Robotic Process Automation is a growing technology with several benefits. However, some people still are not convinced of it and make objections. In this article, we have addressed both sides (advantages and disadvantages) of RPA to give you a better understanding of this technology.
Some of the significant advantages of Robotic Process Automation software are given below:
RPA doesn’t require any coding or programming knowledge. The modern RPA tools are used to automate applications in any department where the clerical work is performed across an enterprise. Hence, Employees only need to be trained on how RPA works, and they can easily create bots, just through GUI (Graphical User Interface) and different intuitive wizards. It gives an advantage over the traditional methods of automation and enables accelerated delivery of business applications. Besides, this platform reduces the initial cost of installation, training, and deployment.
One of the major challenges that IT deployment faces is the risky or complex transformation process, which prevents large organizations from redesigning, replacing, or enhancing the running system. However, the transformation process in RPA is very simple and straightforward. The RPA software robots follow the existing security, quality, and data integrity standards to access the end-user system in the same manner as human beings. These software robots also prevent disruption of any kind and maintain functionality and protections.
RPA does not require a special kind of knowledge, such as coding, programming, or deep IT skills. RPA software is user-friendly, easy to understand, and easy to use. RPA tools allow users to create bots quickly and effortlessly by capturing mouse clicks and keystrokes with a built-in screen recorder component. Some of the RPA software includes the option to create and edit bots manually using the Task Editor.
RPA software contains an in-built analytical suite that evaluates the performance of the robot workflows. RPA analytical suite also helps in monitoring or managing the automated functions from a central console, which can be accessed from anywhere. It offers basic metrics on robots, workflows, and more. The analysis performed by the analytical suite helps users to track the operations and determine issues. There is no need for any integration since everything is inbuilt and set right out of the box.
When an organization is running on automation, more users will demand access to RPA products. Therefore, it is important to have robust user access management features. RPA tools provide options to assign role-based security capabilities to ensure action specific permissions. Furthermore, the entire automated data, audits, and instructions which can be accessed by bots, are encrypted to avoid any malicious tampering. The enterprise RPA tools also offer detailed statistics of the logging of users, their actions, as well as each executed task. Thus, it ensures the internal security and maintains compliance with industry regulations.
Rule-based Exception Handling
RPA system allows users to deploy bots using rules-based exception handling. This feature proactively handles the exception. For example, RPA robot reports an exception, and then the actions given below are triggered:
The same process is re-assigned to a different bot by the server.
The current bot retries the same process and removes the previous bot from production.
If retry is successful, the server maintains the reassignment and raises an alert to report exception & resolution.
If retry is unsuccessful, it stops the current bot and raises an alert to report exception as well as failed resolution.
Hosting and Deployment Options
The RPA system provides deployment options across virtual machines, terminal services, and cloud. Cloud deployment is one of the best among all the other deployment options, which attracts most of the users due to its scalability and flexibility. Therefore, businesses can install RPA tools on desktops and deploy it on servers to access data for completing repetitive tasks. RPA systems can automatically deploy robots in a group of hundreds. Similarly, multiple bots can be used to run different tasks within a single process while processing a high volume of data.
This RPA feature refers to the ability to gain and apply knowledge as skills. Robots first obtain the data and then convert it into information and transform the information into actionable intelligence for the users. Artificial intelligence and cognitive intelligence are the common features of RPA solutions that help bots to improve decision making over the period.
One of the biggest advantages of RPA from a development perspective is debugging. Some RPA tools need to be stopped running while making changes and replicating the process. The rest of the RPA tools allow dynamic interaction while debugging. It allows developers to test different scenarios by changing the values of the variable without starting or stopping the running process. This dynamic approach allows easy developments and resolution in a production environment without requiring changes to the process.
Some of the major drawbacks of Robotic Process Automation software are given below.
Potential Job Losses
If a robot can work faster with a more consistent rate, then it is assumed that there will be no need for human input. It is the main concern for the employees, and this results as a major threat to the labor market. However, this thinking is not accurate. Amazon has shown a great example of this limitation. The employment rate has grown rapidly during a period where they have increased the number of robots from 1000 to over 45000.
Initial Investment Costs
RPA is still in the stage of innovation, and so it can present challenges that may result in unwanted outcomes. Therefore, it isn’t easy for organizations to decide whether they should invest in robotic automation or wait until its expansion. A comprehensive business case must be developed when considering the implementation of this technology; otherwise, it will be useless if returns are only marginal, which may not worth taking the risk.
Hiring Skilled Staff
Many organizations believe that to work with RPA, the staff must have significant technical knowledge of automation as robots may require programming skills and an awareness of how to operate them. It further forces organizations to either hire a skilled staff or train existing employees to expand their skills.
People are usually habitual, and any change in the organization may cause stress to the employees. People who are involved in new technology will get new responsibilities, and they will have to learn new concepts of a specific technology. Because everyone may not have the same level of knowledge, it may lead existing employees to resign from their job.
It is always best to choose tasks that are repetitive, rules-based, and do not require human judgment. The non-standard processes are difficult to automate, and human interaction is required to complete such processes. So, there are limited tasks that you can automate with RPA.