We use RPA extensively and have deployed this for our own back office operations. RPA solutions process transactions, manipulate data, trigger responses and communicate with other digital systems. Like physical robots in factories, they work well on tasks that are repetitive and rule-based – the sort of tasks that has a disproportionate effort associated with the transactional side leaving little time for conducting analysis, drawing insight and/or understanding root causes.
Why is RPA so popular?
RPA is not a new phenomenon – it’s a reincarnation of traditional point automation solutions using tools such as macros or simple automation solutions, with an aim to reduce and/or eliminate the repetitive task. RPA has evolved over the past four years supported by a robust underlying software which is scalable, user friendly, flexible and secure. Configuring a RPA solution requires no change to the underlying systems or technology; the tool interacts using the same interface as a human and most importantly, there is an attractive commercial proposition.
The market is very buoyant with various RPA software tools and solutions – from the ‘pure play’ RPA tools to those who offer cognitive computing capabilities. Most tools have a user-friendly interface which means that development is possible with minimal software development skills; increasingly a business user with a technical mindset can be involved in the development – but clearly, for more complex solutions a programming background and knowledge is essential.