Welcome to RPA
If two years ago, anyone had mentioned RPA as a trend, we would immediately think of AI and robots in general.
Not a major tech disruption across companies, across borders, across verticals, and across the entire world
And also, a technology that has an entire country afraid of the future, because we don’t know what the final effect of this change will be.
We can hope, but the long-term effect of RPA on a nation so dependent on outsourcing of manual work – low cost work – should be huge.
However, that may not be the case. Surprisingly, experts forecast that Robotic Process Automation may actually – create more jobs than it destroys.
Should you be scared?
Only if you are afraid of change and of learning.
Otherwise, be extremely excited!
So, in case you don’t know what RPA is, read on.
Hint: please read on even if you think you know everything about RPA. Because there is good news for everyone.
Things are going to change, and definitely for the better.
Robotic Process Automation?
So, what is RPA?
Robotic Process Automation is the process of automating all tasks that can be automated by delegating them to software.
In many businesses and jobs, there exist a number of boring and mundane tasks.
It could be filling out a form, a data entry job, handling unstructured data, conventional clerical work which for many years were done by humans.
RPA changes that.
The same tasks are done, with 100% accuracy, zero salary costs, and no additional costs like food, water, coffee, and so on.
Only this time, they’re done by computer, and on a virtual system and often even a virtual screen.
This automatically ensures the following advantages (to add real meat to this article and not simply repeat information available elsewhere on the Internet, we quote from the UiPath website):
(What is UiPath?
The current leader in RPA technology, with a current valuation of over 7 billion USD.
There are other companies, notably Blue Prism and Automation Anywhere, but UiPath is the undisputed leader.)
“The business will become:
Open: UiPath’s extensible platform offers hundreds of built-in, customizable, shareable activities, plus deep integrations with the technologies you already use.
Rapid: The UiPath ecosystem is optimized for fast development and designed to deliver rapid ROI. In fact, 88% of UiPath deployments finish in 6 months or fewer.
AI-Enabled: Use out-of-the-box AI skills, source specialized AI skills from the ecosystem, or integrate your own AI skills. Seamlessly use these AI skills in your automations with UiPath drag-and-drop AI.
Scalable: RPA at enterprise scale. Deploy and manage any variety and number of processes from front-office to back-office, regardless of complexity.”
Use-Cases for RPA
A number of innovations have sparked a new revival in RPA.
While initial RPA implementations where little more than recording of tasks done in a GUI, the state-of-the-art technology is now even automating tasks like talking to actual customers!
A 2019 article gives the following as applications for RPA.
When you read the list, you quickly become aware of what can be automated, and that too, pretty easily.
“1. Emulates Human Action:
Emulates human execution of the repetitive process using various application and systems.
2. Conduct high-volume repeated tasks:
Robotics process automation can easily simulate rekeying of data from one system to another. It performs tasks like data entry, copying, and pasting.
3. Perform Multiple Tasks:
Operates multiple and complex tasks across multiple systems. This helps to process transactions, manipulate data and send reports.
4. ‘Virtual’ system integration:
This automation system can transfer data between disparate and legacy systems by connecting them at the user interface level instead of developing new data infrastructure.
5. Automated report generation:
Automates the extraction of data to comes up with accurate, effective and timely reports.
6. Information validation and auditing:
Resolves and cross-verify data between different systems to validate and check information to provide compliance and auditing outputs.
7. Technical debt management:
Helps to reduce technical debt by reducing the gap between systems, preventing the introduction of custom implementations.
8. Product management:
It helps to bridge the gap between IT systems and related product management platforms by automated updating of both systems.
9. Quality Assurance:
It can be beneficial to QA processes which cover regression testing and automating customer use case scenarios.
10. Data migration:
Allows automated data migration through systems which is not possible using traditional mediums, like document, spreadsheets or other source data files.
11. Gap solutions:
Robotic automatic fills the gaps with process deficiencies. It includes may simple tasks as password resets, the system resets, etc.
12. Revenue forecasting:
Automatically updating financial statements to predict revenue forecasting.”
Whoa, That’s My Job!
If this is your first reaction, I have good news for you, in general, the effect of RPA has not been removing jobs.
Experts feel that RPA simply removes work that doesn’t require originality, creativity, and expression (especially by human contact).
If you are ready to learn, RPA can be a blessing and not a bane.
This is why I mentioned that India should be scared but also ready.
Indians can be remarkably ingenious and are extremely talented programmers and masters at building state-of-the-art systems.
Would removing dull and uncreative work be a bad thing?
Wouldn’t it simply free you up for a more satisfying, rewarding task?
I’m a BPO Operator, Not an Artist!
Yes – this could be your reaction to that.
In fact, BPO processing is one of the most common uses employed for RPA.
Still, this is not a reason to worry or be afraid.
RPA still requires basic human management.
While we can construct almost arbitrarily complex robots, human contact and a genuine human connection is the fundamental need of most jobs.
If you can conceive the concept of learning and trying new things at your job, RPA may be your biggest blessing ever.
