Robotic process automation expands

Issue 1 2022 Infrastructure

In 2022, robotic process automation (RPA) is poised for a breakthrough into the mainstream consciousness. RPA refers to the automation of business processes via software platforms that script and operate pre-defined tasks across a variety of applications. Many repetitive business application tasks can be automated in this manner. RPA can be combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create more advanced automations, with the AI providing the requisite context and self-correction to the automated process.


Phil Lewis.

The RPA software industry has been experiencing explosive growth. The reasons for this growth are well-known in IT circles. RPA can significantly boost employee productivity, freeing workers from time-consuming and repetitive operations. We are now seeing the awareness and utilisation of RPA expand into traditionally non-IT domains, promoting exponential growth of RPA across the organisation.

Non-IT applications of RPA

Examples of RPA applications are appearing across the enterprise. This includes smart bots that speed up the processing of external vendors’ invoice approvals; RPA workflows that incorporate AI to automate monthly data collection and metric calculations; and RPA bots automating back-office operations involving compliance, orders processing and customer requests.

As automated workflows become more common in business applications, RPA functionality will increasingly be built into commercial software. Recent trends such as Industry 4.0 demonstrate the utility of these tools.

RPA as an accelerator of Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 focuses on the synchronisation of Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT), forming a cyber-physical continuum, or computer system  monitored by computer-based algorithms, incorporating IoT-enabled intelligent devices. As RPA becomes more integrated with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the adaption of RPA tools utilising AI will accelerate the effectiveness of Industry 4.0 across the entire value chain.

For example, shop-floor processes are still often driven by paper-based tracking. Custom-defined workflows enable users to automate and streamline tracking as new functionality is needed. The results can be used for advanced dashboards and reporting. As Industry 4.0 adoption gains traction, we will see increased RPA adoption in manufacturing operations.

RPA as an enabler of business resilience

Covid-19 has caused a series of disruptions, significantly in global supply chain and human resources. In response, firms are increasingly turning to RPA projects to deal with these disruptions and increase resilience in their business process operations. Such large-scale adoption implies growing recognition of the value of RPA among non-IT stakeholders.

As we have seen in other areas of digital transformation, widespread adoption of RPA across the enterprise will drive yet another technology-driven shift in the modern workforce. Thomas Friedman, the New York Times bestselling author and three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, assures us not to be alarmed. “The robots are not destined to take all the jobs”, he writes in his 2016 book, Thank You for Being Late. He predicts a future workforce freed from repetitive and mind-numbing tasks, allowing employees to maximise their creativity.

As RPA becomes the norm for firms across the globe, there will be a growing awareness of its potential among non-IT stakeholders. RPA’s resilience and scalability were demonstrated during the onset of Covid-19 disruptions. Industry 4.0 will keep RPA and associated AI functionality at the forefront of organisational change well into the future.

Find out more at www.infor.com




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

Navigating the evolving tech landscape in 2024 and beyond
Residential Estate (Industry) Infrastructure
Progress in the fields of AI, VR and social media is to be expected, but what is not, is our fundamental relationship with how we deploy solutions in our business and how it integrates with greater organisational strategies and goals.

Read more...
iOCO collaboration protection secures Office 365
Information Security Infrastructure
The cloud, in general, and Office 365, in particular, have played a significant role in enabling collaboration, but it has also created a security headache as organisations store valuable information on the platform.

Read more...
Smart mining operations management
Mining (Industry) Infrastructure IoT & Automation
In his presentation at the recent MESA Africa conference, Neels van der Walt, Business Development Manager at Iritron, revealed the all-encompassing concept of SMOM (Smart Mining Operations Management) and why it is inextricably linked to the future of worldwide mining operations.

Read more...
Do you need a virtual CIO?
Editor's Choice News & Events Infrastructure
If you have a CIO, rest assured that your competitors have noticed and will come knocking on their door sooner or later. A Virtual CIO service is a compelling solution for businesses navigating tough economic conditions.

Read more...
The TCO of cloud surveillance
DeepAlert Verifier Technews Publishing Surveillance Infrastructure
SMART Security Solutions asked two successful, home-grown cloud surveillance operators for their take on the benefits of cloud surveillance to the local market. Does cloud do everything, or are there areas where onsite solutions are preferable?

Read more...
Cyber resilience – protect, defend, recover
Infrastructure
The challenge with AI is that threats are getting harder to detect. As a result, plans in 2024 are not just about detection and prevention, but about recovery.

Read more...
Powering business resilience and field operations
Infrastructure Products & Solutions
[Sponsored] The Anker 757 Portable Power Station emerges as a strategic asset for businesses looking to overcome power instability and the demand for operational efficiency in remote and field-based environments.

Read more...
Top bets for backup and business continuity
Infrastructure
Become your organisation’s data pioneer and spearhead data governance and protection of critical data. Challenge why best practices are not adopted or in place, while highlighting the inherent risks this poses.

Read more...
Next-gen solar-powered switches
Infrastructure
Duxbury Networking has introduced its range of solar unmanaged switches, which are ideal for any environment requiring reliable Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) capabilities, such as IP phones, cameras, and access points.

Read more...
Navigating South Africa's cybersecurity regulations
Sophos Information Security Infrastructure
[Sponsored] Data privacy and compliance are not just buzzwords; they are essential components of a robust cybersecurity strategy that cannot be ignored. Understanding and adhering to local data protection laws and regulations becomes paramount.

Read more...