You’ve heard about robotic process automation (“RPA” for short). You may have read about how RPA can transform transportation and logistics. You might wonder about the drawbacks of using RPA. It doesn’t help that there are a lot of misconceptions about what automated technology can and cannot do. Below are some of the most common myths about RPA and how it will impact your business:
Myth #1: RPA Uses a Robot
Despite the name, robotic process automation does not involve a physical robot. It’s also not an artificial intelligence virtual assistant, like Apple’s Siri. RPA is software technology that uses machine learning to automate tasks that are repetitive and time-consuming. The “bots” that perform all this work exist within the RPA software. Rather than being metallic, physical entities, these bots consist of algorithms designed to perform particular tasks.
Myth #2: RPA Takes Away Human Jobs
Rather than eliminating jobs, RPA reduces the kind of work that humans hate to do. Mundane administrative tasks, bulky paperwork, invoicing, email routing and digital interactions with clients can all be automated with RPA. Rather than leading to layoffs, this can free up more of your employees’ time, enabling them to more effectively serve customers and grow your business. Globally, technology like RPA is expected to fully automate less than 5% of occupations worldwide, according to a report from McKinsey & Co.
Myth #3: RPA is Expensive
RPA is actually a cost-effective upgrade because it works with any legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) software your company already uses. Within a short time of using RPA, you’ll potentially save thousands of dollars a month in reduced overhead. The money once spent on paying contactors to perform simple clerical tasks can now be applied to new business development.
Myth #4: Implementing RPA is Lengthy and Complicated
The advantage of RPA software is that it learns quickly with minimal oversight and no coding from a developer. Through machine learning and natural language processing, RPA bots “watch” how human users perform a task, and can soon duplicate that work. Typically, RPA can be implemented—and integrate multiple IT systems—within a few weeks.
Myth #5: RPA Only Works for Big Companies
The affordability and flexibility of RPA technology makes it a valuable tool for any business that gets bogged down with repetitive tasks. In fact, smaller companies may see a quicker improvement to the bottom line through process automation. Even a start-up business can now afford a monthly subscription to an RPA product that meets its needs.
Myth #6: RPA Gets It Right Every Single Time
When implemented, RPA will greatly reduce the amount of errors that humans make by doing the same work. However, the RPA bots are only as accurate as how developers or users have directed them to be. The bots do not have the advanced cognitive ability to read and react to changes to the interface or data that are not preconfigured in how the RPA is programmed.
Myth #7: Robotic Process Automation Can Do Everything
While RPA represents a revolutionary approach to workflow, it definitely cannot duplicate all functions of an office setting. There are strict guidelines to the kind of work RPA technology can perform. Basically, rule-based, highly structured data that is repeated in a high volume is where RPA provides the greatest benefit.
To learn more about robotic process automation and how it can benefit your company, visit www.RPALabs.com.