What is Robotic Process Automation?

When we think about robotic automation, we may think about how robots have been represented in film and television like in Robocop or Westworld, and the potentially disastrous fallout robots can cause. Or perhaps you’re concerned about building intelligent technology that may eventually make our jobs irrelevant.

The truth is, robotic process automation is far different than how it’s been portrayed in popular culture so far. While we don’t necessarily need to worry about a robot uprising, robotic process automation can have a big impact on the way we work every day. Robotic process automation, or RPA, can make the work you do day in and day out much simpler, taking over menial tasks to free up your time so you can focus on the bigger picture.

By 2021, Forrester estimates that around 4 million RPA robots will be doing office and administrative work, sales, and other related tasks. Robotic process automation can revolutionize the way you work. Here’s a look at what it is and how it can empower you to expand your daily operations.

About Robotic Process Automation

RPA is an emerging technology that allows us to configure computer software to do programmatic, task-based work for you—all the things that used to be manual and labor-intensive. Essentially, RPA “robots” emulate and integrate the way you interact with your organization’s digital systems.

RPA bots utilize your existing user interface to capture data and manipulate applications the same way you do. They can interpret data, trigger responses, and communicate with other systems for you in a repetitive manner. RPA software robots are a step ahead though: They don’t need lunch breaks or a 40-hour workweek like we do, and they won’t make any mistakes or leave anything out. 

What Sets RPA Apart

Perhaps you have an enterprise software solution that’s automated in some way. The use of this kind of technology is already widespread in applications like HubSpot that automate tasks like email marketing workflows

The difference with RPA software is that you can extend this same kind of automation to your entire desktop, between applications, web browsers, and more. You can even build spreadsheets, filter data, and send emails. Your RPA software robot can scour the web for data, parse it into a spreadsheet, extrapolate data, and perform specific actions with this data. Previously, you would have to perform all these tasks yourself; now this work is done for you.

Also, compared to traditional IT solutions, RPA gives you the power to automate your processes at a fraction of the cost and time it would have taken before. This makes automation much more accessible. RPA is also non-intrusive: It will leverage existing data without disrupting your systems. It’s a cost-effective, compliant solution that is changing the way people work.

RPA has been rising in popularity in recent years thanks to how scalable it is and how easy it is to implement. RPA robots can work seamlessly across multiple platforms and applications with practically zero changes to your IT infrastructure. Any processes that require little to no human judgment can be automated with RPA technology. 

The best part? Someone starting to learn about RPA doesn’t have to be a tech wizard. With a user-friendly interface, it’s easy for nearly anyone to master, configure, and manage RPA.

What can RPA Automation Do for You?

RPA robots are engineered to mimic most—if not all—human user interactions. When you need it to log into applications, move files and folders, copy and paste data, complete forms, extract structured and semi-structured data, gather information from browsers, and more, RPA is up to the challenge. 

What else can automation do?

  • Connect to APIs
  • Copy and paste data
  • Read and write to databases
  • Open emails and attachments
  • Make calculations

Basically, any kind of high-volume, business rules-driven repeatable process that used to take far too long is an excellent candidate for automation.

RPA and School Corporations

There’s no debate that teachers are stretched thin enough as it is. RPA is one way to simplify their processes. Between all the platforms that teachers are being asked to use now—grading and attendance software, staying in contact with administrators about at-risk students, file sharing, and more—RPA is one way to streamline all the time it takes to complete these operations so teachers can spend more time doing what matters most: educating students.

RPA and Human Resources

When you’re entering into a search for a new candidate, you might receive dozens or even hundreds of applications and resumés. Sorting through all of the information in these cover letters, applications, and resumés can take way too long. 

Instead, you can build a bot that can enter your resumé app, parse the data in its own file, create a spreadsheet or report with all the data, then filter top candidates based on your predetermined criteria. Your RPA robot can even send emails to invite these candidates to interview with you

By automating this part of the hiring process, your human resources department can place more of their focus on more crucial steps in bringing in new talent, like interviewing and on-boarding hirees.

Robotics Process Automation the Way You Need It

There’s no doubt that RPA robotics is here to stay. By embracing this technology, you can drive up profitability and productivity with accuracy, streamline your workflows, and scale with ease. Everything is tailored to you and you can train and integrate more automations as you go for even better results.

At Cronos, we’re all about supporting your needs. We’ll simplify all the nitty-gritty aspects of what you do every day to empower your organization to do more, faster and better than ever before. Are you ready to learn more about what we can do for you? Contact us today!

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