Robotic Process Automation: the right hand of process automation

Robotic Process Automation is the new go-to tool for developers and companies seeking more efficient processes and high-value focused human work.

With the birth of AI several years ago and the boom of emerging technologies that came with it, companies and programmers have been able to anchor their operations to computer programs that learn tasks and emulate digital human interactions. This software robots have become more and more useful in the handling of repetitive and mechanical tasks that take a lot of time and require extensive human labor. One of the hottest new trends aimed at propelling efficiency in software development and business process automation is called Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

What is RPA?

Robotic Process Automation is a groundbreaking technological application that allows developers to configure computer software —or “bots”— to automate business processes, raise productivity, and enhance back-office workflow. In layman’s terms, RPA’s main objective is to transfer process execution from humans to bots. RPA bots can learn to interpret and manipulate data, communicate with other digital systems, process transactions, and perform myriad human-like tasks that otherwise would take a lot of time, energy, and money. Its versatility allows it to be combined with other technologies, such as Machine Learning or Natural Language Processing, to enhance its usage and broaden the scope of its many applications.

How does RPA work?

RPA integrates seamlessly with any existing IT system and can be programmed to handle repetitive, sometimes mundane, manual data-intensive tasks. Thus, freeing developers to perform more knowledge-based high-end work and alleviating the strain and costs of time-consuming manual labors. RPA robots are typically low-cost (with profitability margins that guarantee a better ROI), easy to implement, they eliminate workflow inefficiencies, and they can act autonomously with little or no human oversight. They are also fast, extremely accurate, highly productive, not prone to errors, deployable anywhere and anytime, work 24/7, provide increased scalability, and can carry out hundreds of tasks with no extra investment in additional software or human workforce.

All of these features have made RPA the irrefutable keystone in several organizations’ digital transformation strategies. As a matter of fact, research has shown that companies that use RPA experience increased efficiency (86 percent), better insights into customers (67 percent), improved customer service (57 percent), and enhanced employee engagement (57 percent). RPA’s ease of use and low-cost have skyrocketed its growth with experts estimating 4 million robots doing office and administrative work by 2021.

 

RPA has been the preferred automation tool for different companies in various industries, including banking, healthcare, customer service, software development, and even airlines and transportation companies. For instance, Virgin Trains has used RPA bots to handle menial tasks like processing refunds, reservations, and cancellations, thus taking the load off from the staff and focusing human work on more meaningful tasks. Many banks deploy RPA bots to handle claims, send emails, create databases, invoices, and even perform some level-one customer service tasks. Companies like Walmart and Target now pair RPA with Machine Learning to automate all their level-one customer service and business email lists. They program bots to classify and route emails concerning claims, purchases, refunds, questions, and several other business units. What took humans several days to achieve now takes RPA bots as little as 30 seconds to accomplish.

Benefits of RPA for the software and app development industry

When implemented correctly, software and app developers can successfully reap the many benefits that RPA brings to the industry:

 

  • It helps with code writing. When paired with Machine Learning, RPA can assist developers in never-ending code writing by auto-generating source code with no errors, improved efficiency, and no extra costs.
  • It helps in source code reviews and testing. RPA not only reduces manual effort when performing source code reviews, but it also automates the consolidation work, removes duplicates and errors, and significantly increases accuracy and output times. 
  • It handles programmatic operations. RPA bots can connect to system APIs and detect changes in them, follow deterministic models and directions, and reproduce any flow of content or UI flow by using screen scraping.
  • Increased productivity and ease of use. RPA doesn’t require modifications, additions, or changes to existing software programs, and it doesn’t trigger expensive IT modifications or efforts to deploy.
  • It handles marketing campaigns and promotions. RPA robots can be programmed to manage databases, generate intelligence reports, monitor competitors and other apps, monitor social media, fill forms, and send messages to email lists.

This RPA implementations and benefits can help with many human processes and tasks but are in no way aimed at replacing the manual labor inherent to software and app development. Human input will always be the cornerstone of any digital project, but the benefits regarding increased productivity and profitability that RPA brings to the table are undeniable.

The Takeaway

Any digital process automation journey has some form of AI-powered tool at its core. RPA provides unheard-of benefits to the software development industry that range anywhere from cutting down on development costs to reducing human error incidence and driving efficiencies in coding and programming. RPA is the forefront of any digital transformation initiative that seeks increased productivity and less taxing manual processes. Sounds great, right? It is THE perfect virtual workforce!

If you have any questions, concerns, or doubts, please don’t hesitate to contact us. At Foonkie Monkey, we’re always here to help you!


You may also want to check out Augmented Programming, the perfect solution for enhancing software development productivity.

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