RPA – Now, Not in the Future

When people think about Robotic Process Automation (RPA), they believe that it is a technology that we may use or come across in the future.

I attended a very informative session on RPA conducted by Nasscom GIC Forum at Hyderabad this week which destroyed this myth. The main speaker was Ankur Kothari, Co-founder of Silicon valley based Automation Anywhere which is a 13 year old company and a leader in RPA solutions. There was a panel discussion too –Sapna Grover of Pega Systems and Subba Perepa of JP Morgan Chase were among the panelists.

Most of the white-collar day to day tasks involve three kinds of activities – Do, Think (Cognitive) and Analyze.  Routine daily tasks in the ‘Do’ category contribute to over 90% of regular and repetitive work. RPA is best suited for automation of such routine and repetitive tasks. They may be in the Finance and Accounts, Banking and Financial services, HR-Payroll, Supply Chain and similar functions. They may require some cognitive (thinking) work.

There is a perception that RPA technology is new and therefore can be risky if put to immediate use. In fact it is over a decade old and is mature. We may not be aware, but Bots have been extensively used in the last 6-7 years in commonly used Apps like locating entities like restaurants, petrol pumps etc. nearby.

Business users hold the key to development of RPA solutions – they need to explain the work processes in detail. Implementation team has to guard against the tendency of business users to highlight complex exceptions and ask for these to be automated first. Exceptions do not normally exceed 10% of the work that we do and can be taken up later. ROI is less on automating these, and these should be given low priority.

Manually performed tasks use inputs from a variety of systems – ranging from mainframe legacy applications to latest Apps. RPA mostly takes inputs from the GUI layer and hence can be implemented quickly in a simple way. Complexity of the back end system is of little concern. Manual steps are replicated on screen when Bots run.

When RPA is implemented, Digital Workers (DW) take over part of the work which was being done manually. A DW can be taken as a Bot or set of bots that perform work equivalent of 6 man-hours per day. A Digital Worker does not get tired, is not affected by moods, does not take leave and can perform repetitive tasks without errors.

The cost of human time and effort is more significant in RPA implementation than the technological cost. RPA projects for a single process or part of it can be completed in time frames of 3-4 weeks. It is therefore best to start with a Proof of Concept in one area and develop say maximum 50 Bots with a project duration objective of three months or less. Some of these Bots may be available readymade.

Once this POC succeeds, the organization can set up a Center of Excellence that helps various functions in implementing RPA. In the following 6-9 months, the COE can help develop and deploy up to 300 Bots. This
can then be extended organization-wide and one can see around 1000 Bots in use in the next couple of years.

In Analytics, the current trend is towards real time analysis compared to periodic analysis (weekly, monthly, annual) normally done in business organizations. For example, you would like to see statistics related to Cricket while a match is in progress, not a week later. Implementing real time analysis in business functions changes the perspective completely and can have significant impact on faster decision making.

If your business involves high volume of transactions with sizeable manual effort in tasks that are based on these transactions, it is time that you start adopting RPA. Address the low hanging fruit first – simple processes with high volume.

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  1. A career in the field of Robotics Process Automation is considered to be very effective for career development. Also, keeping in view of the future scope in this field, one can easily expect that a major share of employment opportunities in the world is going to be generated in this field. And also, the pay packages for the experts who are well skilled regarding all the working aspects of this field is relatively much higher in comparison with the other fields.

    To make avail of these exceptionally high ranging career opportunities provided by the field of RPA, the major prominent thing for anyone to do is to leverage their knowledge regarding all the in-depth aspects of Robotics Automation. Also, the best part is that one can find a number of institutes that are currently delivering the best  Automation Anywhere Training in order enhance the knowledge among the aspirants in the field.

  2. Robotics is growing predominantly, and with the arrival of bots, enterprises are enjoying the complete freedom to unlock the full potential of automation. Challenger start-ups are now opting automated design operating models to improve productivity and increase innovation.

    Recent studies state that nearly 80 million jobs in US and 15 million jobs in UK are good to opt automation. This innovation saves almost 43% of worker’s time. Enroll for Live Instructor Led RPA Training at Mindmajix. RPA performs almost every kind of low-end task. This doesn’t necessarily diminish the human labour, but it specifically diverts the man energy into something which is more crucial and value-added.Organizations now are taking a step forward in creating virtual workforces to fully digitalize their processes.

  3. Very informative information. These type communities really help people to upgrade with future technology. 

    Robotic Process Automation is one of the tools that can play an important role in a larger automation. The application brings technologically- advanced solutions to businesses around the world. Robotic Process Automation Certification program is designed to ensure quality delivery of transformational deployments for clients.

    RPA with its super technology will provide many benefits such as increased quality, faster production, reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction and what not!  Such advantages cannot be ignored. While many businessmen fear that it will discharge a large part of the workforce but it is a valuable tool that provides innovative tasks to humans. They are free to do creative and fulfilling work as well.

    When you have an RPA product and already implemented it, then it gives you a unique feature to plan changes to your automation solution before they actually occur. Future scope of RPA 

  4. Very informatic article on the use of Robotic Process Automation in today’s world. As a developer in 2015, I joined RPA Training Course to change my career prospects and gained alot of new opportunities in robotics.For me, RPA is both the the present and future. RPA as an industry is growing exponentially – Forrester predicts it will grow from $250 million in 2016 to $2.9 billion in 2021. Thanks for the article again.

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