What is Robotic Process Automation?

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Behind every successful business is a series of systems and processes. Though many of these processes may be rote and repetitive in nature, they’re still essential to enterprise operations. More and more business owners are making use of robotic process automation (RPA) to handle these mundane, repetitive tasks. Let’s take a closer look at this concept and see how it can help your business cut costs and boost efficiency.

Robotic Process Automation Defined

Despite its name, RPA automation doesn’t involve the kind robots you might envision from TV and movies; instead, it relies on software “bots” running on some virtual or physical machine. Tasks that are suitable for automation can be as simple as automated replies to email, or they can be complex enough to involve a large cadre of bots, each assigned to a specific job in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Computer-based work is particularly well-suited for automation; taking the human factor out of these tasks eliminates the potential for error while maximizing speed and throughput.

The idea of automating specific repetitive business processes has been evolving over the past 20 years or so. In its earliest incarnation, robotic automation was used to tackle repetitive tasks such as copying data from one place to another or filling out lengthy forms. Over time, advances in the fields of machine learning and artificial intelligence-enabled businesses to automate tasks that include an element of decision making. Bots that are able to make intelligent, information-based decisions can help human workers complete their work more efficiently and boost overall productivity for a business.

Who Can Benefit From RPA Software?

Automating tedious processes can result in a reduction in staffing costs and the elimination of human error– these benefits are a real boon to most organizations. For example, one bank overhauled its claims process to employ a team of 85 bots to execute 13 different procedures. The bots were able to handle over 1.5 million requests each year– their rate of work was equivalent to that of more than 200 full-time workers at just 30 percent of the cost of those employees.

The bots used to automate processes are relatively low in cost and simple to implement, which makes them an ideal fit for businesses that are working hard to grow and expand without taking on hefty expenditures. There are RPA consulting firms that can be approached to devise, implement and maintain a practical RPA solution for an organization. Taking low-value tasks off workers’ plates also provides staff with valuable “breathing room,” allowing them to channel their time and energy into serving customers and moving the business forward.

What Kind of Technologies Does RPA Automation Work With?

Automation can be employed to handle a number of different tasks and processes. UIPath has emerged as a leader in the software automation industry with robotic solutions that span a wide variety of technologies. A few samples include:

  • Desktop Automation: There are countless desktop rule-based tasks that are ideal candidates for automation. Tasks like copying and pasting data, filling out forms, and importing data from Excel can be easily handled by bots. With tools like the UIPath Studio and UIPath Recorder, defining the task to be automated is a simple and painless process.

  • Web Automation: Web-based systems form the cornerstone of many applications and businesses. Form entry, website testing, and report generation can all be streamlined with the help of automation.

  • Screen Scraping: In many situations, the best way to retrieve data is by scraping it from another app’s UI. Automation can ensure an efficient screen-scraping process that’s completed with 100 percent accuracy.

  • Citrix Automation: It’s not always easy to automate Citrix processes, but UIPath is unmatched at the task; in fact, they’re able to automate processes found in Citrix applications faster than any other available solution.

The repetitive, rote tasks that are critical to business operations come with many opportunities for inefficiency and error. Robotic process automation offers business owners a way to streamline their operations, reduce costs, and minimize errors in these processes. If you’re interested in harnessing the power of robots and giving your business the competitive edge, UIPath can help you take the leap. When mundane tasks are automated, workers can focus on meaningful work and the kind of higher-level thinking that can help take your business to the next level.