When we think of machine learning, a bleak future may appear. In a dystopian world where machines are taking over the world, robotic process automation (RPA) would be the phase in which said machines are efficiently aiding humankind with a comradery essence to their existence.
Fortunately, RPA is not set out to rise and eliminate all human existence (yet), but the efficiently aiding humankind part fares up pretty well in its technological innovation over the years.
What is robotic process automation?
It is somewhat misleading, however, robotic process automation doesn’t actually include physical robot forms, but rather software robots running on a physical or virtual machine. The premise of robotic process automation is rather mundane when compared to Hollywood robots. RPA was designed to automate the routine and repetitive tasks within the workplace. What were once back-end, tedious tasks for employees, are now automated by the integration of robotic process automation. Completing jobs within customer service, think chatbots, as well as finance, banking, and supply chain, RPA streamlines the day-to-day running of businesses, as well as leaving physical employees to focus on more significant tasks. Boosting efficiency for organizations has kept the global robotic process automation market continuously on the up, leading to an expected $15.3 billion by 2027, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 36.8%.
Whilst we may, as customers, have mild trauma from repeating down the phone “please can I speak to a real person”, robotic process automation isn’t always so jarring, and has seen great technological development in recent years. The common chatbot is considered a template for what RPAs are capable of, in the wake of virtual assistants in both personal and professional contexts.
RPA integration, but at what cost?
Through RPA, intelligent bots are proliferating throughout the data ecosystem, and the range of jobs that these bots can perform is growing exponentially. The popularity of these software solutions is due to their ability to be installed without having to make changes to the current system, saving time and money on the installation process.
With many system-intensive organizations unable to optimize their operations, RPA solves this problem by acting as a human worker who builds a communication link between various IT systems. One challenge with the integration of more RPA systems, however, is the risk of bots unintentionally exposing sensitive data. With the RPA market being highly competitive, cost and product differentiation, as well as product development and upgrades, are the focus for key players in the industry to sustain profitability.
With the growing implementation of RPA into the back-end operations, more companies are willing to adopt robotic process automation software. Businesses need to check certain parameters before selecting and implementing RPA tools. They need to evaluate the RPA tools as per their requirement, whilst ensuring the vendor is considering the unique needs of the user to implement the RPA in a profitable way for the business.
Here are some criteria that need to be considered before the implementation of RPA:
- Technology. The internet revolution and the use of cloud technology has helped organizations substantially. Employees today don't need to stick to their workplaces to get the work done, as the computer and other systems can be accessed virtually. When introducing robotic process automation, the user must ensure that the software incorporates all the requirements needed, should be platform-independent, and can support any application.
- Scalability. Scalability is an important factor. The cost of creating software or a bot for the back-end process and the routine operations can be substantial. At the same time, the need for automating a certain process or operation should be determined in how impactful or profitable it would be to automate it.
- Security. Security is critical when it comes to automated systems, as they are exposed to the outside world through the internet.
- The total cost of ownership. The total cost of ownership includes the cost of initial setup as well as vendor fees for the license and ongoing maintenance. Cost savings and increased return on investment (ROI) are one of the primary benefits of RPA solution implementation.
- Ease of Use. The RPA tool should be chosen based on ease of use as this also requires less time to train the employees to work on the system with a user-friendly platform.
- Vendor Experience. The vendor should be selected based on their expertise in the services they provide.
- Maintenance and Support. While implementing the RPA tool, the vendor needs to ensure that the company meets the required service level agreements (SLAs). The bots may need continuous management and system updates for meeting the operational needs of an organization. Even small changes in the operation need to be addressed and updated for a smooth transition.
- Rapid Deployment. The RPA bots (software) should be able to replace the human employee with as little delay and inconvenience to the operation as possible.
So, what’s next for the Robotics process automation market?
Whilst process automation robots aren’t planning a siege on humankind any time soon, they are evolving and growing into reputable software solutions for a variety of organizations. The market for RPA is large, growing, and rapidly evolving due to the development of new technologies and changing customer needs.
The opportunities for this market include:
- Improved business results with better customer service experience. RPA tools can help employees focus on higher value-added activities, resulting in improved business metrics. Tedious and repetitive tasks increase the risk of human errors, this can be minimized by the implementation of RPA. It can also help resolve customer queries accurately, and promptly. The combination of PA and AI will eliminate repetitive work and enable human employees to focus on higher value-added activities. Moreover, customer information can be tracked in real-time using the RPA tools.
- Enhanced Abilities of Cognitive RPA. The integration of AI and ML (machine learning) with RPA can help organizations automate production facilities or workplaces. Some of the RPA solution providers have already launched products based on AI & ML to make the RPA smart and intelligent. The cognitive RPA would be a very helpful tool for businesses and will change the way of doing business in the future.
- Rising Demand for RPA Design Standards. The RPA platform in use right now is the only one that can open, read, and act on automation projects. It is also difficult for a user to switch RPA providers without effectively beginning the automation process again. Creating an industry-wide basic framework for automation and standardizing the way RPA tools express the specifics of process automation, could lead to a set of global RPA design standards.
Global Robotic Process Automation Market: Trends and Forecast (2022-2027)
Expecting to increase from $3.2 billion in 2022 to $15.3 billion by 2027 growing at a CAGR of 36.8% during the forecast period, the global robotic process automation market will see tremendous growth due to the innovation of existing RPA software.
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