Robotic Process Automation or RPA is the process of automating business processes using software bots that are designed to mimic human interactions or behavior suited for that process workflow. RPA is widely used by organizations to improve the customer experience as well as to reduce the effort needed for providing assistance to customers as well as improving the quality of their customer service. Artificial Intelligence can be simply explained as a simulation of human intelligence in machines through computer programming.AI can be implemented through various algorithms to provide solutions for processes like data analytics, image recognition etc. AI can be used to solve complex problems. RPAs are generally used to automate repetitive tasks and are designed to work in conjunction with people. AI implementations can be used to replace the need of a human to perform a job or task. RPAs commonly used in workflows which generally include workflows with a conclusive output from various known output scenarios, for example, verification of an application form which includes document verification can be automated through RPA to reduce the time needed for the process as well as improving performance and accuracy of the verification as such process has a set of rules which is followed and has a set of known outputs which are either pending, accepted or rejected. Adding automation improves a business in many ways. It has been more of a necessity than a luxury to automate certain aspects of a business especially when the use of digital technology is involved in one way or another. Most businesses depend on websites, mobile applications for marketing, sales, after-sales support etc and it has been a norm to cater to the audience or potential customers quickly to ensure that company presence or a product/services presence is known to the public. The use of such online media/ digital platforms requires the use of RPA to ensure the smooth flow of such processes. AI is a key term that we hear in many formats. Artificial intelligence can be combined with some of the other available technologies to create algorithms that can analyze and predict the movement of a marketplace based on the data available, which then can provide insight into how a market may behave in most scenarios and helps a business to make decisions accordingly. The same can also be used to gather consumer feedback and make necessary revisions to ensure positive feedback.
Benefits of RPA & AI
Some benefits of the RPA are listed as follows
- Increase efficiency: RPA helps to increase the efficiency of a process as a process is converted or automated through RPA which enables that process to continue operation 24/7 with the original efficiency without any issues.
- Improve productivity: We can create bots using RPA which is specifically designed to do a specific task. Such bots can make the process which it is designed to do with a smaller amount of time compared to the original process completion method. Lesser time to complete a process results in improved and increased productivity.
- Increased Accuracy: Since RPA bots are created based on a set of workflows that produce a definite output and such bots work with the same efficiency, the end results are always accurate compared to a human doing the same job.
- More scalable: RPA offers the option to scale a process to a larger extent as options to increase or decrease the number of bots required can be done according to demand.
Some benefits of AI are listed below
- Automation: Automation is one of the common benefits of AI. Automation improves efficiency, productivity as well as cost-effectiveness.
- Research and data analysis: AI and machine learning together can be used to research and analyze data more efficiently. This can be used to create predictive models and algorithms to analyze and process data to predict or understand outcomes based on various scenarios and trends.
- Complex Problem solutions: Combining AI with machine learning and deep learning enables us to create models to solve complex problems like weather forecasting, payment transaction and fraud detection, medical analysis etc.
Benefits for a business From RPA & AI?
A business can benefit from using RPA or API or both combined to automate a process.
Such a process can range from day to day tasks to complex analysis problems that rarely occur. A business can gain benefits from automating a process through RPA marketing, sales and after sales service.
- Speed of processes increases: By automating the process, for example creating chatbots for customer support enables the process to be faster than through a customer support mail or call(Amazon customer support chat is an example of this)
- More accurate: A process becomes more accurate when it is automated. For example, consider automating processing of a credit card application form, the documents uploaded by a customer can be verified and confirmed more accurately within minutes compared to doing the process manually. This is because RPA follows a strict workflow that reduces/removes mistakes that can happen when this process is done manually as the dependent data verification is strictly based on consumer data provided and since processing is done by automation.
- Reduce operational costs: Implementing RPA decreases operational costs on business processes. An automated process removes almost all other costs associated with the process after its implementation.
- Improves communication facilities: RPA can be used to improve the communication facilities in a business between organization and customers as well as inter-organizational communication.
- Scalability: Using RPA a process can be scaled up or scaled down easily depending on demand or traffic compared to a traditional approach.
Which is Better RPA or AI? Which technology should you choose for digital transformation?
RPA is used when a process has a conclusive definitive end and usually has a set of rules which are followed. AI is mostly used on processes that may always not have a conclusive ending or a process that doesn’t follow a set of rules. RPC is normally used to provide a solution when a process follows a set of rules and is not complex. Some situations where RPA can be are
- Customer support solutions like processing customer emails.
- Form processing like credit card applications, tax forms etc
- Sales processes
- Payroll processing
- Web scraping
AI is used on workflows whose output cannot be predicted or processes that do not follow or depend on a specific set of rules or if the data involved is unstructured which needs to be processed. Some process which uses AI are
- Face recognition and detection
- Digital Assistants
- E-payment solutions
- AI-powered search Engines
To decide on which technology is required for your business a deeper understanding of the current problem which you seek solution helps a lot. If the target is to automate a process or a service that sticks to a strict set of rules or workflow and produces a definitive outcome(example: consumer support chatbots) RPA would be the choice. If the process does not provide a predictable outcome and does not adhere to a set of rules or workflows (like stock market prediction, weather forecasting) using AI would be the better choice. However, there may be situations where both RPA and AI may need to be used to provide the best solution for a problem. Combining RPA and AI may need to provide solutions that can remove the need for a person to perform a task.
Both RPA and AI are used together or separately to provide solutions to various businesses and other organizations. These technologies are becoming an integral part of many business processes. It is becoming normal to use RPA in day to day tasks which may also be redundant for a human. It is fast becoming a normal thing to use such technologies in any or if all tasks to reduce various cost aspects as well as improve efficiency and implement solutions to maximum perfection. There are many solutions readily available on the market to add such capabilities to convert a process to improve a business and new solutions can be tailor-made to suit the needs of an organization. And such adaptations will only increase more and more as the traditional business model seems to be in a transitional period in times with moving to digital is not an option but a necessity