What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?




Jernej Koretic

Robotic process automation (RPA) is a software technology that facilitates the production and deployment of software robots that emulate human actions. These bots operate just like people and can perform activities based on set programming.

By applying RPA tools, companies can set their systems or “robots” to assess applications, so they can manipulate data, process a transaction, communicate with digital channels, and trigger responses. One example of an RPA scenario is activating an email RPA bot to respond automatically to email triggers.

Chief information officers in many enterprises today are looking toward robotic process automation software to streamline their operations through workflow automation. Such capability can help businesses automate a wide range of rules-based processes, so they can dedicate more time to performing other higher-value activities.

Benefits of RPA for Businesses

Digital transformation through the adoption of RPA offers businesses a host of benefits. The software robots produced through the technology are able to provide companies with significant improvements in many areas.
Here are the most well-known advantages that robotic process automation has to offer:

Increase Business Productivity

The main principle behind RPA is to allow human employees and robots to handle tasks that each excels at.
When staff can hand over repetitive, manual tasks to these bots, they can spend more time working on things that take advantage of their skills. These manual activities not only consume a significant amount of time and energy but can also hinder employees in terms of productivity.

RPA that is configured for workflow automation can benefit businesses by taking care of activities that robots can do better. This allows workers to be more effective and efficient as a whole unit in an organization.

Improve Efficiency and Cost-Savings

With increased productivity comes improved efficiency and cost savings since human employees don’t need to spend as much time doing repetitive activities. For instance, RPA bots can speed up processing times while reducing errors that could lead to additional costs down the line.

Combining the abilities of a human workforce together with smart software robots can lead to better company efficiency. Processing costs will be reduced as well while the output of each individual employee improves.

Better Business Security

One of the biggest concerns for companies today is that software and platforms used today come with operational risk. Data breaches are widespread, especially with the growing number of cybercriminals and exploits that go around.
Just like any technology, robotic process automation doesn’t guarantee a risk-free environment. The good news is that IT experts can configure their RPA parameters to ensure that any potential security issues are ironed out as much as possible.

Developing and maintaining a solid workflow automation solution will minimize risks. Meanwhile, following the best practices in IT security will also contribute to increased confidence in one’s security. One way RPA can improve business security is by reducing the number of touchpoints where human intervention is necessary. This is especially useful in aspects where strict personal data regulations are a must.

Enhance Customer Experiences

Robotic process automation has been increasing its foothold in the customer service space. This is especially true when it can be combined with artificial intelligence (AI) protocols like natural language processing.
Given how customer service usually requires a large amount of time, energy, and attention from employees, companies can use RPA to automate minor yet repetitive administrative tasks. This allows their human employees to focus their attention on customers that require immediate assistance. Not only does this improve the ability of a business to resolve issues; it also enhances the overall customer experience they offer.

Non-disruptive Automation

Startup businesses can benefit a lot by taking advantage of workflow automation features provided by RPA. Meanwhile, those that have already established themselves can leverage robotic process automation to upgrade their legacy systems.
What makes RPA tools ideal for both new and established organizations is that they don’t require them to replace any existing systems they have in place. RPA bots can be trained to follow programs that mimic human interactions that are compatible even with old infrastructure.

Access to Insightful Analytics

Another significant advantage that RPA technologies provide is their ability to collate and supply information concerning task execution to their users. Businesses will be able to check errors, work volume patterns, cycle times, and exceptions to change how they operate and improve upon existing processes.
Additionally, such data can help companies make better decisions moving forward. Important stakeholders will know what they need to do in order to make their systems more efficient.

How RPA and Digital Transformation Go Hand-in-Hand

Robotic process automation is one of those technologies that can be used by companies to streamline their digital transformation. Thanks to its capabilities, organizations will be able to use RPA to take on their operational challenges — the most common being the execution of numerous back-office activities.
As mentioned earlier, RPA also provides businesses with analytical capabilities concerning big data. This feature allows them to obtain knowledge concerning business performance and patterns concerning their workflows. Companies can then use the data available to carry out their digital strategies and make adjustments to be more efficient. Besides streamlining the digital transformation of an organization, RPA can also facilitate rapid and straightforward change.

RPA Use Cases

Now that you’ve learned quite a bit about robotic process automation, you might be wondering what industries could actually benefit from such technology. The right robotic process automation software can fit into numerous workflows and can be foundational in the overall strategy of an organization.
Here are some of the best examples of use cases where robotic process automation can be applied:

Customer Service

Whenever customers call businesses for assistance, most customer service team members need to spend time logging into different systems to retrieve information manually. Obtaining answers in this manner not only consumes time but can lead to negative customer service experiences down the line.
Robotic process automation allows company representatives to use bots that retrieve data for them almost instantly. Such a feature lets them significantly reduce the time spent obtaining the necessary information and address customer needs immediately. By being more responsive to callers, companies can improve the experience of their customers.

Information Technology

Robotic process automation technology can benefit IT departments through the right approach. This is especially true in regards to how IT infrastructure in organizations is often fragmented. With RPA, experts will have a seamless process that allows them to avoid the loop most IT personnel face.
RPA robots can help manage critical tasks like automating help desk ticket features and executing data backups. Whether it involves assisting IT teams or improving workflow automation, your technical group will have more time to spend on tasks that require their actual skills.

Sales and Marketing

Both sales and marketing teams produce a large amount of data for their respective organizations to keep up. It can be difficult to manage such information databases, but a well-configured RPA system can streamline how these repositories work.
Thanks to their ability to follow rules, RPA bots can improve tasks such as lead evaluation and assignment. Doing so can enhance the ability of a business to have qualified leads at all times. Meanwhile, marketing teams will be able to build more comprehensive customer profiles thanks to the data unification of RPA. Such data can have a major impact on developing marketing programs that will effectively benefit the business as a whole.

Accounting and Finance

Both accounting and finance departments can benefit from RPA by streamlining their common activities. Smart software robots can relieve the pressure and help with the challenges that often come with most accounting practices.
Some of the key areas that RPA can automate in accounting and finance include:

  • Procuring payments
  • Recording reports
  • Quote to cash processes

Shared Services

Thanks to the evolution of cloud technology, many businesses are now transitioning towards an environment where they can share the same services with other departments and organizations. Such arrangements mean that teams could be using similar business solutions in fields like information technology, human resources, and accounting.
Since shared services require a diverse ecosystem to operate effectively, there is a need to streamline its processes, and RPA is in the perfect position to do so. Smart RPA robots can quickly provide information to the right employees while providing a better overall service experience to various departments.


Robotic process automation provides businesses with opportunities to work faster and smarter thanks to the workflow optimization features it offers. RPA is one of the latest trends today, and companies should consider leveraging the technology to improve their processes. The use of smart robots that can be pre-programmed to accomplish a wide range of mundane tasks can be quite transformative in many sectors. Some of the most common industries that can benefit from RPA include customer service, information technology, and shared services.


With the distinct advantages provided by RPA, businesses will have the ability to save money and enhance their efficiency to achieve their daily outcomes. 

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Jernej Koretic

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