Robotic process automation or RPA is the form of business technology that is used to handle repetitive business queries by the use of software robots to perform the tasks and deliver error-free responses 24X7 with the basis of working being artificial intelligence. In simple terms, RPA is the technology that is used by software robots in a combination with machine learning, computer programming, and automation to regulate tasks that have a fixed outcome and is repetitive throughout the session. The term software robots should not be confused with robotic software. These terms have nothing in common. Before RPA was officially born, screen scraping, workflow automation, and artificial intelligence were the technologies that held its ground. Screen scraping is the process of collecting data from the screen of one application and then transferring it to another so that the other application could display it. A workflow consists of the repetitive patterns that take place in a pre-defined business organization. Each of the automated processes consists of three parts: Input, transformation, and output. Without any of the mentioned parts, it is impossible to achieve workflow automation. And artificial intelligence works on recognizing and learning the patterns that are collected in workflow automation.
RPA technology is sometimes known as the human bot or chatbots that mimics human features, logs in, collects and reads data, and logs out after performing the actions that it was supposed to. Robotic process automation does not require changing the infrastructure of an organization. It can work by being implemented in the existing technology used in that particular organization.
The robotic scale has five main parts namely: integrated desktop, Process automation, digital or virtual assistance along with cognitive autonomic solutions. Integrated data means collecting the data from different views and consolidating it into a unified stream for processes. The process automation deploys various technologies to work on the data that is provided. All of these parts work in perfect harmony to provide a smooth automation process.
Difference between regular automation and robotic process automation:
we need to understand why was there a need to develop RPA while we already had regular automation in our hands. Traditional or regular automation is the process of performing any repetitive tasks. It allows a certain set of machinery to do so and includes n number of steps to perform its operations whereas RPA uses software robots and does not require any back end operations or shifts for the same. RPA is generated towards techno SMEs who can train the software robots to work in a particular way rather than the traditional automation process that requires human labor in the form of significant information technology professionals.
RPA technologies are broadly categorized into three parts:
Probots which follow simple rules to fetch and process data
Knowbots that search the internet for the answer to your queries
Chatbots that uses artificial intelligence to respond to the customer queries in real-time
Topmost robotic process automation software:
Automation anywhere: automation anywhere is one of the best software robots that use bots to complete their actions. This is the worlds’ only could and web base RPA software. It uses the RPA process, artificial intelligence, and analytics to carry out the automation services. The company has currently provided about 1.7 million bots with its offices in more than 40 countries. It has made its mark by providing bots to a few of the largest businesses across the world. Though many people believe that it is the best software for their automation needs, others may have a different opinion about the same. The automaton anywhere software is not free of cost. There is a community version that can be used by small-scale companies to set up their business with the help of bots. Otherwise, the basic version of automation anywhere starts at about $995 but you can avail of a free trial before you decide to buy-in. The charges are only for a one-time purchase that means you do not have to pay regularly after a certain time. Once bought it is all yours to start your automation journey.
UiPath RPA: it is one of the simplest RPA tools that are available in the market. It was designed to take over the boring repetitive tasks with the help of machine learning. It is designed exclusively for windows desktop and has features like drag and drop to start with. It has the fastest and robust solutions in the sector of RPA industries. It is up to five times faster than any other automation tool that you would use. It also makes adjustments based on real-time responses and customers. The only drawback for UiPath RPA is that it is not a cognitive computing solution i.e it cannot read any data which is not electronically present over the internet. In other words, it would not work online.
ElectroNeek: there are many reasons why companies invest in huge capital in ElectroNeek bots. It allows users with no prior IT skills or experience to operate it without any issues. Users can download the ElectroNeek tool from the web-based community and then start automation of data by first aggregating it using various tools that present in the software in people dashboard and automation hub. The ElectroNeek studio is used o build automated workflows which are the very basis of RPA. The execution of the automated process can be done using the ElectroNeek orchestrator. There are twice as many cons of using ElectroNeek. To begin with, there is no documentation. It is not a completely developer free software which is ready to use. Some of its parts are still under development and certain functionalities have not yet been implemented in real-time.
Blue prism: blue prism is regarded as the most successful RPA tool and is said to have an ideal workforce for public sectors an also fortune 500 companies. If use blue prism for your automation needs then you get increased speed, lower operation cost, improved accuracy, and richer data analytics along with it. Other features also include increased CX, easier, and agile market design along with higher productivity. Blue prism is the only software that you should probably have in your system if you want to increase your RPA productivity. But the thing that blue prism lacks is its customer support. A few bugs in the software make the entire implementation tricky. Also, it is mostly beneficial for operational queries than on transactional queries.
Advantages of using robotic process automation:
With all the features that you know about and the functions it is used for it is very important to know why in all you should use RPA:
With the use of RPA, the cycle time is enhanced. If a human worker would take about 2 hours to perform a particular task. The RPA processes and bots are self sufficed to perform a particular task in less than half the time required by the human employee.
Automation of workflows and tasks does not require any type of coding or scriptwriting. It only requires figuring out the work charts. The sooner you can do it, the faster your work will be done. In other words, RPA delivers quick and better results.
Every work performed in the past can be a great help. All the processes that you perform using RPA have a track record of how things were previously done or how much time was taken by a particular task to be executed. All of this data can be studied using analytical techniques and used to perform better searches in the future.
The overall cost of a business is reduced as it only requires buying RPA software once. It is a onetime investment rather than paying human labor now and then and also the work is done in double the time a bot takes to perform the same task.
Using robotic process automation has surely proven to be one of the greatest successes in the field of technology. It is also predicted that by 2030 almost 90% of the business sectors would have been completely taken over by RPA replacing IT professionals. It might be all to boast about, there are some reasons why using RPA in the first place is a bad idea. Some of them include:
Disadvantages of using RPA:
Increased monetary expenses are one of the main reasons why companies choose not to implement RPA at all. Moreover, RPA technology is not cognitive. It cannot learn from the past mistakes that it has made therefore has to be shut down or be replaced with a newer system after some time. This is regarded as the shelf life of a particular RPA tool. Also using RPA in all of the sectors will result in potential loss of employment. People will lose their jobs in thousands. And setting up RPA or bots can be very costly even if it is a onetime investment. You will need to have trained staff to perform all the professional functions as a regular IT person with no skills in using RPA won’t reap the benefits for which you implemented it in the first place.