Ever since the discovery of fire, human beings have always been striving for ways of becoming more efficient as well as more productive. Thus, it is not a surprise that the whole concept of robotics has a rich history. Already in the 4th century BC the first robot-like concept was created. Greek philosopher Archytas developed what is believed to be the first autonomous flying device ever, in the form of a pigeon that was powered by steam. Another early automation concept was the clepsydra (water clock), made in 250 BC by physicist and inventor Ctesibius of Alexandria.
Mankind has been intrigued by designing automation robots for ages. Although some people get a little anxious of the idea of robots in our daily lives, the idea of robots making our lives easier keeps appealing to many. And rightly so. That’s why we believe software robots that improve the quality of work life is definitely next on the agenda of many organisations.
Software robots to support employees
Today industrial robots, the ones used for manufacturing, already are a new normal in our society. In our previous article "Are robots taking over: History and future of robotics", we discussed the difference between physical robots and software robots. When we are talking about robotic process automation (RPA), we are talking about software robots. Let’s focus on explaining RPA a bit more in detail.
Although the name might suggest RPA is a physical robot behind a desk, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it is a software (or tool) that supports employees with their work. Repetitive tasks such as gathering information, entering data and manually importing files into different systems are just a few examples of what can be automated by RPA.
The fast pace of technology developments in the last few decades, provided workforces with solutions that initially simplified their job. Over the years technological solutions piled up and scattered tasks over multiple systems, but proper integration of all those systems and software tools failed to occur. The continuous attempt to simplify work life with tools eventually became a maze of inefficient administrative processes and a growing number of tasks for employees. This way of working not only demotivates the cognitive abilities of human beings, also the risk of flaws and inconsistencies constantly lurks. And when information slips through the cracks, it raises costs and damages customer satisfaction. RPA can solve all of this.
RPA is much more than just process cost reduction
Robotic process automation is the composition of techniques and methods to automate a process with numerous advantages such as:
- Scalability & Flexibility: Additional robots can be deployed quickly at minimal costs
- Cost reduction: The wages of a robot are much lower compared to the wages of a human
- Time efficiency: A robot can do many different tasks simultaneously
- Continuing service: A robot is able to operate 24/7
Apart from what many people think, RPA does not require to adjust a company’s system or IT infrastructure. Nor does one need to change the current processes from a technical perspective. At Another Monday, we believe that RPA is much more than that. RPA is a methodology. Changing processes could be a huge benefit from a holistic approach. But basically, RPA can be built upon the existing systems, as it would replicate the exact same steps as employees take in a process. As it mimics employees’ tasks, software robots are often referred to as “virtual employees” and could be sooner or later be your companion taking over those tasks you are bored of....
Are you ready for your new assistant?