Automation is taking the digital world by storm. In every field, we are in some way or the other seeing companies implement automation in one or many functions.

So what is Robotic Process Automation?

RPA works on the same principle as automation. It is the application of technology that enables employees to configure a sort of an automated code or ‘robot’ to gather and interpret data, thereby automating a number of processes in the system.

In a manufacturing setting, just as industrial robots are being used for increasing the rate of production and maintaining quality and consistency, similarly organizations are looking at installing RPA robots to carry out the day to day administrative chores. RPA works well in an organizational setting, where a large number of employees are involved in conducting high volume transactional work. RPA revolutionizes organizational operations by automating business processes, IT support and back-office work. By reverting to RPA, employees can now leave the non-revenue generating work in the hands of the computer software, and focus on strategic work. By doing so, RPA drastically reduces cost and time consumed, and enhances efficiency and accuracy of operations. Now, the employees can concentrate on more strategic tasks at hand and leave the repetitive ones to the robots. This is indeed a significant change in how organizations work.

RPA technology can be used across a diverse range of functions. There is a great opportunity for RPA to be implemented in the automated assistance function. RPA can be coded to be process language and provide information in the form of answers to employees/customers. This way, the company can hugely benefit by saving on the cost of employing a large number of resources for interaction. This is greatly advantageous for call centers. Process automation can speed up transactional tasks in a number of activities pertaining to supply chain, logistics, finance, HR, data entry, etc. RPA can be deployed in IT support function. With automated processes in place, IT infrastructure can be rigorously maintained and upgraded; downtimes can be reduced or service desk operations be improved.

Implementing RPA in your business structure is not a one-time task. No company can implement RPA in all its operations in one go. Just like any change management initiative, it is important to adopt a phase-wise approach. It is all about building momentum for RPA by selecting the right projects and this way, a business can continue to expand RPA usage across a number of projects, thus making the implementation sustainable and successful.

We looked a bit into RPA. Now let’s see some of the best practices that an enterprise can observe, if it is planning to jump in the RPA space.

Just like any project, the organization needs to have a big picture in mind. The business needs to start small and adopt a phase wise approach but at the same time, have a centralized business plan to scale up operations. Business can look at building a center of excellence that will ensure that projects are monitored end to end and resources are deployed to make sure RPA roll out for the entire organization is successful.

Training forms a critical point. All stakeholders need to be aptly trained on what RPA is and what it can bring to the table. In order for the RPA project to be sustainable and to ensure deployment across the organization it is essential that people and even the trainers need to be trained on all aspects on RPA. This way, they are in a better position to understand the intricacies of the technology and ensure correct deployment across the various projects, even as complexity increases.

RPA provides dramatic improvements in accuracy and cycle time and drastically increases productivity. On the whole, it minimizes the scope for errors and increases the quality of the work, thereby enabling people to get involved in more strategic and value-adding tasks. Thus, RPA ‘robots’ are all set to revolutionize the way organizations think and implement their business processes, IT support processes, workflow processes, remote infrastructure, and back-office work. This technology is the future of building sustainable business model.

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