2021 Trend Almanac: Technologies and trends that will dominate the business and consumer landscape. Get instant access
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the technology used to enable software "robots" to imitate the actions of a human to automate business process interactions within digital systems. RPA bots employ the user interface (UI) to collect and record data and then manipulate applications as a human would. By implementing triggered responses and communication with other integrated systems, RPA software robots can perform any number of repetitive tasks previously performed by a human worker. These robots can imitate a plethora of human functions, such as logging into applications, filling out forms, locating and relocating files, copying and pasting data, and searching through structured data.
RPA solutions come at lower time and monetary costs than traditional automation, as they can leverage legacy infrastructure and are non-intrusive to existing systems. RPA solutions can also phase out manual, rules-based, and repetitive tasks that clutter the customer service cycle. Conserving the need for manual intervention reduces the opportunities for bias and human error. RPA software can manage a high volume of rules-based processes and tasks with pre-defined triggers, increasing productivity and efficiency across the enterprise by reducing man-hours spent on repetitive or redundant tasks.
Several factors, including process maturity and business agility, can affect a business's interest in process automation adoption, but in this day and age, many companies are reevaluating their business processes and looking to digital transformation solutions to future-proof against market changes and challenges.
The benefits of RPA are undeniable. RPA bots can automate processes, reduce costs, and integrate artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies. This level of functionality improves employee disposition by reducing their mundane tasks, enhances customer experiences by releasing employees to address high-level support issues, and leaves more room for innovative and collaborative work.