The robotic revolution is here, but it might not be taking shape the way you imagined. First thoughts might fall to robotic machinery on factory floors, but there is another example of robots making a big impact. Many organizations are using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software to automate repetitive tasks and improve efficiencies.
At Nintex, we believe that RPA has a crucial role to play in driving business forward. Although RPA can add value on its own, when used as part of the wider strategy of Intelligent Process Automation (IPA), businesses can see serious benefits.
IPA can help organizations radically transform processes so that they are best positioned to tackle the challenges and disruptions of 21st-century business. This should be the aim of forward-thinking organizations that want digital transformation to have a real impact. In this post, we will answer some popular questions:
- What is RPA?
- How can your organization make the most of RPA?
- What are the benefits of IPA?
- Why is RPA an essential component to IPA?
What is Robotic Process Automation?
RPA involves using software to automate any rote function that could be carried out by a human using a keyboard or a mouse. RPA can therefore be used for a wide range of everyday business tasks and processes, including:
- Opening emails and attachments
- Moving files and folders
- Copying and pasting
- Filling in forms
- Collecting statistics
- Making calculations
- Extracting structured data from documents
- Reading and writing to databases
As Nintex CMO Matt Fleckenstein says in his blog “Robotic Process Automation: A critical part of automating, orchestrating, and optimizing the modern workplace,” RPA is great for taking over tedious, labour-intensive, time-consuming, manual tasks and is being embraced in industries such as financial services, healthcare, IT, manufacturing, retail, telecoms, and utilities.
How Does RPA Work?
Matt sums up how RPA works and its value to organizations in the following way:
“RPA’s current surge in popularity is largely due to its ability to remove or replace people from processes by mimicking their keystrokes. The RPA robot is “trained” to interact with applications via their UIs, using the same credentials a human would – rather than through APIs and/or web services. Tasks that entail multiple interactions with multiple systems of record are common targets for RPA.”
Benefits and Limitations of RPA
Many business leaders will see the obvious benefits of introducing RPA, including:
- The technology can be rolled out without disrupting how the organization runs
- Automating repetitive tasks will boost productivity in key areas of an enterprise (as listed above)
- Utilizing RPA within a complete IPA platform allows for automation, orchestration, and optimization of modern business processes, making it easy to calculate ROI
While RPA software is excellent for carrying out repetitive processes and tasks, these broken or inefficient processes are only a small part of a larger picture.
For a wider solution that allows organizations to understand why, how, and what is needed to improve how their business runs, something else is needed. RPA, at least in isolation, is a quick fix for repetitive processes, rather than a solution to drive comprehensive digital change. Innovative and industry-leading organizations should, of course, be thinking about the latter.
Radically Transform Your Business
For organizations that want to make a success of digital transformation, RPA should be just one part of a wider intelligent process automation solution.
Intelligent process automation is the next wave of process automation, and it is the key to achieving long-lasting substantial digital transformation. IPA takes process automation to the next level with artificial intelligence, so companies can not only automate processes but can also optimize them over time.
Intelligent process automation is a set of core components that provide the framework, platform, and tools to radically transform your organization.
- Advanced workflow automation technology enables individuals to design, build, and automate simple to sophisticated business processes, all without writing a single line of code.
- Nintex mobile apps and forms allow workers to access their processes and workflows anywhere, on any device.
- Document generation, or DocGen®, creates consistent, compliant, and customizable documents from any data source.
- Process intelligence measures and tracks your automated processes in order to optimize for ROI and maximize productivity across your enterprise.
- Machine intelligence and RPA tools instantly process and analyze data, predict patterns, and suggest improvements to the processes that run your organization.
- Our most recent offering, process mapping, makes it easy to plan, create, and collaborate on business processes before you go about automating them.
In a world where disrupters can radically transform any industry (think Airbnb, Netflix etc.), all organizations must consider how they future-proof their organization against disruption.
Organizations must be willing and able to adapt to the needs of their employees, taking a holistic approach to digital transformation instead of simply purchasing a one-off RPA tool. The key to this is to create an IPA solution that allows your processes to change and evolve with your business so that you can get the most out of your technology purchases.
Interested in learning more about RPA’s role in the Nintex IPA platform? Read our whitepaper here.