While the future of technology is always hard to predict given the rapid emergence of new technologies, it is easy to predict the future of work and how we want it to be. Going by that notion, it is easy to see how RPA solutions (robotic process automation solutions) help us envision the state of work and processes as we’d like to see in future. And thus, it is easy to believe that RPA will not only exist, but also thrive in future.
With the spike in the capabilities of RPA, robotic process automation companies are now offering to automate business processes in better manner and for more versatiles use cases in multiple industries like IT, banking & insurance, finance, and even healthcare and retail.
With all that and more in prospect, RPA has, indeed, come a long way. Let’s see what all value it has added and is likely to add in future.
Workflow automation, which rose to popularity in the 1990s is certainly the forerunner of RPA in the sense that it was highly adopted by industrial setups to capture and translate certain fields like invoices, sales, emails, etc, to add to their databases and notifying the concerned departments/resources for further action.
AI too, in its essential form is the forefather of robotic process automation. Starting in the late 1950s, artificial intelligence has taken in its strides so many tasks that could once be completed only by manual labor. So, tasks like financial planning and fraud detection were made much easier with RPA tools than they would otherwise be.
Deloitte suggests that RPA is an amalgam of automation and AI: “Robotic Process Automation (RPA), a synonym to AI, is the application of technology allowing employees in a company to configure computer software or a ‘robot’ to reason, collect and extract knowledge, recognize patterns, learn and adapt to new situations or environments.”
The present wave of RPA solutions reflects a mature phase on both, the technology side, as well as in the business process aspect. The market is on an rapid advance causing massive cost reduction, improved accuracy and efficiency, more regulated compliance, and ease of management. In fact, the business process outsourcing sector is becoming highly dependent on RPA tools, so much so that customers would not have it otherwise.
Robotic process automation companies are now catering custom RPA for clients based on their needs. On the other hand vendors of chatbots, AI and analytics are pre-installing their systems with RPA solutions as a staple.
Besides becoming a core component of technology and business processes, RPA is also expected to forster the development of technologies that are akin to it, especially machine learning and artificial intelligence, thus giving way to cognitive automation. With the help of cognitive automation, not only simple processes but also processes that need complex decision-making could be automated.
Robotic process automation vendors are now focussing in catering solutions that can make businesses more agile and quick in response to the marketplace that is so fast-paced.