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  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA) - The Future is Now!

Robotic Process Automation is a term, which when people come across, think is something mainly for future use and application. This is a myth and the reality is that RPA technology, which is almost more than a decade old, is being used extensively and BOTS are actively functioning for the past six to seven years. The usual day-to-day tasks referred as white collar jobs involve doing, cognitive thinking and analyzing.  Almost 90% of the task that falls under “doing” is of repetitive nature being done each day and RPA is best suited to automate the tasks falling into this category. These tasks are varied and spread across different departments of an enterprise like HR-Payroll, Finance and Accounts, Supply chains, banking and financial services etc. 

The key to the development of RPA solutions lies totally on the business users as they are the ones responsible for the explanation of the detailed work processes. Most of the times it is seen that business users usually tend to highlight complex exceptions and demand automation of those in the beginning. It is the responsibility of the implementation team to guard against this specific tendency as exceptions form only 10 percent of the total work done and can be afforded to be worked on later. The reason behind such restriction is less ROI while automation of the same, which demands low priority. 

RPI scores above manually performed tasks as it takes inputs from the GUI layer, which assures quick and simple implementation whereas manually performed tasks pull in inputs from multiple systems like latest apps or mainframe legacy applications. Digital Workers (DW), taken as a Bot or set of Bots are capable of performing 6 man-hours work each day. These Bots have taken over the manual work performing error free repetitive tasks. Unlike in manual functioning, digital workers do not get tired, nor are they affected by mood fluctuations. 

The ongoing trend that is marked in analytics is towards real-time analysis when compared to periodic analysis usually executed in business concerns, which can be weekly, monthly or annually. When real time analysis is implemented in business functions, it not only changes the entire perspective but also accelerates faster decision making. Business enterprises dealing with high volume of transactions and equally voluminous manual effort in tasks should shift to RPA adoption at the earliest. When it comes to RPA implementation, cost of human time and effort holds greater importance when compared to technological cost. It is advised to commence with a Proof of Concept (POC) in the specified area followed by the development of 50 Bots tagged with the project duration of maximum three months. After the POC success, a Centre of Excellence can be created by the organization, which would help various functioning in implementing RPA. The following six to nine months would witness deployment of about 300 Bots by the COE, which would be expanded eventually across the organization and at the end of a year or two almost 1000 Bots would be in the function. 

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