What RPA is that other solutions aren’t

Written by Jordan McMahon in Software robots in the workplace on October 6, 2015

Automation used to be about business APIs or a 2-5 year project, large investments, and ongoing, laborious projects. RPA—the next evolution in automation technology—turns that concept on its head. So what is RPA that other solutions aren’t? Here’s a quick, 3-minute rundown:


The jet plane, not the bicycle

First of all, if it’s not fast, it’s not RPA—it’s just another programming method. RPA is fast in three different ways: it deploys fast, it executes fast, and it scales fast.


An expert in handling complexity

It’s possible you’ve tried automation systems before. What sets RPA apart can be summed up by Simen Munter, General Manager, Group Hubs at ANZ. When a Managing Partner at Everest Group asked him if ANZ had previously used other automation solutions, he said this: “We have had automation as part of the core strategy for years and the rise of RPA has created exciting opportunities to extend our reach further to the areas which were earlier too hard—and previously proved less successful.” For an enterprise like ANZ, of course automation isn’t a new solution. Rather, RPA is the right solution for enterprise pain points.


The contortionist in your tech infrastructure

When it comes to agility, RPA is about the least rigid solution you can find. It isn’t constrained to a physical location, it works through the UI of an application—clicking and grabbing information the way a human would, it works with legacy and just-released-yesterday apps, and it adjusts automated tasks practically instantly when applications utilizing it update or change.


A way to gain a competitive advantage

Companies that use RPA know when you execute processes faster (re: the jet plane, not the bicycle), do it around the clock, do it without errors, and focus your people on the tasks a human is good at (and focus the computer the tasks it’s good at), you win a competitive advantage that is invaluable. And you get your workforce accustomed to actually creating a culture of competitive advantage, seeking out ways to effectively and accurately do business faster and more efficiently.


An eager learner

As RPA technology becomes increasingly cognitive, it can begin to handle exceptions and manage processes end-to-end—even without human involvement. The more this is done, the more we move towards the workplace of the (near) future, where humans and software bots work in partnership with each other to a larger degree.



Want to see (not just read) how RPA is different? Watch this video