Top Skills You'll Need to Achieve Expert Status in RPA

Of all the applications in the artificial intelligence (AI) segment, robotic process automation (RPA) has become one of the most popular, particularly for its ability to add intelligence and business logic to automation. Companies have learned to leverage RPA to streamline a whole host of business processes, from HR and finance to manufacturing and customer-facing activities. The RPA market is set to exceed $5 billion by 2024, and it is increasingly being paired with AI technologies to create more efficient digitally-enabled workplaces.

As your technology teams seek to improve their knowledge of RPA and implement it company-wide, follow these guidelines to ensure they are acquiring the right skillsets.

1. Core RPA Skills and Governance

RPA empowers companies to configure software bots to capture and interpret applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems. Core RPA skills training provides a complete overview of tools and workflows used in intelligent automation and steps for implementing RPA across the organization. Robotic process automation has been found to reduce the cost of transactional processes by 50 to 75 percent, so there is a significant financial impetus to understand the scope of RPA.

And as the market matures, it’s also critical to understand how RPA should be governed and managed to ensure proper implementation oversight. Forrester predicts that 40 percent of enterprises will soon have automation control centers in place to monitor change management, unpredictability, auditing, and security issues that may arise with RPA. If your RPA projects are executed with precision, PWC reports that you can expect to be ROI positive in fewer than 14 months of implementation.

2. Key Platforms: UiPath and Automation Anywhere

RPA platform UiPath, which raised $225 million in a series C funding and was recently valued at $3 billion, has been one of the most popular RPA providers. RPA Practitioner with UiPath training gives technologists an inside look at this extensible RPA platform, which offers fast automation design and deployment, scalability for front and back office requirements and powerful security and auditing. RPA with UiPath is a complete and scalable solution that provides specialized recorders for desktop and web apps, an extensive activity library, powerful debugging, third-party integration, and centralized server-based licensing.

Another top platform is Automation Anywhere. The Automation Anywhere Certified Advanced RPA Professional course provides a detailed look at the popular Automation Anywhere Enterprise platform, its architecture, and key specifications. This certification drills down into the various components of Automation Anywhere RPA software including software development, runtime client, control room, and ways to create RPA bots using varied recorders, editors and commands. The course curriculum also covers advanced topics such as automation, web recorders, metabots, various use cases, and hands-on exercises to enable you to implement the RPA methodologies you learn.

3. Understand Where Automation Excels

RPA can automate both complex and commonplace activities faster than human resources can, and it excels because it can take on changing circumstances, exceptions and situations. Forrester estimates that automation will eliminate 20 percent of all service desk interactions, due to a successful combination of cognitive systems, RPA, and various chatbot technologies. In one example, intelligent bots are being used by American Express to automate the process of canceling airline tickets and issuing refunds, a task usually performed by human employees.

RPA has been shown to be the least expensive and easiest to implement of the cognitive technologies, according to an HBR study. RPA is more easily implemented as a complementary technology to traditional processes, making it an invaluable first step for companies that want to test AI technology in their organization. Almost 53 percent of finance professionals in a Deloitte study say they are planning RPA-driven digital controllership improvements in the year ahead, including accounting process automation and financial analysis.

4. Integrate RPA with Traditional AI

The convergence of RPA with AI and machine learning technologies is creating a new era for digital transformation. Forrester reports that more than 40 percent of enterprises plan to create state-of-the-art digital workers by combining AI with RPA. That means training for AI engineers, machine learning experts, and deep learning specialists will also need to be part of your long-term RPA rollout plan. AI training will help your teams apply intelligent agents to RPA and machine learning models, logic constraint satisfaction problems, games, knowledge-base systems, probabilistic models and agent decision-making functions. AI learners also gain knowledge of advanced neural networks, multi-layer data abstraction for better data analysis, and heuristic learning aspects of machine and deep learning.

The RPA market is clearly gaining steam. According to Deloitte, 78 percent of those who have already implemented RPA expect to significantly increase investment in RPA over the next three years. Now is the time to investigate where your teams stand on the skills side and put them on the path to true RPA mastery.

About the Author

Stuart RauchStuart Rauch

Stuart Rauch is a 25-year product marketing veteran and president of ContentBox Marketing Inc. He has run marketing organizations at several enterprise software companies, including NetSuite, Oracle, PeopleSoft, EVault and Secure Computing. Stuart is a specialist in content development and brings a unique blend of creativity, linguistic acumen and product knowledge to his clients in the technology space.

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