Robotic process automation is being touted as the next miracle technology that might very well kick of the next industrial revolution; unlike most lofty claims though, this one might actually hold water.
Artificial intelligence, big data and machine learning: these three avenues combined have made possible the development of Robotic process automation. At its core, software programs are designed so as to replicate human interaction with data and respond accordingly. Robotic process automation aims to make human involvement in many base level fields redundant. These programs are getting more and more sophisticated every day. Not only can they deal with simple day to day tasks such as data logging, list creation, data recording, data entry, etc., they can also perform complex actions that might require training or skill on the part of the operator. Complicated actions such as decision making can also be simulated by these programs by following sophisticated algorithms that dictate what actions to take on what inputs. However, these programs also have the ability to refine or fine tune their performance over time; by observing how the system behaves to certain inputs, it can ‘learn’ what inputs might actually produce desirable outcomes.
The commercial value of such technology is huge. Robotic process automation can render human employment obsolete. A software program can replace a human employee performing tasks that can be easily encoded into the program by providing the requisite rules and guidelines to follow. Software can run endlessly and requires no breaks or monetary compensation. Apart from the upfront cost of additional infrastructure, Robotic process automation can lead to significant reduction in use of resources as well as time. It can serve as a great alternative to outsourcing; it makes in house development of services affordable enough to not be outsourced to third parties, thereby eliminating bottlenecks and potential for delays. By integrating all components of development together, the overall efficiency of the entire endeavour shoots up.
By using software programs instead of people, operator error is eliminated. A software bot never makes mistakes, does not fall asleep at the desk, get bored, or take unscheduled breaks. They can run 24 hours a day without fail; the gains in productivity are unrivalled by any other arrangement.
While outsourcing was proposed as a means of primarily saving on costs, there were significant drawbacks to deal with as well. By splitting the workflow into components and delegating them to different teams, often working on different time zones, efficiency was lost and the scope for delays was introduced. Also, costs of outsourcing have been on a steady rise for some time now, making it even economically undesirable. Robotic process automation is the perfect solution to this conundrum since it increases the quality of work while at the same time saving costs and resources. The time saving alone, achieved by implementing automation technology across the work and working in tandem with other related processes, makes adopting this technology worth its weight in gold. Automation has the potential to significantly affect the business world.
Robotic Process Automation just might set off the 21st century industrial revolution. It is a technology that has far reaching ramifications that exceed the bounds of the worlds of business and industry. Robotic Process Automation has the potential to significantly affect the way we live by virtue of its versatility and ease of use to suit any purpose.
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