We live in the age of simplicity. Many of our current technological innovations in business are made to streamline digital transformation, increase service quality, and contain costs. Robotic process automation does just that, working to eliminate mundane tasks so that workers in the corporate realm can better focus on work that is more important or more valued.
Robotic process automation can help large businesses to devote more time to customer service and reduce overall costs of business, though many experts say that this type of automation takes careful planning and design. Will Robotic Process Automation be the future of strength in business? Let’s find out.
When was Robotic Process Automation First Introduced?
Workflow automation dates all the way back to the early 1920s, when manufacturing and industrial companies were on the rise. It wasn’t until the late 1990s that these companies began using software that could capture data and store it into larger system databases, reducing the need for manual data entry.
The term “robotic process automation” dates back to 2000, as it was one of the first technological evolutions in the field to go beyond your standard screen scraping. One of the most prominent first users of RPA was a U.K. company called Xchanging. This company helps to provide business processing services all over the world. Their robotic “co-worker,” which they named Poppy, was so intuitive and engaging that she was actually invited to their Christmas party!
What is Robotic Process Automation?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a technological application that is used to automate business processes that utilize logical inputs. A company can use RPA software for a variety of tasks, including but not limited to: digital systems communications, data manipulation, response triggering, and transaction processing.
A company can set up RPA to send out a large mass of emails to consumers of their product or service, for example. The idea is that robots are better at handling high-volume, repetitive tasks than humans.
Robotic Process Automation is currently used throughout the financial services realm, as companies can use RPA to smooth out business processes without having to hire anyone new or increase employee task counts. Some companies are even able to introduce RPA to cognitive technologies that already exist. In doing so, they can automate more complicated tasks that use speech recognition or language processing. This moves more into the realm of artificial intelligence.
Robotic Process Automation in Movies / Pop Culture
Most movies or RPA pop culture references feed into the idea that AI and robotic processing will go rogue. Think of movies such as Ex Machina or I, Robot. We can think of RPA as a less-involved form of AI, only helping to provide us with the labor for mundane and repetitive tasks without capturing emotion.
Links to Related Articles
There’s a lot of information about RPA out there, but here are just a few articles to start.
Take a look at this fascinating video from Dell about the future of RPA:
Experts now believe that Robotic Process Automation will reduce the requirements of employees in service centers by about 65% in 2020. They also say that 40% of huge enterprises will have an RPA software that they utilize. Could this mean the end of mundane, manual processing? We’ll have to wait to find out.