What differentiates human beings from robots is their ability to think. Robots can manage rule-based tasks for us but will not be able to analyze or strategize for us. Let’s evaluate what RPA can help us achieve and what it can completely replace.
Robotic Process Automation, more commonly referred to as RPA, involves programming software to automate manual processes across applications. The goal is to decrease the burden of repetitive and redundant tasks on employees.
RPA is deployed to automate mundane, repetitive work and improve workflow. It doesn’t seek to mimic human intelligence like artificial intelligence, or gather new insights like analytics. And, very similar to other emerging technologies, RPA isn’t designed as a substitute for employees, but rather to reinforce their roles and enable them to specialize in higher-value work.
Take for instance, the method of data entry and forms processing. Employees are often required to pull relevant information from systems so as to possess the information available. RPA can support this manual process and complete it by eliminating the possibility of human error. When physical forms need to be converted to digital, an RPA solution is useful as it can read the forms and get the information into the system freeing up humans to do other productive things.
Also in case of helpdesks, the primary line to deal with user’s technical problems, RPA can help diminish the workload of the human help desk by taking care of straightforward, repetitive questions. These level-one tech support issues(L1) are simple but time-consuming. A bot can be resolve these basic queries. By this the employees can take decisions rather than processing actions. IT services companies which deal in Managed Services across applications and infrastructure often deploy RPA once they stabilize and start managing the resolution and support functions seamlessly.
Myth about RPA
The biggest myth and concern about RPA is that it will replace humans. Blame it on the various movies we have watched that show life-sized robots taking over the world. RPA seems to be like robots taking up the workforce for several, but that’s merely an imagination.
Today, Robotic Process Automation, or robots, or bots, refers mostly to software code that can perform manual processes (usually performed by a human) and create streamlined workflows through Machine Learning. What RPA does is it reduces man-hours allowing the employee to do a more productive work.
Reality about RPA:
#1 It will bring a change in the way we work
Employees are struggling under the burden of routine tasks. They expect organizations to improve the work processes in the same spirit as improving customer satisfaction. The corporate response, in the form of automation, is expanding the comfort zone of employees. In the next 10 years RPA is much more likely to replace specific tasks that currently an employee is performing. Ideal processes for RPA automation are rules-based and repetitive tasks, such as, copy-paste and order processing. Despite the impact RPA can have, many tasks still require humans to complete them. The robots are not yet capable of automating certain traits unique to humans such as, problem solving, creativity, and human interaction.
RPA still needs support from humans to be successfully implemented. Humans are the only ones who can determine processes suitable for automation and to monitor the performance of the robots. The technology is not yet able to operate without human intervention nor is it able to reproduce the higher-level thinking and actions of which humans are capable. Due to all these reasons, anxiety about RPA replacing the need for a human workforce may be irrelevant.
RPA will free humans from repetitive tasks and let them focus on value-added work to deliver a superior experience. Contrary to popular belief, RPA can facilitate the rise of the knowledge worker, rather than replace them. RPA gives employees room to innovate and be creative. During previous periods of rapid technological change, technology has dramatically changed the nature of our work. RPA allows employees to increase their efficiency and productivity, and employees will be able to focus on higher-level activities, such as strategic thinking and planning that create business value and foster deeper engagement. After deploying RPA, employee roles are often redefined and talent is reallocated to focus on value additional task since there is no longer a need to focus on tedious, back office tasks.
RPA will certainly change the way people work!
#2 It will enhance employee experience and make them more human
With RPA tools at the disposal, employees will have more time at hand to unlock their creativity. Their approach will change from doing mundane routine task to task that add value to the organization. The approach to work will shift from routine work to strategy driven task.
Now that the mundane, repetitive tasks that humans used to do as part of the end-to-end process are done by a bot, they have all the more time to focus on making the best of the time at hand. Employees can upgrade skills, strategize, and do something productive by using their creative skills. They can focus on jobs that require special qualities such as communication, empathy, creativity, strategic thinking, etc. This creates a workforce that is more motivated and involved. It will also enable employees to learn more, assume more important roles and unlock their true potential.