Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is many technologies brought together under one toolkit to be deployed when required for automating varied manual processes. It integrates software-driven "bots" with defined mundane processes to drive automation. Automating these mundane, repetitive processes solves some acute business problems, such as lack of efficiency, high labor costs, inability to scale, and rising quality issues from manual mistakes.
“It’s a safe assumption that robotic process automation will soon become part of shared services’ modus operandi” - Barbara Hodge, Editor, SSON
The RPA technology automates digital tasks that otherwise consume significant time if done manually. Collection, transfer, and entry of information, file management, scanning, and storage of data and documents are the most common and popular uses of RPA. The nullification of human time, effort, and mistakes help employees shift their focus to more strategic tasks instead of the technological systems. RPA creates a virtual workforce that never gets tired and follows all the rules set by humans, and humans then make judgmental calls, handle exceptions, and provide oversight.
The example listed below will denote the difference between manual Vs. RPA implemented process for your understanding.
Previously, robotic automation was accessible only to large-scale enterprises that wanted to address repetitive functions and cut costs. Such enterprises would have the resources to bring in global systems integrators to help with virtual robots' programming and implementation.
Now, the adoption of Robotic Process Automation from Small-Medium Businesses (SMBs) to multinational enterprises is rising at lightning speed. Their primary focus is to drive efficiency and performance in the workplace. Over time, enterprises have realized that RPA's benefits are industry agnostic, spanning from finance to the utility industry.
RPA's market revenues are forecasted to cross USD 2.9 billion worldwide in 2020, with a projected CAGR of 40.6% from 2020 to 2027. These figures denote how the demand for automation in business is rising as business leaders become more aware of the vast benefits RPA technology offers.
Additionally, COVID-19 has raised businesses' expectations to be everywhere - across all devices and technologies. This will be a significant driving factor in extending RPA applications and their capacity in the years to come.
Apart from BFSI, a very prominent user of RPA, other industries such as Healthcare, IT & ITES, Call Centers, Manufacturing, Transport & Logistics, Utilities, Procurement, Accounting, and Human Resources are reaping handsome benefits from RPA adoption.
Some applications we can state here as an example are,
Any industry using computers for any small or large aspect of operations will benefit tremendously from the speed, accuracy, efficiency, and overall dependability of RPA.
The growing adoption of RPA in all industries opens plenty of RPA job opportunities for multiple job roles in RPA. At the same time, RPA opportunities aren't limited to technologists. Business analysts and others with the ability to analyze business processes and recognize how they can be automated can learn to make bots or write up the requirements for an RPA developer.
The RPA job market has several roles; Solutions Architect, Project Manager, Business Analyst, Process SME, RPA Developer, RPA Tester, and Bot Orchestrator, to name just a few. Many companies prefer all-rounders with delivery and hands-on experience with one or more RPA tools and a few years of experience. They assess if the candidates have a relevant aptitude and are trained to evaluate, analyze, and optimize each business process that needs automation. However, RPA is a relatively new field, and an RPA expert will often have less than five years of experience. This increases the chance for new entrants with related skill sets to grab RPA job opportunities with the necessary RPA certifications.
UK-based Information Services Group (ISG) recently stated that they would soon create thousands of new RPA jobs and Robotics jobs. The positions available will include Automation Analyst, Automation Consultant, RPA Lead, RPA Analyst, and Head of Automation.
Moreover, to concur with the current trend, the findings from the "State of RPA Developer Report 2020," released by UiPath, are good news for RPA aspirants. The survey, based on a group of 1,500 RPA professionals around the world, stated that "70% of RPA professionals say their organization will hire more developers in 2021, and 84% agree that their job as an RPA developer will have a positive impact on their next career move."
According to both Forrester Research and Gartner, the list of vendors that compete in the RPA software market is quite long. However, the leaders are Automation Anywhere, UiPath, and Blue Prism, followed by Pegasystems and WorkFusion, as strong performers in the RPA market.
The RPA tools developed by these companies are the software through which one can configure tasks that need to be automated. Depending on the company's requirement, they can choose one from the below list that meets their objectives of RPA:
These are the most widely used RPA tools available in the market today. They are worth learning for RPA career aspirants based on the job roles they are looking to excel.
The RPA job market is relatively new and lacks the formalization of recruitment processes. Nevertheless, there is more than one way of looking for RPA talent and vetting them for RPA requirements:
Tech recruiters must understand that while RPA is a software category, excellent programming skills aren't necessary. It is natural for candidates from other roles, such as business analysts or project managers, to apply for RPA jobs. But technical know-how is still a good-to-have item on the list. Critical thinking and relationship management skills are equally important in an RPA professional's journey; hence it is essential to analyze the candidates.
Some of the RPA interview questions tech recruiters can ask aspiring candidates are -
The RPA interview questions should combine technology, governance, and change management. As RPA intersects with multiple business processes across the organization, it will make sense not to treat the interview just as a technical interview.