Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Benefits, Risks and Implementation Advice

6 minute read

Robotic Process Automation conversation

Today’s business environment has a tendency to go through rapid and often elusive transformations like never before, leaving once-prospective companies who failed to keep up with market demands in the dust. Even though the media never stops talking about the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) and the age of digital transformation, it is very easy to overlook specific technologies that are able to make a real difference and give a company an edge over the competition. 

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is one such technology, quickly gaining adoption among businesses across industries due to its ability to deliver fast measurable business results and immediate ROI. According to research by Brandessence Market Research, the global robotic process automation market size was valued at $2.7 bln in 2020 and is estimated to reach $18.3 bln by 2027, growing at an astounding CAGR of 31.07% from 2020 to 2027. Great market demand and additional factors such as COVID-19 epidemic are driving the adoption of RPA. 

Despite RPA being one of the key components of Industry 4.0, delivering real value today, it is not unusual for business leaders to have a vague idea of what RPA really is, what are the benefits of this technology and how to approach its implementation in the right way. 

This is what we are going to talk about today. 

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)? 

Robotic process automation (RPA) is a form of business process automation technology based on building and using software solutions that can act as metaphorical robots or digital workers, performing all kinds of actions in computer networks and software programs. 

Utilizing robotic automation systems allows businesses to automate various kinds of mundane repeated business processes, helping companies to improve the productivity of their operations and reduce costs. 

How can RPA empower an organization?

RPA implementation allows organizations to emulate a high range of human activities related to interactions with digital interfaces and computer programs. Integrated automation and robotics can be utilized to run dozens of different processes handling thousands of requests simultaneously. Here are some of the most significant benefits of robotic process automation and reasons why enterprises across industries are viewing the RPA integration as one of the cornerstones of their digital transformation efforts. 

Large and continuously growing number of applications.

Software robots can mimic human interaction with computer systems and user interfaces in multiple ways. They are capable of logging into networks and applications, filling and sending forms, moving and replacing digital items such as files or folders, identifying and extracting data, etc. RPA enables enterprises to automate up to 80% of repeatable rule-based work processes. 

Automation with limitless scalability. 

Every process automated with RPA has almost limitless scalability potential, allowing businesses to grow faster. 

Improved time and accuracy. 

Organizations implementing RPA manage to achieve a considerable improvement of time and accuracy of the process by eliminating human errors and delays caused by human workers. 

Increased productivity of human workers. 

The automation of repetitive and lower-value tasks enables human staff to focus on more important tasks, contributing to increased productivity. 

Streamlined remote operations. 

RPA helps companies to organize and streamline remote operations by allowing workers to connect with each other through distributed processes.

How Robotic Process Automation Works

Advanced process automation solutions are able to interact with digital systems through integrations with enterprise applications, screen scraping and implementation of automation scripts. These capabilities allow them to easily replicate human employee actions via quick and simple bot integrations. 

Key features of robotic process automation are tied to accessing information and data from existing enterprise IT systems. They can be integrated with computer networks and applications in a number of ways. Generally speaking, there are two basic RPA software implementation methods: through backend and front-end connections. 

Backend RPA integration. 

Backend integration enterprise networks and databases allow software robots to access processes and systems controlled by the central process automation server. This type of integration is preferred for scaled automation of various processes that require no human attention and minimal intervention. Back connection also makes it possible to empower robotic process automation with other Industry 4.0 technologies such as AI, ML, real-time data analytics, etc. 

Frontend RPA integration. 

There are multiple ways of frontend robotic automation systems connection to desktop applications. Software robots are capable of capturing information from the user interface of the target application directly, the way human users do. They are able to recognize different elements on the screen, check their structure and properties, label and interact with them accordingly. 

Managing RPA risks and challenges 

As the information about robotic process automation solutions spreads and more actual data proving multiple advantages RPA integration can provide to an organization is released, it is not unusual for business leaders to feel an increasing pressure to launch the RPA implementation project as soon as possible. 

It is, however, important to understand that robotic process management comes with a number of risks and challenges. Rushed implementation without expertise and knowledge on how to create robotic process automation can result in various technical glitches and system issues, reducing productivity gains and potentially affecting business workflows and employee efficiency. 

snowflake data governance chart

Here are some of the most common risks and challenges associated with RPA integration. 

RPA strategy risks. 

Unrealistic goals and expectations, lack of precise automation and robotics technology understanding and poor implementation planning often leads to situations when robotic automation solutions fail to deliver substantial business values. 

Lack of internal skills.

Deciding to implement an RPA integration project internally without having the skills required to plan and execute it properly is another mistake a business leader can make. 

Wrong advisors / implementation partners. 

Relying on external advisors and RPA services implementation partners that don’t have enough practical experience and expertise to manage such projects also can lead to poor automation project results. 

Poor selection of tools. 

Selecting robotic process management automation tools that don’t match the goals and requirements of the project is another potential challenge. They can have limited functionality such as no backend implementation support, small number of features and so on. 

No operating model. 

When software robots are deployed without a properly developed operating model, it often leads to these tools not functioning as intended, resulting in low or no productivity gains and higher maintenance costs. 

Lack of management strategy.

RPA management strategy is another valuable aspect of robotic processes automation organizations should not neglect. Lack of RPA management plan with operational models, communication guidelines, defined roles, and technology support cycles can jeopardize the project. 

How to utilize the benefits of RPA 

Robotic processes automation can deliver quick measurable business gains when RPA implementation is carefully planned and executed with appropriate expertise and technology. Here is how Put It Forward can enable streamlined implementation of RPA with our solutions. 

Centralized orchestration and automation. 

We provide a number of data platform orchestration tools to connect software robots, systems, cross-cloud and on-premise applications, and events together. 

No code integration.

Connecting multiple robot automations, data sources and technologies is a challenge that is solved with the Put It Forward Integration Designer, a no-code integration data platform for rapid delivery at enterprise scale. 

Code-free AI analytics. 

A configuration based AI management solution by Put It Forward allows organizations to utilize all the benefits of AI analytics and data science without the need to code. 

Embedded intelligence dashboards. 

Integrated AI data with actionable analytics is delivered through embedded visual dashboards that reflect current processes, all the history and predictive outcomes.

Summary 

Robotic automation systems is one of the most powerful digital transformation technologies available to businesses of all sizes today. It is extremely versatile and applicable to dozens of repetitive, time and energy-consuming processes that can and should be partially or entirely automated in the modern-day business environment. Robotic process management is also among the most affordable solutions, allowing companies to start reaping the benefits of Industry 4.0 innovations almost instantly and without the need to allocate considerable IT infrastructure modernization budgets or hire multiple expensive technology experts.  

Ready to start integrating automation and robotics in your operational processes? Contact us now to learn more and get a custom demo. 

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