A Realistic Take on RPA in the Workplace

PHOTO: Franck Veschi

As is so usually the case when a expertise catches on, Robotic Course of Automation (RPA) is surrounded by a number of hype about what precisely it’s – and what it is not. What’s stopping corporations from utilizing this expertise? How do corporations see the connection between RPA and extra established applied sciences similar to Enterprise Course of Administration (BPM) and Enterprise Content material Administration (ECM)?

Curiosity in RPA continues, however six widespread misconceptions forestall corporations from taking full benefit of the expertise.

1. RPA enterprise drivers

RPA is commonly seen as a expertise to switch folks within the workforce. In truth, RPA permits people and machines to work collectively to create effectivity, even when a whole course of can’t be automated. RPA helps corporations resolve bottlenecks attributable to an absence of sources or abilities. It additionally gives a cheap approach to carry new automation applied sciences to the enterprise.

Though the phrase “robotic” is within the identify, Deloitte warns that RPA will not be a “strolling, speaking Autobot” however relatively a method of “changing individuals who do repetitive rule-based duties”. The listing of key RPA roles is an effective place to start out excited about utilizing RPA:

  • Open emails and attachments.
  • Sign up to internet / company purposes.
  • Shifting recordsdata and folders.
  • Copy and paste.
  • Fill out types.
  • Studying and writing in databases.
  • Scraping knowledge from the online.
  • Connection to system APIs.
  • Make calculations.
  • Extract structured knowledge from paperwork.
  • Accumulating social media statistics.
  • Comply with “if / then” choices / guidelines.

Associated article: Breaking eight Myths of Robotic Course of Automation

2. Challenges in RPA implementation

Poorly documented legacy techniques with poorly outlined connections could make implementing RPA a problem. However for probably the most half, RPA deployments are fast with minimal disruption to current processes. RPA itself will not be a posh expertise, and RPA suppliers provide help, instruments, and coaching to assist corporations get began. RPA suppliers provide RPA software program as a service that may be scaled flexibly and as required from any system with only one Web connection.

three. Unstructured info

Whereas the excellence between knowledge and content material is basically synthetic – most corporations merely really feel they’ve an info downside – coping with content material is solely extra complicated than with knowledge, and subsequently presents distinctive automation challenges. As corporations think about using RPA instruments to shut among the course of gaps between techniques, the large quantity of unstructured and semi-structured info (i.e., content material!) That surrounds most processes is a key subject right here. Paperwork, JPEGs, emails, conversations, footage, types, textual content messages, utility recordsdata, audio recordsdata, video recordsdata, and data in myriad different types all fall into this class.

Trade group AIIM states that corporations count on that the quantity of knowledge flowing by processes will enhance from X to 4X within the subsequent two years and that 60% of this info might be content material relatively than knowledge. This poses a problem to the whole optimization of many RPA engines. If corporations count on to take full benefit of RPA applied sciences, they have to additionally resolve the issue of unstructured info by changing their unstructured info into machine-understandable knowledge.

Associated Article: BPA vs. RPA: How Are They Related, How Are They Completely different?

four. Anticipated ROI

RPA is commonly mistakenly known as a pure cost-saving initiative, neglecting the opposite advantages it may well provide. RPA-enabled automation frees enterprise customers from guide duties to allow them to spend extra time doing beneficial work that provides extra worth to the enterprise. By automating guide and routine duties, organizations additionally scale back the probability of errors in these duties and decrease the probability of downstream course of interruptions.

5. RPA doesn’t exchange legacy techniques

A standard mistake is to confuse RPA as a alternative for current legacy infrastructure techniques similar to Enterprise Content material Administration (ECM) and Enterprise Course of Administration (BPM). This results in longer decision-making than crucial as everybody concerned in these techniques opposes the adoption of latest applied sciences. BPM and ECM techniques usually help business-critical processes and their interruption will not be a random resolution. RPA needs to be seen as a complement and companion to BPM and ECM applied sciences that may fill the gaps in these implementations.

6. Dangers

One potential threat with RPA is that it may be applied with out worrying an excessive amount of about its impression on different techniques. RPA will not be a one-size-fits-all answer. Organizations want to contemplate what processes should be automated, the quantity of information concerned in these processes, who the customers are and the way they’re geared up with the expertise earlier than implementing RPA throughout the group.

A sensible view of RPA

RPA does not work for each group or course of. Regardless of the generally overzealous claims, RPA will not be an computerized answer to each problem. As with every main enterprise expertise, organizations must maintain a detailed eye on the change administration points related to deploying RPA and deal with worker considerations about job loss as a strategic concern relatively than an afterthought.

John Mancini is the President of Content material Outcomes, LLC and the previous President of AIIM. He’s a widely known creator, speaker, and marketing consultant on info administration, digital transformation, and clever automation.

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