5 misconceptions about Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for small and mid-sized companies

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is not just for giant enterprise organisations and can benefit even the smallest of businesses.

For those who don’t know what RPA is, it is a piece of software (or software robot) which can capture and interpret applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems. With RPA, businesses can automate mundane rules-based business processes, enabling business users to devote more time to serving customers or other higher-value work.

1. RPA is a robot sitting at your desk doing your work

Unfortunately not, RPA is not a physical robot. It would be cool to have a real robot doing your work but RPA is a piece of software which sits on your computer or in the cloud which is programmed to complete certain tasks. So you don’t have to worry about it taking control of your computer, it will only do what you tell it to. Which is one huge benefit especially in processes where you cannot afford to have any mistakes, if programmed right RPA is 100% accurate 100% of the time.

2. RPA is costly and requires a lengthy consultation and implementation process

Most RPA tools are low-code, which means that there is very little coding involved including drag and drop functions, pre-built activities, screen capture, and no integration required. It usually leaves a lot of businesses pleasantly surprised. The best method for RPA and the beauty of it is that you can start small, prove to the business that it works and that you can save a lot of time and money, then scale from there.

The scoping, Proof of Concepts (POC’s) and pilots can start small scale with a low upfront investment but can return huge gains in both times, efficiencies and money.

3. RPA requires expensive integration with other business systems

No, it’s doesn’t require an integration, RPA sits alongside your current business applications. It mimics what the human worker would do, open and access apps, transfer information and complete the tasks.

As there is very little involvement needed from IT, RPA is typically driven and owned by the business. You will, of course, need to involve IT in your journey but RPA is a “non-invasive” technology so there is no internal IT configuration or time required. As the initiative is led and driven by the business, it can be prioritised by whichever internal business unit that wants to champion the project, rather than having to compete for internal IT resources.

4. RPA is going to take my job

In a 2020 report, Gartner estimates that AI will create 2.3 million new jobs while eliminating 1.8 million positions. In the World Economic Forum’s job report, intelligent machines and algorithms are expected to create 133 million new roles globally while displacing around 75 million by 2022 — which is a total net gain of 58 million jobs, not getting rid of them!

RPA and new technology like AI is creating new opportunities every day such as software engineers, RPA developers/architects, machine learning/AI engineers, data scientists, data analysts. Clearly there is a lot of hype around robots taking peoples jobs but there is a big argument against this and how it’s creating new jobs.

There are two types of RPA software robots: Attended Robots and Unattended Robots.

Attended requires human direction and interaction because the work requires some form of checking or judgement that can only be provided by a human. Attended robots will work side by side your employees, almost like a digital assistant. Each of your employees who are working with RPA can have their jobs redesigned, freeing them of mundane and repetitive work, allowing them to work on more interesting and value-adding tasks.

Unattended robots are where a task requires no human interaction, therefore, this is perfect for where there is an abundance of repetitive rules-based work. In doing so you can automate the entire process from start to finish, with Unattended Robots, not requiring any team member’s intervention. These robots often run 24/7 with very minimal downtime or maintenance.

5. RPA is only for large businesses banks, insurance companies etc

Some of the products in the RPA space are designed with a large business in mind, however, it is entirely possible to start on their RPA journey and not have it cost an arm and a leg. By partnering with us at Edge Tech, you can get started in a very low-cost, low-risk manner, with minimum fuss and maximum ROI.

Want to learn more and explore RPA further?

If you’re considering embarking on your RPA journey or just want to find out how it could save your business money, increase efficiencies and take away the repetitive tasks from your employees then get in touch with us here at Edge Tech.

+44 1908 382 398


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