Robotic Process Automation has been the “flavour of the month” for quite some time. There are countless articles about how this technology can revolutionise businesses. Although, these discussions almost always cover only two aspects – highly technical, programming jargon or highly financial, big picture stuff. The business users, usually these are the process experts who manually perform these tasks. Their expertise informs the robots of all the possible pitfalls, which enables RPA developers to build better and smarter robots.
Despite playing such an important role, there isn’t much awareness in the business users community around the true potential of software robots, what they can or cannot do for their owners, and whether they could be doing more than their current utility. This can be made easier by understanding the working of robots a little bit better.
It’s time we stopped looking at RPA as just “innovation tech” and accept it as part of work-life. I hope this program can convince you how easy it can be.
This article is a 5-minute read that should leave you with the following:
- Who is Ash Kulkarni (because then you won’t be reading from a stranger!)
- What is Robotic Process Automation?
- What is RPA For Everyone?
- Why do we need it, NOW more than ever?
- What can it do for your career? (Or someone you know who needs it)
Once upon a time not that long ago…
Hi, I am Ash. (It’s short for Ashutosh – I know, too many vowels to pronounce!).
I was bitten by the computer bug quite early and I have spent the better part of my growing years in front of computers.
Despite an abundance of computer games and chat messengers (and absence of broadband internet), I did manage to get a degree in Computer Engineering and build a decent career as a programmer over the past two decades. And then, one fine day…
How I met my twin!
Thanks to a very fortunate career change, I discovered Robotic Process Automation (let’s call it RPA for the rest of this chat). I learned about this concept called a digital twin, which has now taken different meanings, one of which applies here: A robot built with RPA technology that can imitate computer clicks and keystrokes very fast and nearly error-free!
Basically, you get a pretend human who lives inside your computer! Voila! At the time, RPA was yet to become the industry sensation as it is today. Although, this technology has evolved rapid fast over the last 5 years. They say nowadays, a new feature is released before you can even say “Robotic Process Automation”.
*BEEP* Look, a notification of a new feature just went off!
So, RPA is truly a blessing for businesses to improve their business processes in terms of efficiency and savings. But that’s not all. It’s a combo meal, complete with crispy fries of happier employees a coke float of newer career opportunities for the workforce of the future.
But RPA was not for everyone… (yet!)
As I went on building more bots, sat through presentations, planning sessions and webinars… one thing kept bothering me. The conversations about RPA and software bots are always focused on extremely technical or extremely top-level management jargon. In a typical RPA meeting, you could play the game of Buzzword Bingo and win with just a few words like “FTEs”, “Savings” and “Exceptions”.
In other words, it would be very difficult for someone who is new to robots to fully understand a lot of these concepts. To get the most out of a robot, it’s very important that one understands what a robot can and cannot do!
Remember: A robot is basically a junior teammate of the process owner, which means if they know its strengths and weaknesses, the robot could be used at its highest potential.
If you can relate to this, even if a little, you have most likely sat through such a meeting or webinar. Hopefully, I have your attention for the next part…
Enter, RPA For Everyone!
As evident from its name, the RPA For Everyone initiative aims to reach people that are not necessarily in the everyday circle of expert RPA developers or evangelists.
Every day, several departments of various businesses are undergoing a massive digital transformation. In simpler terms, it means that some repetitive, mundane, non-value add tasks are being automated. If you work in or with any of such teams, there is a good chance some part of your daily routine has been automated or at least slated for it.
A few things about this blog before we proceed:
It IS NOT just another blog that talks about
– new features of this RPA tool or that
– or how jobs are being automated left and right
– what it means for the future of the workforce…
Many a word has been written about this. Besides, if I were an expert in predictions I would spend my time at the races, not on this blog!
It IS NOT a how-to website for different RPA tools. There are many great resources available online to get you started. In fact, UiPath – the Industry Leader in RPA by far – was also the first among the best to launch a Community Edition of its development tool UiPath Studio. Other major companies have now followed suit and launched their own free versions of the tools. There will be blog posts about this material and the best ways to learn from these resources, but let’s finish this chat first.
It IS a program that aims to bridge the gap between the advanced technologies like RPA and anyone who is directly or indirectly affected by the introduction of a robot into their work process.
At the moment, there are countless resources, blogs, articles and now even podcasts about automation and its benefits to businesses. However, much more needs to be said about the jobs that are being automated.
There is a genuine conversation about not leaving anyone behind in this race to transformation, yet much more needs to be done to actually make that possible.
Why this is important NOW, more than ever…
With the start of the year 2020, the world awoke to a terrible, unfortunate global crisis of the 21st century – the COVID outbreak. Aside from a tragic loss of a staggering number of human beings, several of us had to face job losses, economic setbacks.
Businesses had to scram and make alternate working arrangements at record speed – especially in the area of IT infrastructure – by making resources available for as many employees to work remotely as possible.
Also lately, companies of all shapes and sizes are already looking at the potential of Robotic Process Automation to automate manual efforts. The pandemic added a whole new perspective to this consideration. When we go back to work after this is over, when everything is back to ‘normal’, it will be a new world – in many ways.
Many job profiles won’t exist anymore, and new ones will take their place. Automation will undoubtedly dominate the new profiles that are created, in one way or another. You will meet more robots than you did before.
RPA For Everyone aims to make learning Robotic Process Automation fun, simple and easy to access.
Right now, any project in RPA broadly has two types of people involved:
|Someone with programming experience
|Great knowledge of the business process
| Assessing a business process is an acquired skill
that takes time to develop
| Someone with limited or no programming experience
As a result, they may produce inefficient robot code
We aim to provide the perfect balance you need to strike in order to write small robots to do your slack work for you, and yet keep them simple enough to maintain without having to acquire strong coding skills.
Commit yourself to a better career!
If you’ve stuck around to read this far, clearly you have resolved to become a Robot Master and I congratulate you on having won half the battle already! If you commit to improving your career prospects by learning RPA, then I commit to doing my best to get you there!
Also, during these unfortunate times, if someone you know has suffered a job loss or is in need of a career change, please refer them to this FREE resource to help them improve their hire-ability.
Please sign up to get easy training material and quick-n-simple break-down of important concepts (and nothing else! I hate spam). Also, share your story using the form below, so I can send you more relevant stuff rather than just generic articles. 🤷♂️
Also, please stick around to read more! Start with our post Software Bots 101. The site menu also has other links and resources that delve into specifics of some of the concepts discussed here.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts! After all, ‘Everyone’ is an important part of our philosophy! Please leave a comment or a query about what specific aspect of Robotic Process Automation about which you would like to know.