What is RPA and why should every business care?
Posted November 15, 2021
Written by Terry May, Xpanxion Technical Writer
Simply put, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a revolutionary way to automate tasks and processes...and it's gathering increasing momentum among enterprises that crave greater efficiencies.
Improved efficiency is the primary benefit of RPA...and that single strength is not underestimated by businesses worldwide who are incorporating RPA as an integral part of their digital transformation plans. Consequently, most experts agree that RPA is already transforming how we do business and how we work.
RPA is software in the form of “bots” (tiny software robots) that can emulate humans performing high-volume routine, mundane, repetitive rules-based tasks such as data entry, copying & pasting, and completing forms with the same information.
A more sophisticated example of task automation is to pull data from one application, perform some type of calculation and then add the results into another application. These three steps form a task.
So you may wonder how to get from task automation to process automation? Theoretically, it’s quite simple, just like humans do. Once you stitch the proper automated tasks together you have process automation...and that’s how RPA’s value grows exponentially.
The rise of the tiny software robots
RPA is used across most industries, especially in those that require the volumes of repetitive tasks or processes such as accounting, insurance, banking, finance, healthcare, and telecommunications. For example, RPA is used in:
- Accounting for budgeting, transactional reporting, operational accounting, and to improve quality control in audits;
- Banking and finance to automate governance, reconcile accounts, and process invoices;
- Healthcare to schedule patients, process bills, maintain and update patient records, simplify claims processing, and handle customer support; and
- Telecommunications to configure new services and billing systems for new accounts.
RPA is the fastest-growing segment of the global enterprise software market and it is showing no signs of slowing down. Forrester projects the RPA market to surpass $2.9 billion this year. Gartner predicts that by 2022, 90% of large global organizations will embrace RPA of some type, and those same companies will triple their RPA portfolios by 2024.
Software robots aren't replacing humans, they still need us...just for different reasons
RPA does have its limitations. For example, it can't perform a task beyond the rule it was programmed to conduct and it still needs humans to build, program, and manage the software properly (no, we haven't reached the point of automating automation, just yet). Software robots are not replacing humans, they’re elevating our skill sets and value to businesses.
For all of these reasons and more, RPA’s limitations far outweigh its benefits to optimize operations, improve customer experience, make fewer errors, and improve task and process outcomes.
This speaks to RPA’s power and its ability to make employee tasks and business processes faster and more accurate...and even save money. RPA allows businesses to free up employees’ time so they can focus on more meaningful, impactful work to help the business grow, compete, innovate!
Have you thought about integrating RPA solutions into your company but don't have the resources to do it? Xpanxion can be your automation partner and help you reach your digital transformation goals. Read our case studies to learn how we’ve helped companies plan for their business transformation using advanced software automation.
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