Robotics Process Automation - Revolutionizing IT Industry

Nov 14, 2017 Sandeep Narayanan

Within IT organizations or any other industry, automation is the new entrant and is here to stay!

Robotics Process Automation – giving way to Artificial Intelligence?  A speedy approach? Or error free technology? Or Productivity?

Why is automation maturing now?

According to industry statistics, 30-40% of project costs are rework. Automation is a natural error-preventer, which never sleeps, never gets distracted, can’t be confused, never takes a vacation, and is incapable of making a mistake. With big data trends, and lots of attention on the importance of connecting systems, applications & information, even the most complicated ones are among the most valuable processes to automate.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a set of technologies that uses software as a Virtual FTE to complete a business process integrating existing software applications in a more robust manner than a person today.

For each process a person needs to interact with a number of applications that include SAP, PeopleSoft, CRMs, CPQ, ERP, ADP and many internal applications, documents, PDFs and spreadsheets.

Robotics Process Automation – Revolutionizing IT Industry

There are various automation tools in the market which can automate the above mentioned applications, and they focus on automating desktop, web, and remote applications. UiPath, Automation Anywhere, BluePrism, and WorkFusion SPA are some of the leading automation tools in the market. There are various techniques used by these specialized tools to process events, recognize texts and images or extract any type of data clearly. Selecting the right tool depends on the requirement. The tools can be calibrated based on the supported features, such as Process Modelling, Templates preloaded, plugins supported, industry standards, reusable library and more. Also, some specific tools focus on front end user events and some on backend services. Some can monitor bot platforms independently and some are more secure in monitoring bots and their events. One can create their own customized automation tool in any platform to handle and support their clients confidential processing.

How can IT tasks be improved using RPA?

IT spends 30% of time in any project on “Low-Level” tasks.

Some of the tasks in critical integration process will have human interruption to monitor, validate or trigger based on some logic, such as –

  • Opening a file received in email as attachment from one of the supplier
  • Reading a spreadsheet or report and identifying the results of it and updating in one another application
  • Find discrepancies between the original bill received and the measured details in a system
  • Finding right matches of required data from a website and capturing the result in a spreadsheet

Most of these processes struggle to be part of an integrated chain as it may involve any of the following-

  • The expected document may not be received
  • Template of the document may be changed at the vendor end and not informed
  • The input value to the integrated system is not sent by another connected system but as attachment from vendor as it restricts access or it is confidential
  • The result to upload into a system from a document is handwritten or not in proper machine readable format to be imported
  • The document sent is multi-copied, scanned and can’t be uploaded in any application to extract the data

Now, considering that all the requisite processes are met, how do RPA tools automate processes. This is a technology outlook which involves OCR and ICR techniques. We will understand what these terms mean and how they will help in automation in the coming week.

Stay tuned!

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Sandeep Narayanan

Working as an RPA analyst, have identified RPA solutions across domains such as banking, manufacturing, legal and healthcare. Crazy about cars and driving in general. Some of my best drives have been - Great lakes of America, Snowy Himachal, Great Ocean Drive Pacific & Atlantic and the Californian Deserts sand dunes ATV drive.