Better methods and technologies always come along to help people get a job done quicker and more efficiently. It’s a given that with any new process, any new issue, any new need, there will also be a new tool that can address it. So, too, is the case with RPA.
RPA, or robotic process automation, uses software “bots” to perform work. These bots are created with the ability and programming to complete certain tasks within a workflow, and by using these bots, you’re able to delegate a lot of repetitive and basic tasks — and RPA software is the way that this becomes possible.
But if you’re unsure about adopting a new tool to meet your needs, you can look below to set your expectations with some facts about the uses and usefulness of RPA in general. The last thing you need to do for your business is have a weak understanding of what a certain tool will do for you, and the more informed you are about said tool, the better you’ll feel when you decide you need it — so read on!
RPA Is Limited To Certain Tasks
When you’re looking into RPA for the first time, you may be under the impression that you’re getting a cure-all for tasks you need to complete. While RPA software does a great job of handling certain types of business tasks and processes, there are limits to this: namely, the tasks need to be those that can be informed by business rules.
Unlike artificial intelligence that may develop certain judgment protocols, RPA bots are only capable of executing what would be considered simple tasks, or tasks that have a dependency on business logic provided to them initially. These kinds of tasks can include order processing, updates to timesheets, monitoring of inventory, and more — with various applications in numerous industries from logistics to marketing to financial services.
What you can’t use RPA for is the more complex task completions: anywhere judgment is used instead of hard adherence to a provided logic. These types of decision-making tasks are a place where you would need specialized AI to execute unless you’re using people to complete them. While these tasks often carry more weight overall, they would get nowhere without someone or something to complete the smaller tasks as well, and thanks to RPA, you can spend less time on the basic processes and more time on decision-making and the hard-hitting work.
Implementing RPA Can Be Tedious
There’s a lot that can go wrong quickly when choosing to implement any new tool into an organization, and that’s just as true with RPA software. It may prove complicated to set up initially, but with many users deciding to use this automation from end to end in their business processes, it seems like a choice that beats many others.
RPA software can make implementation easier. If you’re looking to make the transition but are afraid of the time and effort it’ll take to implement, using a tool like Camunda’s RPA orchestration platform can prove a better choice overall.
RPA Doesn’t Fix What’s Broken
The purpose of RPA is to help make an existing process easier and more efficient, giving teams a chance to be more productive in the long run. However, it doesn’t fix what’s wrong with a process; if you have yet to correct the flaws in your business process, RPA can’t help to improve it. In fact, focusing on the implementation of RPA before actually applying a fix to these processes can even exacerbate certain problems — so always be sure that your process is working from end to end before adding another complex component like automation of any kind.
RPA Changes How People Work, Not Who Works
With the rise of every new technology comes the question: who’s getting replaced? With RPA, though, this question is moot. RPA is a simplification tool, rather than a job replacement: the auxiliary duties and information handled by numerous hands is dealt into the hands of a software, the same way it’s been done with various new softwares over the years.
That doesn’t mean you won’t still require personnel that know what they’re doing within your organization — it just means you’re freeing up some of their time to be more productive at the jobs they were hired for, rather than focusing on the menial, repetitive stuff that comes along with any workflow. With this in mind, it’s important to note that RPA will change what happens to certain business relationships, like outsourcing, but it doesn’t need to go away if these relationships can adapt the jobs to fit the way that RPA simplifies the work.
RPA Won’t Be Here Forever
With any new tool, there’s always the chance it’ll eventually evolve into something else, or be replaced altogether. RPA is one such case, because there’s already developed on the way for other types of automation that can eventually accomplish more than these bots can. However, RPA’s return on investment is a big one, and business is regularly more and more dependent on automation to stay competitive. So, while one tool is still being developed and honed for widespread use, why not use one that’s already been created to make your life easier?