From a basic skill automation level, Indians – (mostly because of the average young age, popularity of English communication, and wide existing systems of training for higher education) – can cherry-pick a coveted position at the top of the RPA adoption list.
With retraining and reskilling, employees simply get better jobs.
Would that really be a bad thing?
There is a genuine need for and a massive shortage of RPA experts. Worldwide, there is a potential job market of 2.5 million jobs for RPA experts by 2021.
We Don’t Need RPA – We’re Happy with Current Automation Levels
Perhaps. But for how long?
Even if you are a small business, in the age of digital transformation and disruptive technology the need of the hour is to be able to compete effectively worldwide.
Companies that use RPA will find it simple to scale to millions of customers from hundreds in a matter of weeks.
And now, in this age of disruptive technology, there is no enterprise existing today in the world that does not need RPA in one way or the other.
If you were a taxi agency anywhere in the world right now, you would understand.
Uber is a classic example of disruptive technology. Uber has no cars, no drivers, no standard infrastructure, yet is the most successful taxi company in the history of humanity.
And it is only a matter of time until this disruption reaches your industry, regardless of where you are or what you’re doing.
This is the Need of the Hour
In digital transformation, perhaps the most commonly occurring theme is adaptability and growth in the face of change.
We may often need to correct serious errors, take a new path, reverse old strategies and remove whatever makes us less competitive and less relevant.
The company that is able to complete the most iterations of this process in the shortest amount of time – will be the winner eventually.
You can easily imagine the difference between hiring 200 people and hiring 200 robots.
You have the following advantages immediately:
1. 100% Accuracy (with good implementations)
2. No Salaries Required
3. Can be Disposed of or Created at Will
4. Can Scale from 100 to 1,000,000 in a matter of hours (through virtualization and containers)
5. Will Completely Remove All Necessity For Outsourcing Work
6. Much more Economical to Maintain
7. An average of 6 months to complete ROI (return-on-investment)
8. Necessary for everyone, everywhere
You might say, that’s a lot of reason to be scared about. A robot is about to take over my job!
The robots are going to take away your boring and repetitive jobs.
All creative, original, satisfying, human contact required, innovative work will be done by humans and only by humans.
At least, until AI becomes smarter than human beings!
But we digress.
My Job is Boring and Dull. I’m Comfortable with it!
What business do you have performing a boring and dull job?
Human beings are made in the image and likeness of God Himself, according to tradition.
We are all creative by nature.
RPA could be the spur you need to get a job that is interesting and that recharges you rather than removing what is human from you.
And what is the most essential human quality?
You may tell me, Thomas, the fact that my job is boring and dull is what keeps the company continue giving me a salary to do it!
I still feel that in the end, you are the loser.
A dull and boring job is sad. Just sad.
As automation reaches greater heights – as AI become capable of what was once strictly the domain of human beings – RPA is a trend that will increase and become popular even in the mainstream due to the bottom line – less cost, hence more profit.
If you really feel you are stuck in a job that will be automated – realize that you’re not.
RPA has less to do with taking away jobs and more to do with making jobs more interesting and human.
Think about it.
A human being, on average, spends one-third of his life at work.
Do you want an entire third of your life spent doing something machines can and will eventually do?
Isn’t there more to life than that?
Don’t you dream about changing lives?
Making a difference in the world?
To help others – to Serve – in some way or the other?
On a more pragmatic note, resistance to change could spell the end of your career and professional life.
Don’t become extinct because of your inability to adapt!
This is eventually going to hit every industry in the world – even music and art, believe it or not.
Don’t be rigid and inflexible.
You could lose out – and lose out badly – because of it.
See RPA as an Opportunity, Not an Obstacle
RPA could be what changes everything you hate about your existing job.
Indians need to see RPA for what it really can be – an opportunity to grow.
And not being able to adapt to change is what made entire species become extinct according to the theory of evolution.
Are you in danger of becoming extinct?
Or are you on the verge of a big business breakthrough?
Taking up RPA as a skill to learn and not a trend to fight or resist will be what keeps your job and career alive in this upcoming phase change.
The Scope for RPA
Over 35% of all jobs in the world will be automated by the year 2035, according to Oxford University.
This is just the beginning.
As AI gets smarter, and the world becomes smaller thanks to technology, more and more jobs will be automated.
Don’t fight the change.
Learn to thrive with it.
See this as an opportunity.
I repeat – RPA will create more jobs than it takes away.
If you are a student in college, I encourage you; learn computing.
The more you learn, the better everything will turn out for you.
And learning RPA could be the best solution to finding a job that doesn’t go with automation.
What is the one job that cannot be automated?
Creating robots and AI.
And of course, research.
Be passionate about your work, embrace change, make use of the opportunities that come your way, and you could possibly change the world.
Isn’t that something to be excited about?
Learn to live with exhilaration!
- RPA, Robotic Process Automation, is the future of the workplace.
- It may create more jobs than it takes away.
- There is a genuine shortage of resources, training, and availability of RPA experts on the job market, especially right now, in 2019.
- RPA could be your chance to reach a much happier and more exciting level of work in your daily job.
- And adopting RPA is crucial to remain competitive in the market.