An Introduction to Robotic Process AutomationCategory: RPA Posted:May 09, 2018 By: Robert
The Automation age will be simply the age of “Do it yourself”. The phrase here means that automation is going to be the future of business industries. Automation has changed the world completely and this is continuing as it made our life very easy. At the time, from when the computer is designed, the developers were seeking out the best approaches to expand the computing technology as much as they can. Nowadays, we are surrounded by various technologies around us which have offered ascend to the automation that ranges from a basic task to numerous complex tasks.
Presently, Robotic process automation i.e. RPA is an easy and simple way to automate business operations without re-engineering them. Due to this feature, RPA is gaining more popularity. This post presents an Introduction to Robotic Process Automation. So, initially let’s understand what does RPA means?
Robotics: Generally, it is a machine that imitates the actions of human beings.
Processes: A process is something that involves a series of steps to perform a meaningful activity. For instance, the step by step process of developing software.
And Automation: Automation can be defined as any process that can be performed by a robot without human interference.
Thus, RPA means a machine that imitates human actions, which involves a series of steps to perform a meaningful activity without any human involvement. The “robots” involved in the robotic process automation are not actually the robots who carry out the different tasks physically, but they are the software that exists on a computer and intermingles directly with the business applications. The software robots act in the same way as the people make use of a different application by intimating, in order to automate the routine business processes, for example, gathering and comparing data from different systems or processing of an order. With the help of the RPA, the businesses can automate the prevailing and ongoing business operations, just like a real person who was doing the tasks through the applications.
RPA is different from automation. Well, automation is the invention of recent technology with the help of which the current manual task can be performed very easily, let’s say to do the calculation using a calculator, but this still requires human involvement to enter the values. Along with this technology, RPA utilizes this recent technology’s interface to automate the task which requires human involvement. For example, the values in the calculator can now be entered by a “BOT” also known as web robots in place of a human.
Robotics Process Automation Components:
The RPA products generally consist of three basic components: a set of a developer tool, a robot controller and software robots. Now let us see the functions of each of these components.
The developer tools are mainly used to determine the tasks related to the robot, it consists of the series of guidelines which a robot has to follow, to carry out the business processes. The detailed guidelines include the business policies or conditional logic statement, for example the if and then decisions. It also offers the features, like the drag and drop functionality and basic setup wizards, so that the users can use them without any knowledge of the coding. But the developer tools are not quite simple like creating the “macros”. When it is used, the user should handle the exceptions and the errors, due to which obstruction may occur in the automated process. Some of the developer tools also consist of a “process recorder”, using which the definition of a particular process can be increased by catching a series of user activities. There are many other features supported by these tools, such as an interactive diagram, through which the complex visualizing processes are made easier. The developer tools are not needed for executing the processes, rather than they are used only in modelling and altering the processes.
There are three important roles which are handled by the robot controller. The robot controller enables version control, by allocating as a master repository for determining tasks. It stores the authorizations and credentials for the enterprise application securely and delivers them to the robots in an encrypted format. The next role of the robot controller tool is to allocate the suitable permissions and roles to the users, offer controls and workflows to manage the various processes, like creating, testing, reviewing, updating, approving and deploying tasks to the robot’s staff. And finally, it allocates tasks to only one or a clustered robot, and also observes and reports on their various actions.
The software robots which are also known as “clients” or “agents” perform instructions and interacts with the enterprise applications in order to carry out the transactions. A robot is able to carry out a list of activities that can expand over six-hundred in some products and also the extra activities can frequently custom-coded. Some of the robots keep the detailed record of their activities and results for acquiescence review purposes, and also to help companies to recognize the extra process enhancement opportunities. The software robot acts, activates, obtain and compare results and can communicate with the other system like a human being. They are able to carry out various tasks repetitively, without any mistake and fatigue. It is possible to improve the consistency through various industries and organizations as RPA provides profits to them.
Features of Robotic Process Automation:
Robot process automation has several features due to which presently it is used in many organizations.
