Process automation has been around for many years, and is widely used in manufacturing and other industrial settings. Its benefits are well known: it increases efficiency, reduces costs, and improves quality. In recent years, a new technology has emerged that offers many of the same benefits as process automation: robotic process automation, or RPA. RPA is a form of artificial intelligence that enables computers to execute tasks automatically.
There is a lot of discussion these days around the topic of process automation vs robotic process automation. Both have their benefits, but which one is the right choice for your organization?
What is process automation?
Process Automation is the use of technology to automate business processes and tasks that are typically done by humans. This can include things like automating email replies, filling out online forms, or even managing social media accounts. Process automation has been used for many years to improve manufacturing processes. In the early days of automation, robots were used to weld automobile bodies and to paint car parts. More recently, process automation has been used to manage business operations. For example, bank tellers have been replaced by ATMs, and order entry clerks have been replaced by EDI systems.
What is robotic process automation?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a specific type of process automation that involves the use of software robots or “bots” to automate tasks. These bots can be programmed to interact with websites and applications in the same way that a human would. This allows them to automate tasks that are difficult or impossible for a human to do on their own. In addition to software robots, RPA is made up of two additional components: a process orchestration layer, which is used to manage and monitor the bots, and a user interface, which is used to interact with the bots.
What are the benefits of each?
Process automation is the use of a computer to control the sequence of tasks that need to be completed to achieve a desired outcome. Robotic process automation (RPA) is a type of process automation that uses software robots to automate the execution of tasks that are traditionally completed by human beings.
RPA is a relatively new technology, and there is no clear consensus on the best way to categorize it. Some people classify RPA as a type of business process automation (BPA), while others classify it as a type of artificial intelligence (AI).
There are also a number of benefits that organizations can achieve through the use of process automation. Some of the key benefits include increased efficiency, improved accuracy, reduced costs, increased compliance, and improved customer service. Process automation can help organizations to automate repetitive tasks, which can lead to increased efficiency and a reduction in the time spent on these tasks, while improving the accuracy of tasks that involve data manipulation, such as data entry. Process automation can also help organizations to reduce the costs associated with completing certain tasks, ensure compliance with essential regulations, and provide a better customer experience.
There are a number of benefits that organizations can achieve through the use of RPA. Many of these key benefits mimic those of process automation, more generally. RPA, too, can provide increased efficiency, improved accuracy, reduced costs, increased compliance, and improved customer service.
So, which is the right choice for your organization? The answer depends on your specific needs. If you need to automate complex processes, or if you need to automate tasks that require human judgment, then robotic process automation is the right choice. If you need to automate simple tasks, or if you need to improve compliance with regulations and standards, then process automation is the right choice.