Robotic process automation is one of the most recent additions to the evolution of Information Technology (IT). It is a preferred method of improving the speed of business to service level objectives. It can reduce person-hours required for performing routine tasks like workflow management and reduce error rates.

RPA is already in use at large companies such as P&G, GE, Deloitte, and the likes. This RPA fundamentals article the fundamental areas needed for getting started with RPA.

RPA and Automation

Let’s start with some RPA fundamentals. RPA is a structured approach that may be automated or programmed through rule-based queries and automated service technology. Hence it has been compared to real-life applications such as spreadsheets or an application that requires repetitive scripting.

RPA is designed to mirror human workers' actions with similar details, language, and mannerisms. The difference between RPA and AI is that RPA is more efficient as it uses predictive analytics to infer and predicts where human assistance will be required, thus allowing the human worker to apply machine learning techniques and improve productivity.

An added advantage of RPA is that it's cost-effective to implement. As the tool learns over time, it can be trained with data and decisions.

RPA vs. Artificial Intelligence

RPA and artificial intelligence are emerging together but differ in their use, technique, and features. Increasingly, AI topics are becoming part of any RPA fundamentals learning. Artificial intelligence is defined as a field that uses computers to perform tasks ordinarily associated with human intelligence, such as recognizing speech and visual cues.

While RPA software’s operation is very similar to existing manual processes, it offers a robust and structured approach to help businesses increase productivity.

While RPA and AI are different, AI and human intelligence are more similar than you may think.

Before Getting Started With RPA

Before diving deep into the RPA fundamentals, it is important to understand that RPA has certain disadvantages and caveats that you should consider before you start on a RPA initiative.  Although RPA is ideal for repetitive tasks, it lacks the human touch to achieve in-depth automation. RPA doesn't give the human or a human face to the process; hence it remains a process that doesn't touch the customer directly. An employee may be required to identify the faults in the process, analyze them, and monitor them, which is highly time-consuming.

Without an employee monitoring it, a typical RPA system would be able to run the same faulty process continuously. However, a human must be available to take the next step and resolve the issue. This repetitive error-making would inevitably lead to the human employee not being productive.

Other disadvantages of RPA include customer-centricity, limitations on hardware such as CPU and RAM, and customer support requirements. Before getting started with RPA, assess these caveats and make sure your organization and infrastructure are ready to support RPA systems and applications.

How RPA Is Expanding

RPA has witnessed substantial growth in the last few years. It has moved from the original RPA fundamentals to achieve a stage of maturity with all the leading vendors offering automated processes. Companies are now aggressively leveraging this technology to provide better customer service and increase efficiency in their businesses.

One of the major driving forces behind this growth is the need to simplify business processes. The shift from offline to online operations has meant that companies give their customers a lot more options. However, customers can become confused as they cannot access the companies' knowledge base and make decisions with confidence. When they are also unable to interact with the company, they find it challenging to make a decision. RPA addresses this issue by helping the customer find and access the information they need faster and more easily. RPA also lets companies collect and store customer information more efficiently, allowing businesses to make decisions faster.

To sum up, it is easy to understand why RPA has emerged as an industry leader. Still, it's also imperative to take a step back and understand its limitations and weaknesses before jumping on the bandwagon.

RPA will continue to take a leading position in the business process automation industry. The increased focus of organizations on technology has pushed them to look for newer technologies to achieve their goals.

We're just scratching the surface of what's possible with automation, and the potential is enormous. I think we will see massive changes in how companies operate in the coming years. The way you work and the services you offer will change dramatically.

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Organizations are using automation tools to improve customer experience. Newer technologies such as AI, chatbots, and bots are also finding their place in the business. The rapid pace of advancement of automation will enable organizations to attain an unparalleled level of productivity, thus helping them become more competitive. This is an ideal time to get started with RPA. If you are looking to get a thorough understanding of Robotic Process Automation, starting with RPA fundamentals and then moving on to advanced topics, Simplilearn’s Introduction to Robotic Process Automation Course is a great way to start. Once you’ve covered this course, your next step would be Simplilearn’s Automation Test Engineer Master’s program. This 12-month bootcamp will help you gain work-ready expertise in over 15 in-demand tools in the domain. Moreover, with 14 lesson-end, 4 phase-end and 1 capstone project, you get hands-on training to perfect the skills while you learn them, and be job-ready on program completion. Go ahead, explore and start your learning journey today.