make were not going to cause too much trouble, some process aren’t so kind to mistakes. RPA bots help minimize this risk as they follow the proper procedure every time without the worry of hitting the wrong key. Since creating my expense report bot, I am happy to say there have been no issues in my expense reports.
This is just one example of why people love RPA – it helps give you your time back to focus on what you want to focus on. It helps re-engage you into your job as all your least favorite tasks are automated away.
Want to learn more? This video aims to give you a crash course on Robotic Process Automation, going over everything from what it is, where it’s used, to how it’s deployed. At the end of the webinar, you will no longer think of Robotic Process Automation as just a buzz word and instead understand what exactly it is all about.