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What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

Process automation is nothing new, but when we talk today about Robotic Process Automation (RPA), we are normally referring to procedures or processes that are automated using software or software robots. In the case of RBA, software is used to perform repetitive tasks based on structured input.

The terms robotisation and RPA are used interchangeably.

RPA is a good option for manual processes that do not require human assessment, while it is expensive to use traditional IT to automate the processes.

The tasks below are examples of tasks that are particularly well-suited to robotisation:

  • When there are many systems involved with little integration between them, with the result that cases/tasks are carried out in several/many systems where employees often spend time transferring data and information manually (cut and paste).
  • High volume - many cases/tasks.
  • Wide variation in workload – the cases/tasks are generally not distributed evenly throughout the year, but for example display major seasonal variations which require overtime or extra employees.
  • Clear business rules – the cases/tasks have a defined procedure that employees agree on.
  • Digital and structured data – the information that is used to carry out the cases/tasks is in (or can be converted into) machine-readable format and does not require any linguistic comprehension other than individual words.
  • Rule-based and routine tasks (no cognitive function, cannot make discretionary assessments).
  • The variation in the performance of tasks is relatively minor – most cases/tasks have a standard outcome.      

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