Automated robotics might be the next best thing of the future; the moment you identify a process that is repetitive and predictable, chances are it can qualify for an automotive makeover using Robotic Process Automation. However, the process of identification and implementation is not as simple as it seems. For this very reason, it is very important to understand what robotics process automation is about and what it entails in the real world.
Let’s take a quick look into some of the things which people get wrong about RPA and what is the best route to avoid any unnecessary detours from the world of Robotic Process Automation.
While RPA is an automated process, it does not mean you would need to automate flawed processes also to drive productivity. When flawed processes are processed through automated robotics, chances are either you would end up reverse-engineering the wrong process or get lost in the automation process completely. This would not only lead to the wrong process automations, but also exhaust the existing resources of an organization.
When one asks what RPA is about, understand that it does not deal with complexities too well. All RPA understands is a set of instructions, which need to be performed when needed. In case of an error, it might just plow ahead in a pre-designed fashion, without bothering to raise any error flags in the bargain. Is that how you would want your organizational processes to function? Guess not, right? Most RPA processes are well-tuned towards working with spreadsheet powered processes, but since spreadsheets are fraught with their own set of errors, you can imagine how RPA would perform in such a situation.
RPA is rigid as a process and it lacks the flexibility to make it a complete success story. No matter the magnitude of change, chances are RPA is not the solution you might be looking for in a dynamic environment. Change is a constant in the world of digital transformation and especially DevOps. Since flexibility is an issue with RPA, the whole concept of automation needs to be autotuned to take even the smallest change into consideration. Add the high levels of cost to the list of issues, and you would understand RPA is not well suited for all types of organizational automation.
RPA unlocks the basic potential of Artificial Intelligence, but it is not smart enough to adapt to the techniques of Machine Learning. Even though an RPA enabled chat-bot has been programmed to perform repetitive tasks, it is not smart enough to adapt to the changing organizational needs. RPA has been geared to follow a prescribed set of instructions, but it can’t perform new tasks or make new changes on its own. This is what makes RPA falls short in the long run.
Probably one of the best things about RPA is that it can’t function without human intervention. While some might call it a smart move, or an indispensable dependency, there is not much scope for RPA to function independently. As a rule, people might feel that robotics might replace humans eventually. However, there is no such case with RPA, simply because it can’t function as a separate entity.
In order to drive process efficiency, you might need to work with the subject matter experts who know the processes thoroughly This was, one can aptly judge the downside of a process’s shortcomings and further plug them in using RPA techniques.
Simply put, RPA and robots are poles apart; while robots perform as separate entities, RPA is a language that can be written keeping the shortcomings in mind. The idea is to explain the laymen in simple, basic details so that everyone can understand the nuances of the automation language. It might have its own level of shortcomings, but it can help you automate some of the basic repetitive processes if needed. But apart from that, there are absolutely no changes RPA can offer to organizations.
RPA has paved the path for automation. However, in this world driven by Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, RPA can only be a stepping stone towards a better automation initiative.