Forrester Research estimates that by 2021, “there will be more than 4 million robots doing office and administrative work as well as sales and related tasks,” as cited in its 2017 RPA market report.
The panic-inducing news headlines are becoming hard to miss as well:
- Robots: Is your job at risk?
- Robots will take our jobs. We’d better plan now, before it’s too late
- You Will Lose Your Job to a Robot—and Sooner Than You Think
The robots are coming, but is it really all doom and gloom?
The Coming ‘Robopocalypse’
On the surface, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) would seem to be accelerating the robots’ efforts to replace us. But if we examine what this type of technology brings to the table, we find that RPA is used to minimize repetitive, non-interesting tasks so we all can focus on more strategic and inspiring work.
RPA isn’t here to take your job—rather, it’s here to make your job better.
Let’s take a look at how RPA can be trained to automatically complete employees’ busywork—and help elevate an enterprise’s human capital in the process.
How Exactly Does RPA Work?
“Robotic process automation tools cut costs, eliminate keying errors, speed up processes and link applications,” states industry research firm Gartner in its latest RPA Market Guide report.
RPA works by tracking how a human completes a task and copying that process. RPA digitizes and automates repetitive, manual tasks involving structured data. By tracking the clicks someone makes over the course of completing a defined task, RPA is then able to create a bot that eliminates the need for a person to complete those non-value-adding steps.
In other words, RPA augments human processes but doesn’t replace it. RPA tackles functions that do not require human reasoning.
RPA technology today is being put to work by a wide range of business departments that have copious amounts of repeatable busywork. These departments include accounting, customer service, procurement, human relations, financial services, and customer service centers.
Helping Organizations & Employees Dive In and Dream Big
The tasks that particularly lend themselves to being automated and enhanced by RPA are the ones that involve commonly repeated tasks, including:
- Making calculations
- Retrieving information
- Filling in forms
- Copying and pasting
RPA technology offers efficiencies for organizations, but it’s just one core component of a comprehensive process management and automation portfolio that also includes process mapping, advanced workflow, document generation, mobile apps & forms, process intelligence, and more.