SIMPLIFYING RPA | What the COVID Phase Taught Me About RPA
Albert Einstein famously remarked “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”. So let me try simplifying the Robotic Process Automation or RPA as it’s commonly known.
Let’s build the understanding for RPA based on answers to specific questions.
WHY SHOULD AN ORGANIZATION CONSIDER RPA
The answer to the first question struck me during the covid phase. In India, like in most countries, we have domestic help that come to do our dishes, sweeping the house etc. But during covid, for safety reasons, we had to stop them from coming home.
As a result me and my wife had to do the dishes, mop-up, cut vegetables etc. Initially, I did a lot of planning to optimize these tasks but as time went on, my energy levels required for office work went down. I calculated that I was losing three and a half hours every day to these chores. Then I realized something that to be done.
I ordered a automated vegetable cutter, a vacuum cleaner and a whole lot of other appliances. This decision freed up my time to do more productive work. RPA solutions are exactly like these appliances, they allow organizations to re-align resources towards more productive tasks.
HOW DOES RPA GET IMPLEMENTED
The answer to this can also be understood by an analogy. Consider any organization’s IT systems to be like the moving parts or gear trains of a large machine.
So if the organization is into manufacturing, an ERP system is one moving part, HR system another, Email application another and so on and so forth. RPA solutions can be considered to be the engine oil that lubricates these large moving parts.
Essentially, RPA BOTs, interact with existing systems to reduce points-of-failures among them. For example, if a report needs to be extracted from system A and entered into system B. An option is do it using data entry operators but that would lead to errors. However, if an RPA solution does it, not only would it be faster but it would substantially reduce the errors.
Globally, industries are adopting RPA owing to its low code platform, broad array of features and ability to deliver ROI for businesses at a higher velocity.