RPA Myths Debunked
Despite its rapid growth over the last few years across many sectors, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has maintained the stigma in certain sectors that:
“A machine is going to take my job”,
“It looks or sounds too complicated”,
“It’s probably too expensive”,
…or the most common one…
“I don’t have an IT team to implement this, I don’t have the time!!!”
These misperceptions are reflected in almost all industries irrespective of business size. The benefits of RPA, especially for SME’s, can only be appreciated when we have a better understanding of its impacts on a variety of in our businesses. This we will look at later but, for now, let us unpack these “myths” and understand why RPA should become an essential tool for us.
What is RPA?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a software technology that emulates human actions by following the same steps in a process performed on computer systems in a business. RPA software robots (or digital workers) can perform a wide range of defined actions, such as identifying and extracting data, completing the right keystrokes, login and navigate systems. By allowing digital workers to perform the mundane, repetitive tasks it frees up your employee’s time to do more value-added work in the business.
Myth #1: Robots will take our jobs.
While job roles are indeed changing due to automation, it’s crucial to note that Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is mainly used for automating repetitive, rule-based tasks. This allows human workers to dedicate their time to more creative and complex endeavours. Originally designed to bridge the gap between older legacy systems and newer technologies, RPA doesn’t replace human effort but supports it. Instead of diminishing jobs, RPA transforms the nature of work, directing human potential toward higher-value activities. For example, employees currently handling routine data transfers often have untapped capabilities. By shifting focus from their hands to their hearts and minds, we unlock unused potential, creating a more fulfilling work experience. Embracing RPA signifies a transformation rather than job loss, fostering a workforce that is more engaged, innovative, and focused on tasks that truly utilize their skills. This shift toward collaboration between humans and machines creates a more productive and rewarding workplace environment for everyone.
Myth #2: RPA is only for large companies.
RPA offers advantages to organizations of all sizes, including both small businesses and large enterprises. Smaller companies may find it quicker and easier to implement RPA compared to larger ones, as they often have fewer legacy systems and processes to integrate.
In the early 2000s, RPA was initially a niche market with few providers, making it appear inaccessible, especially for smaller businesses. However, the landscape has changed significantly over time. The introduction of No-Code/Low-Code methodologies and tools has transformed the sector, making RPA more widely available. This democratization of RPA ensures a speedy return on investment and significant benefits for small and mid-sized businesses.
Today, businesses of all sizes can leverage RPA to streamline operations, boost efficiency, and promote growth, regardless of their scale or resources. This showcases the evolving accessibility and adaptability of this transformative technology.
Low-Code/No-Code refers to minimal or even non-existent coding skills required for applications or “bots”.
Myth #3: RPA is too complex and requires advanced technical skills.
Implementing RPA does require some technical knowledge, but numerous user-friendly tools are available, enabling non-technical staff to create and manage robots. Many RPA solutions feature a drag-and-drop interface, eliminating the need for coding skills to build a robot.
The rise of Low-Code/No-Code in recent years has significantly minimized the requirement for extensive technical expertise. This shift empowers business professionals familiar with operations to take the lead in automation. Tools like Fortra Automate are specifically designed to simplify RPA implementation, making it accessible to a broader audience.
The concept is to empower your own employees, those with a deep understanding of your business needs, to program an application (a bot). If you have technically skilled team members, that’s great! However, the advantage is that you also have the option to do it yourself. This approach leads to quicker implementation, cost savings, and a more skilled workforce—a win-win situation!
Myth #4: RPA is expensive and not worth the investment.
Implementing RPA may involve initial costs like software licensing and training, but the long-term advantages of improved efficiency and productivity often surpass these expenses. RPA can minimize manual errors, expedite processes, and release employees to concentrate on more valuable tasks. In numerous instances, the return on investment from RPA can be realized within a year or two.
The cost consideration is crucial for any business endeavour, as the project’s success relies on the promised return on investment. For a large multinational corporation investing in a substantial RPA initiative with specialists and consultants, the potential for significant cost reduction can result in a considerable ROI.
However, for smaller businesses operating with limited resources and narrower margins, the appeal of No-Code RPA becomes apparent. The licensing costs for these tools are a fraction of what larger players charge.
Additionally, the prospect of implementing RPA with an in-house team becomes not only possible but also highly cost-effective. This illustrates how tailored solutions with No Code RPA can transform automation for businesses of all sizes.
Myth #5: RPA is not secure and puts sensitive data at risk.
RPA solutions like Fortra’s Automate, come with a strong security framework which includes advanced features such as built-in encryption and precise access controls to enhance the protection of sensitive data.
Additionally, partnering with a reputable RPA vendor and following established best practices for data security is crucial. These measures collectively contribute to establishing a secure environment for RPA implementation. It’s essential to recognize that, when handled diligently, RPA can be smoothly integrated into operations, boosting efficiency without compromising data integrity.
Myth #6: RPA is best for automating simple processes.
The belief that RPA is only suitable for simple processes is an outdated misconception. In today’s landscape, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has evolved well beyond this narrow view. Presently, RPA technology can navigate and interact with nearly any system or application, even those considered complex or deeply entrenched in legacy systems. This enables businesses to automate processes that were once manual and time-consuming, ushering in a new era of efficiency.
Moreover, RPA excels in orchestrating complex workflows, seamlessly integrating multiple systems and diverse data sources into a synchronized automated process. Its versatility extends further by working alongside other advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), optical character recognition (OCR), and natural language processing (NLP), enhancing the potential for automation to sophisticated levels.
Determining if a task is suitable for automation is straightforward. Ask two key questions:
- Can a person perform the task?
- Does it require significant cognitive decision-making
If the answer to the first question is yes and the second is no, the task is a prime candidate for automation. However, note that some processes are more naturally suited to automation. Starting with a process that either causes the most challenges or promises quick returns on investment is a recommended approach. This strategic method ensures a smooth transition into automation, unlocking immediate benefits.
Embracing Robotic Process Automation (RPA), a crucial aspect of Business Process Optimization and Automation, has the potential to transform your business operations. While the implementation journey may seem challenging, the rewards are significant. The era of streamlined, efficient processes is within reach.
Implementing RPA in your business can reap various long-lasting benefits across many departments. The scope is almost limitless and allows you to better utilize the resource we all value so much… our people.
Should you be interested in a free consultation or just to stay updated on news related to RPA in your sector, please leave your contact details below.
We hosted the ‘Cracking the Code’ webinar to address abovementioned topics, discuss RPA advantages and present real-life case studies. Watch the RPA Cracking the Code webinar here