I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job
because they will find an easy way to do it. – Bill Gates
Here goes a rhetorical question: what did your life use to be like without technology?
Remember, in the not-so-far ‘90s, a regular day would start with switching off that first electronic alarm, getting yourself a coffee, checking the forecast on TV or radio and heading to work (school for some), having no clue whether you would eventually get stuck in traffic.
As a child of the ’90s, I don’t remember my dad having a GPS telling him how much time it would take us to drive to school, which roads to avoid or be aware of radars and cameras.
Now, all these things are simply done with your smartphone or other intelligent devices (Alexa, Google Home, etc.). Health gadgets monitoring heart activity are developing so fast that soon it won’t be surprising to get a notification to decrease coffee intake by a certain amount.
If you remember the time when a bill dropped in your mailbox, you had to spend evenings on calculations and then take it elsewhere to pay – you know what I mean.
Automation speeds our lives up by giving us a chance to forget about routine and repetition, while enjoying more unique activities – hobbies, time with significant ones, traveling, etc.
In the business world, we understand automation as a set of techniques allowing an organization to function better at a lower cost. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is one of them – it is the dream of creating operational efficiency equal to a U-Bahn schedule in Berlin. It is an idea of a perfect operational world with the least amount of errors possible, the fastest procedures, high-quality products, and the least monotonous work for humans.
What is RPA?
Enterprise automation is a set of methods to create a new company ecosystem that would unravel operational complexity and let large organizations function more efficiently. One of the enterprise automation tools, RPA is a smart way of using programmed bots to simplify the execution of repetitive tasks previously performed by humans, and therefore free humans up to focus on more creative projects.
It is done by a dedicated software configuration – the “bots” are educated to capture data and perform required activities, simulating the human workforce. Therefore, bots represent a strong resource at the lowest investment, which results in fewer errors, fewer interruptions, and higher-quality product delivery. Not to say that bots always meet their deadlines.
RPA can be applied for the automation of transactional tasks and routine activities as a result of predefined rule-based behavior. Normally, bots would perform such tasks as copy-pasting data, spell-checking and correcting, logging into IT systems, calculating, etc. Additionally, AI technology makes it possible for bots to learn and evolve over time, therefore creating an even better experience for employees and customers.
Beside having more space for creativity and self-development in high-level areas, with RPA in place employees get more motivated and engaged at their jobs. According to UiPath, by removing the burden of monotonous and time-consuming tasks, automation can improve employee productivity by 75% and job satisfaction rates 50%.
Simply because they won’t have to do the same work over and over again, every day.
Therefore, a large number of skills currently required on a market are at a risk to be replaced, but as the Industrial Revolution created more opportunities for advanced types of work, the Technology era is creating more possibilities as well.
Indeed, with rising automation, human skills will have to switch, for instance, now you won’t need to double-check the numbers in hundreds of invoices and perform conformance checking, but you may be able to analyze, make assumptions and predictions based on given data.
Humans will need to engage their best qualities that robots will never overtake. RPA implementations will outperform humans in work intensity, precision, repetition, reaction to hazards, and psychological conditions influencing performance. At the same time, they can never replace humans in projects requiring empathy, flexibility, imagination, communication, and strategical and critical thinking.
RPA for Large Organizations
In the volatile business world, RPA is an opportunity for businesses to assure they are here to stay. Digital transformation is important for any organization and essential for stable big businesses with complex processes.
Eventually, those organizations failing to adapt will be forced out of the market. Therefore, it is crucial to dive into process optimization at the early stages, using process automation for competitive advantage.
According to UiPath: “Adopting an “automation first” mindset is the first step on the path to making digital transformation real in the enterprise.” Therefore, the primary goal of RPA implementation is decreasing costs while increasing efficiency.
Several global organizations have already shown their example of successful RPA implementation in such processes as financial, customer care, business operations, IT, and HR. One of them is the Municipality of Copenhagen, with 75 key business processes automated and 8,5k hours a year saved. Read more about the Danish RPA journey here.
Getting back to our example of the technology of the 90’s – RPA won’t drive the car for you, but it will help you to have a pleasant journey in the shortest time.
When your process mining project has brought you the right insights for further automation, and you know which processes can be improved and how, RPA is the way to go. Get back to Process Mining once bots are implemented, for further bots monitoring and optimization for an ever-lasting improvement and growth.
Happy mining, and this time – happy automation!