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Ramu M R

Ramu M R is General Manager & Head of Web Technologies & Mobility (DTES) at Happiest Minds Technologies.

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Robotic Process Automation – The Question of “If?” Rather “When?”

RPA is one of the most efficient emerging technologies that can deliver results in terms of business efficiency, customer acquisition, customer engagement, and experience.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is in its early days. Having said that at times, the hype could get ahead of the reality. It is no longer a question of "if?" rather "when?". RPA promises a lot for the enterprises especially in the areas of:

  • Customer Experience by improving process quality, increasing accuracy, reducing response-time, and allowing higher predictability
  • Business Efficiency by increasing the consistency in processes and tasks to reduce output variation, improves productivity by freeing up the brains and hands to do more value added tasks, enhances flexibility to respond to flux in demands and allows geographical independence.

This, in turn, enables enterprises to undergo a significant Digital transformation and expedite business processes, reduce errors and cut operational costs.

The physical and digital worlds are converging at esoteric speed. In 2004, when we all watched the famous Sci-fi action movie, iRobot, we never anticipated that a significant piece of work being taken over by robots would be a reality, but yes, it is knocking our front door now, is real and here to stay.

RPA virtually connects multiple disparate systems while executing repetitive work more accurately and reliably than people can do. At the same time, it necessarily doesn't mean the complete replacement of human workforce by the robots, making humans redundant in their work environments. If RPA has to be effective, along with right intervention and human touch points, it is important to identify the right work that can be automated and executed under RPA by careful evaluation.

  • Type of transactions
  • Availability of knowledge to power automation
  • End to end process improvement
  • Total cost of ownership
  • Ease and time to deploy
  • Scalability & flexibility for the future requirements
  • Return of Investment.

RPA should be considered as an enabler that will free up people from doing high volume, highly mundane tasks that are better suited for robots, who can work tirelessly and continuously without making errors and the human workforce can take on more creative, collaborative and interactive work that makes them productive and efficient. Leveraging technologies to make machines work for you than they replacing you, that is the message that needs to be driven to avoid the fear of jobocalypse.

Any RPA project, undertaken, will be changing the nature of the work and the way it is executed currently, however, with better quality and improved efficiency. At the same time, it warrants to be conscious of balancing automation with right decision-making ability. Technologies like big data, analytics, Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning, in tandem with RPA can drive improved decision making and there by providing a new layer of engagement and transform enterprises to become customer centric.

With RPA, applications attempts to understand natural human communication such as touch, gesture, speech or even to the extent of reading neural signals and convert that to actions and communicate back in similar natural language. Artificial Intelligence variants like natural language processing, knowledge representation and reasoning, in the form of the algorithms equipped with machine learning capabilities, self- trains the applications to take right decisions. In parallel, the transactions and processes are being enriched with insights; predictive & prescriptive, and intelligence generated from ever growing repository of data; real time or operational, video streams, photographs, handwritten comment cards, data from security kiosks and other varied sources.

RPA is one of the most efficient emerging technologies that can deliver results in terms of business efficiency, customer acquisition, customer engagement, and experience.

What we are witnessing is the tip of the iceberg, and with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning evolving in tandem,  RPA will become the catalyst, orchestrating the next level of digital transformation.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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