What is Robotic Process Automation?

Artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques have experienced unprecedented growth and development in the last few years. These innovations served as a gateway to robotic process automation. This type of robot isn’t the kind you see in movies, no humanoids determined for world domination or cute post-apocalyptic trash compactors.

So, what is robotic process automation? Robotic process automation refers to software technology that facilitates more straightforward methods of creating, deploying, and managing human interactions with digital systems. This type of software technology can understand on-screen information, execute keystrokes, and identify pertinent data within a sea of irrelevancy through machine learning. The obvious upside to robotic process automation is the decreased need for human intervention within data management processes, but how else can RPA improve productivity and profitability within an organization?

Employee Productivity

Robotic process automation may be a reluctant topic for some business users because it sounds like replacing human careers with automated services on the surface. However, robotic process automation can boost morale and improve employee satisfaction by eliminating the more time-consuming and mundane tasks that employees handle daily.

Robotic process automation can take over repetitive and monotonous aspects of workflow that people typically need to take breaks from or sparse out over time to avoid fatigue. For organizations with legacy systems that lack APIs, RPA is an excellent non-disruptive form of accelerated digital transformation. When repetitive tasks like filing or copying data are assigned to software robots instead of humans, it can free employees’ time to focus on creativity, collaboration, and innovation.

Improved Compliance

Many organizations have a strict set of regulations to which they must adhere. This requirement is typically fulfilled through the implementation of a data governance system. Data governance can require many resources, and in some cases, lengthy projects for software developers or IT team members.

By automating the vigilance necessary to ensure conformity, your organization may decrease security breaches, compliance issues, and general data management mistakes that can be chalked up to human error. Improved data quality leads to an improvement in data science-centric business processes overall.

What’s the difference between RPA and AI?

RPA is not AI, per se, but it does utilize advanced AI techniques for aspects of business processes that previously required human intervention, like image processing or natural language processing. RPA software technology enables the insertion of AI processing skills into machine learning models. These two systems are not identical, but they are heavily invested in one another. AI is the framework that makes it possible to discover automation application techniques.

Who uses robotic process automation?

Robotic process automation software is already implemented in many industries. An example of robot automation processes that many companies take advantage of currently is the hiring process. In recent years, many online job seeking and job staffing platforms like Indeed and ZipRecruiter have arisen. Some organizations use robotic automation to sift through large volumes of resumes and hiring information to seek out candidates best suited for the open role.

Robotic process automation can eliminate candidates lacking necessary certifications or who reside outside of the preferred area. The automation technology then compiles only the candidates who most closely match the description the company is looking for to be passed along to human resources or the hiring manager. Accounting firms may use robotic process automation for monotonous back-office tasks like data entry and invoice processing.

It is difficult to provide a complete answer to the question “what is robotic process automation?” because its uses are so versatile. Automation capabilities are shaping the future of business models from real estate agencies to healthcare. The critical takeaway of RPA is that it can improve accuracy, efficiency, and consistency across organizations. Its ability to perform repetitive tasks quickly can benefit human workers by allowing them to focus their time and efforts on work that requires human judgments.

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