The first thing to understand about RPA is that there are no robots, as such. The “robot” is actually just software that runs on a physical or virtual machine. Simply put, RPA is a way for businesses to automate processes by defining a set of instructions for “bots” to handle.
In layman’s terms, as Olive’s Chief Product Officer David Landreman puts it, “RPA is the process by which software uses a combination of automation, computer vision and machine learning to automate repetitive, high-volume tasks that are rule-based and trigger-driven.”
Determining if RPA Is Best for Your Business
Micro Focus recently surveyed business and technology professionals around the globe about their experiences using RPA. It found that, while everything is still in its developmental stage, 89% of companies surveyed said the process had been successful, saving them around 30 hours a week.
Landreman points out in his findings: “RPA is ideal for tasks involving a high level of human data processing. The most common uses of RPA programs supplement repetitive functions or data-intensive processes, where logic-based outcomes are anticipated.”
Landreman also shares four basic checks to figure out an RPA-friendly process which, he says, include the following: “The process is rule-based, the process is repeated at regular intervals or has a pre-defined trigger, the process has defined inputs and outputs, and the task has sufficient volume.”
Repetitive processes crop up in several business functions and affect all industries. For example, the financial sector traditionally requires skilled workers to handle receivables and payables — tasks that are tedious and time-consuming when done manually.
Potential Security Risks
It’s important to note that implementing RPA does not necessarily secure the processes it completes. Automating a process can come with the same security risks as manually completing a process. If you're considering RPA for your business, it is important to make sure you understand the security implications.
The most important thing to remember is that RPA is just software and is not exempt from human error. There is still a need to be aware of security concerns.
Kofax Chief Strategy Officer Chris Huff notes that RPA security issues can be viewed through one of two overlapping lenses: compliance risk and operational risk.“The root cause of compliance and operational risk is when organizations take a fragmented approach to launching automation programs.”
He goes on to say, “IT and business leaders must collaborate to effectively choose the right RPA solution and to further design and operate a Digital Management Office.”
By implementing RPA for everyday operational tasks, businesses can become more efficient, minimize errors, and improve overall workplace productivity. That being said, RPA is something that should not be taken lightly security-wise, and caution is still encouraged. Still, professional RPA use is something to look forward to in the future.
About the Author
Avi Ben Ezra is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Cofounder of SnatchBot and SnatchApp (Snatch Group Limited). He leads the Group’s long-term technology vision and is responsible for running all facets of the tech business which includes being the architect of the platforms and UI interfaces.