The term “robot” often conjures up visions of famous mechanical creatures, like R2D2 and C3PO, but the concept of robotics in terms of the business world is vastly different. Robotic process automation is something that has been around for many years, and is now evolving into a much more robust and useful tool for businesses of every size, shape and industry.
So, what exactly is this type of Robotic process automation and how can it benefit your organization?
Wikipedia defines robotic automation as “the automation of industrial and clerical processes using robots”. Robotic process automation using software typically refers to the latter. In basic terms, it is the type of automation in which a computer uses application software in the same way a human would. Human personnel can train process robots to do a certain task or workflow just as they would train a new hire, but in much less time.
Robotic process automation can offer a number of benefits to an organization, as follows:
It saves time. Highly repetitive tasks take a tremendous amount of valuable time away from your staff. By shifting these monotonous tasks over to a process robot, your employees can focus their time and efforts on more important business matters.
It’s cost effective. A process robot can work faster than a human worker, producing more output in less time, which means lower costs and higher revenue.
It helps manage workflow and staffing. Since one robot can do the work of several human employees, managing staffing needs is much easier to handle. As workload changes, the IT automation tool can be flexible to accommodate, so there’s no need to worry about increasing or decreasing physical staff.
It eliminates the need to outsource. Over the past few decades, more and more organizations began turning to outsourcing as a way to save money and improve productivity. Process robots can eliminate the need for this, allowing all work to stay securely in-house.
It provides competitive advantage. Robotic Process Automation can boost productivity levels and output by such a wide margin – and without the need for a significant cost increase, it can often provide a distinct advantage of your competition.
There is room for robotic process automation in just about every industry, but those businesses that have a particularly noteworthy volume of routine, repetitive and manual back office tasks and processes will benefit the most. This includes such fields as telecommunications, banking, insurance and utilities.