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Don’t miss out on robotic process automation

If you are like me, you’ve probably wondered what is so sizzling hot about robotic process automation. After all, two of its main selling points are 1) the ability for business users to write their own automation scripts (we’ve seen this before with Lotus Notes applications) and 2) providing a tool to automate manual activities. (Spreadsheets come to mind and that doesn’t exactly make me do handstands.) Even the name bugs me. Robotic. (Rhymes with hypnotic and my eyes glaze over). Automation. (Not much to get excited about there; we’ve only been doing this for forty plus years). Process. That’s not too bad, but on the other hand, I’m a process person.

HOWEVER, you don’t want to miss out on this technology.

Here are the reasons why:

1. RPA automates manual human tasks. But it’s neither screen scraping nor APIs. Instead, RPA mimics human work by capturing the keystrokes that a human performs. For example, RPA can automate logging into a system, copying data, plugging that data into a spreadsheet, attaching the spreadsheet to an e-mail, and sending it to someone. With RPA, the script can run autonomously and you no longer have to do that task every day or week, etc.

2. RPA can be integrated (and often is) with BPM suites to automate an entire process. In many ways, RPA is becoming a component of BPM and another tool in the arsenal of process practitioners. When wedded with BPM software, more of the entire process, including the manual integration, can be automated.

3. RPA can be used with customers as well as employees. The technology is not limited to inside the company. Just imagine a script in which the robot first reads the e-mail, mobile or social inputs that a customer sends and then responds directly to the customer.

4. RPA can be combined with other technologies, such as BPM, case management, predictive analytics, machine learning, and omnichannel to support end to end processes that span customer experience and operational excellence.  This is the real diamond that comes from RPA and this is the reason it is a sizzling hot technology.

To learn more, download this new DCG report on RPA, and see the blog posts Robotic Process Automation (RPA): robots that automate routine and complex work and the big deal with robotic process automation.


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