What Is Robotic Process Automation?

Robotic process automation (RPA)

Robotic Process Automation is the technology that allows anyone today to configure computer software, or a “robot” to emulate and integrate the actions of a human interacting within digital systems to execute a business process. RPA robots utilize the user interface to capture data and manipulate applications just like humans do. They interpret, trigger responses and communicate with other systems in order to perform on a vast variety of repetitive tasks. Only substantially better: an RPA software robot never sleeps and makes zero mistakes.The average employee spends about 2.5 hours per day going through their inbox. That’s about 28% of the workday. Another 20% is spent seeking internal information—looking for colleagues that can take on specific tasks. All told, that’s approximately 48% of the day lost to processes and organisation, according to a report by McKinsey Global Institute. It’s not just personal productivity that suffers when we waste time on tedious tasks; entire departments lose an estimated six or more hours per week. Imagine if there was a way to save nearly a full workday per week—opening your workforce up for more innovating, creating and collaborating. That’s where automation comes in, reports McKinsey: in about 60% of occupations, about one-third of activities—the repetitive ones—can be outsourced to software such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA).
RPA is
  • Computer software
  • Programs that replace humans performing repetitive rules-based tasks
  • Cross-functional and cross-application macros 
RPA isn't
  • Walking, talking auto-bots
  • Physically existing machines processing paper
  • Voice recognition or chat bots

What it can do

RPA is, essentially, a software robot that mimics humans. It is based on pre-programmed steps and can quickly and efficiently perform repetitive tasks, such as capturing and logging digital invoices. 

Opening email and attachments

Filling in forms

Making calculations

Logging to web/ Enterprise applications

Reading and writing to databases

Extracting structured data from documents

Moving Files and Folders

Scraping data from the web

Collecting social media statistics

Copying and Pasting

Connecting to system API

Following ‘if/then’ decisions/rules

Key drivers of RPA

Quick payback on RPA investments

Headcount savings from RPA range from

Self-Sufficient & Sustainable

Software robots operate in self-managing , self-diagnostic, self-healing and self-sustainable mode

Easy transition

RPA transition requires low levels of investment and delay replacement of legacy IT systems

Reliable & Accurate

RPA transition requires low levels of investment and delay replacement of legacy IT systems

Faster deployments

Proof of value can be delivered within 3-6 weeks and takes 3-4 months for

Improved customer experience

RPA enables employees to focus on more valuable, productive and customer facing roles, thus translating better customer experience

What process can be
automated in each industry

Benefits of RPA

Cost reduction

Reduced operational cost beyond labor arbitrage; Rapid return of investments

24/7 Availability

Operate autonomously 24x7, driving real time transactions

Quality and compliance

Reduced operational errors and better regulatory compliance


Ability to respond to growth events (e.g organic, acquisitive) with speed, agility and resiliency with little IT expertise

Improved data analytics

Track and monitor all automated tasks and capture related data which can be analyzed to make better business decisions

Revenue enhancement

Shorter cycle time to service customers resulting in increased revenue

Value focused

Shift in priorities towards innovations, strategy and other business development

Employee and customer satisfaction

Increased employee satisfaction through focus on heigher value activities and eventually more satisfied customers.

Speed to value and
low risk

Quick time to delivery, avoids invasive traditional system integration; implemented in weeks or months , not years

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