1. RPA is code free: RPA does not require any programming knowledge. The workforce, with any educational qualification can be trained easily to automate the RPA tool. It has drag and drop functionality which enables the user to automate the processes very easily. These processes are related to any desktop tool or web application.
2. RPA is very user-friendly: The RPA is accepted not only in IT department, but in various business operations. RPA project is easy to implement and learn, thus requires less IT skills and investment.
3. RPA is non-troublesome: It avoids risk and complexity. The robots are able to access the end user’s system easily through a controlled user interface, and therefore the requirement of systems programming is reduced to a great extent.
Benefits of Robotic Process Automation:
Due to the startling features of RPA, there exist several benefits of the software robotic process automation. Few of them are listed below:
It reduces the cycle time and enhances throughput: The software robotic tools are able to carry out various tasks quicker than a human. It is possible to perform the various operations 24/7 with the robotic tool, as it won’t require any sleep.
Exhaustive data capture: The software robot process is designed to capture the data completely. Its various tasks can be observed and noted at every step, so that it can produce valuable data and a review track which can provide a needed support for the further process enhancement efforts and also help with monitoring submission.
Scalability and flexibility: When a process that can be implemented by a robot is defined as a sequence of guidelines, it can be planned for a particular time. According to this, the number of robots is arranged quickly to perform it. Also, the robots can be easily reallocated the tasks when there are many more important processes, as the robots are able to carry out many types of processes.
Saves time and increases accuracy: The software robots are programmed to enhance the accuracy, it follows rules and does not make any mistakes, thus a lot of time can be saved. The robots do not apply perceptions that give rise to the human errors, problems and abnormalities, as the robots perform the tasks in a manner which are guided by them.
The planned deployment of resources: The various tasks and processes which are appropriate for the automation are the most difficult and less enjoyed by the teams. Employees released of these actions are relocated on other higher-valued actions that provides more reward for them.
Cost saving: Since most of the manual and repetitive jobs can be automated easily, the staff size can be reduced as well as the human errors are also eliminated and therefore the cost is also decreasing.
It provides a quick Return of Investment: The robot process automation will raise productivity throughout the various industries because one software robot is capable enough to perform the task of about three workers. This creates positive ROI much quicker than predictable.
Uses of Robotic Process Automation:
The robotic process automation can be used in various business processes. Some of the uses of the RPA are:
Multiple data entry: It is possible to create multiple data entries with the robotic process automation. The user’s translations of data and data entry can be performed easily from one system to another.
Application migration: The RPA relocates the application data and records as a portion of an upgrade.
Automated report generation: It is used to automate the data, so that the exact and accurate reports can be provided.
Rule-based decision making: With the use of RPA, it is possible to handle the decision matrices proficiently and a simple rule-based decision can be taken accurately.
Validation of information: It reunites and cross-references the data between various systems in order to validate and reviews information and delivers acquiescence and reviewing outputs.
The robot process automation is applied in various business domain such as banking, IT, finance, etc. It is particularly helpful to extract the useful data from several systems. For instance, to process an invoice the data could be taken out from numerous sources such as ERP, banks, logistics companies etc. The information can be gathered from various sources and can be taken from different systems. The task of combining this information from the different system would be tiresome, because each of the system would run on different technologies. The implementation of RPA clears these gaps, so that the automation can be performed seamlessly.
Robotic Process Automation Tools: The robot process automation can be carried out with the help of various tools, some of the tools are: UiPath, Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere,Pega system, Workfusion etc.
These tools are most widely used tools in automation industries. All these tools have their own benefits and drawbacks, and have similar functioning and structure.
Thus, due to the various benefits of RPA, its utilization is gradually increasing in the market worldwide. Most of the organizations are already implementing the RPA technology, as it optimizes the cost and frees the other resources. It is a cost-effective technique and also has non–financial benefits such as it consists of more accurate and consistent processes, which are less prone to errors. Nowadays, most of the organizations are using RPA for testing the particular application and eliminating the old testing tools due to its limitations. For example, selenium, this automation tool is limited to only to a single browser. If the other part of the application has to be tested, then it is required to integrate it with other tools, but with RPA any part of the system can be tested with a single tool.