The strides technology has taken in the last couple of decades are unprecedented, disrupting every aspect of life and largely dictating how we live. To put things into perspective, it took nearly 10,000 years to change from writing to the printing press, but it took only 500 years from there to invent emails, and 20 more to create SMS service.
The 21st century, known as the Digital Age, has seen the advent of ultra-modern technologies like cognitive science, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality, and among these disruptive ‘game-changers’ is the Robotic Automation Process (RPA).
RPA has been viewed as an absolute essential for companies to cut costs and to raise its added value. This has led to widespread efforts by companies around the world to digitize their operations. A report estimates that at least 500,000 jobs will be lost to automation processes 2020. Thus, for organizations, changing gears from traditional techniques to automation is no longer a question of ‘if’, but ‘when’.
What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?
RPA can be defined as “ a form of business process automation technology based on metaphorical software robots (bots) ”.
In simpler terms, Robotic Process Automation is the replacement of a human interface with ‘robotic’ software to perform tasks or business processes, which are repetitive, transactional, administrative or clerical in nature. This includes simple tasks like data entry and opening emails to more complex tasks like claims processing & clearance and service order management.
An organization has many tedious tasks that have to be carried out on a daily basis. Robotic Process Automation is basically a technology that can replicate human activities to carry out these tasks that are repetitive and monotonous. It can perform repetitive tasks quicker, more accurately, and tirelessly as compared to humans, allowing humans to perform other tasks that require the strength of the human brain.
Consider this study for an example. It takes 120 minutes for a human to open 70 emails, but it would require only 1 minute for RPA software for the same task, and it would take humans 35 mins to copy and paste the content of 70 emails, while RPA would need only two minutes. Impressive right?
Applications of RPA
The emergence of RPA has transformed various industries. The advantages of RPA offers are innumerous and irresistible. Its applications have cut across almost every business domain and it is set to take over the majority of tasks performed by humans. Here are some of RPA’s applications in three fields.
1. Banking and Finance
Banking & Finance Sector:
RPA can enable banks & finance companies to reduce efforts, offer better compliance, mitigate risks, and enhance the overall consumer experience.
Today, RPA powered software are capable of decision-making, including clicking & opening applications, sending emails, and copy-pasting data from one system to another, taking full control of account maintenance, trial balancing, accounting onboarding, account closing. loan origination account processing.
Over the years, RPA has made easy many processes within the insurance industry. It can be extensively used in this sector for automating the redundant tasks and also gather data. It helps in enhancing productivity and creating a better customer experience. RPA’s applications also include claims processing, data entry process, regulatory compliance, policy cancellation and for registration.
Healthcare sector across the world is on a quest to improve its availability to all those who need their services. Quality and availability of healthcare service for people with a broad range of needs, pose several challenges, which need to be dealt with high operational and organizational functioning. Use of RPA makes this process easier and more efficient. It is helping healthcare systems automated appointment scheduling, speeding account settlements, streamlining claims management, recording audit procedures and more.
The RPA Edge (Advantages) RPA is inevitable. It is cost-effective, scalable, and easy to implement. It has taken the ‘robot’ out of the ‘human’ and has added the ‘human’ to the ‘robot’. Perhaps, the main advantage RPA has over traditional automation techniques is that traditional methods require massive IT transformation, huge investments, and complex decision-making.
Here are the top 5 advantages of RPA as opposed to traditional automation:
1. Cost reduction
2. Customer experience
3. Minimal operational risk
4. Faster internal processes
5. Does not replace existing IT systems