Robotic Process Automation(RPA) is facilitating a seismic shift in business operations and how the societies function. It is also redefining the world of work and business processes
RPA presently enable enterprises to implement several business processes accurately and quickly at minimized costs with little human intrusion than ever before, whereas there are fears around RPA replacing a human employee.
But is that fear or concern reasonable and possible? Can RPA steal jobs presently being carried out by humans? These “robots” exist within their jurisdictions, but they are not in existence to negate the requirement for humans in the work environment.
RPA experts suggest that total replacement of employees with RPA is probably not going to happen and that RPA will significantly contribute to job creation and a potential reallocation of jobs. They also recommended an alteration in the way human employees carry out job functions presently.
According to Wikipedia, Robotic Process Automation is an emerging type of administrative process automation technology built on the idea of Artificial Intelligence employees or software robots.
Fundamentally, it is a software bot application that repeats the actions of a human employee by communicating with the UI or user interface of a computer. The robot clicks while interacting with different software, application, browser, etc. like a human employee would do.
Human employees sit at a computer desk throughout the day processing jobs utilizing windows applications, web and legacy. In a nutshell, every activity performed by that employee( clicking/moving the mouse, pressing keys, thinking/reading) is manual. Thus, if we could instruct a physical robot to replace the human employee and perform the same activities of clicking the mouse and doing the thinking daily and at a breath-taking speed, then we have RPA.
Notwithstanding, a physical robot at the desk approach does not sound practical enough as a substitute for the manual computer-based activities of humans. Nevertheless, the computer can be the ‘bot'( in the real sense, it is a bot, but restricted to function within the limits of an application or a single process.
We only need to instruct or teach(automate) this bot to correctly interpret the business apps( on-screen data and non-visible object data). Instructing bot will include the use of the right commands, application of rules, and then navigation. If we insert the trained automation software on individual employee’s PC and implement that, the outcome will be Robotic Process Automation.
If we utilize RPA to perform every activity of an employee, then the service of that employee is not necessary anymore. This task can be relocated to a server from the employee’s desk, mimicking the same work environments. That’s complete RPA!
Sincerely, RPA possesses the possibility of impacting jobs in a specific way, but the designs do not permit it to substitute the requirement for human employee.
McKinsey& Company recommends that ” presently demonstrated technologies have the potential of automating 45% of the jobs human employee are paid to perform and that close to 60% of all jobs could see 30% or more of their inherent activities automated.”
Based on these statistics, RPA could replace some special tasks in the next ten years than a worker’s actual job position. Recommended processes for RPA are repetitive and rules-based tasks like order processing and copy-paste tasks. The robots do not have the capability of automating some abilities unique to humans like creativity, problem-solving, and human interaction.
RPA still need to be directed by humans for a successful implementation. Humans remain the only ones who can know suitable processes for automation and monitor robots performance.
The technology cannot function without human support or intervention and cannot reproduce the higher level of actions and thinking which humans are known and capable. For these reasons, anxiety about RPA acting as a substitute for a human employee is inconsequential.
The KPMG Workforce Navigator Model explains the challenges for business leaders to implement the human-robot workforce and recommends how to maximize the combination in 5 steps.
Be clear about your organization’s objectives and how RPA can enable you to execute the direction. Then, translate this technology and business direction into the implications for the workforce. Find out which tasks or jobs will be affected and identify the impact on individual job roles. This will guarantee employee inclusion in the implementation process.
Having implemented RPA, the robot assumes the repetitive and transactional tasks from human employees. This leads to freed-up time for the employees and creates a chance to take on more complex responsibilities. While some employees can cope with this gap, others find it challenging. It is advisable to identify and address the impact of RPA implementation before proceeding with automation. When employees are guided on the new roles, it enhances their productivity.
It is very crucial to design a holistic blueprint of how digital employees and human employees will collaborate. This is needed to establish the future workforce — factor in various impacts of implementing RPA within your organization. You can then enrich and enlarge the affected roles.
For an effective job reallocation from humans to a robot, it is essential to know that it relies on individual expertise. There are two hand-over periods occasioned with RPA implementation.
First, the present process needs to communicate the detail execution of the process, as well as the exceptions. This is to ensure the robot executes the tasks correctly.
Secondly, the business owner needs to grasp how the robot is programmed. The essence of this is to solve likely errors. However, both hand-over periods demand detailed communication. A little misunderstanding between the process-owner and the RPA expert can destroy the RPA fundamentals.
What is the way out? Capture the knowledge of the process in the organization context and create room for reasonable adjustments to the RPA. Then allow spaces for dealing with client’s inquiries relating to the procedures.
Track the progress and prepare for likely circumstances that may arise. Provide an agile response to ensure proper risk management. This includes an engaged and committed employees, supply of talented individuals, and agility to leverage new business openings. Lifelong learning will support career relevance and reskilling of employees all through the period.
Robotic Process Automation will undoubtedly facilitate a seismic shift in job designs. There will be requirements for new skills to implement reallocated roles. As soon as the case for change is explained, and employees are guided in the direction of the new job allocations, the possibility of enlarging the individual job scope exists.
Instead of replacing humans, the workforce will see a significant enlargement and job redistribution. Employees will focus less on recurring tasks as RPA will handle those jobs with quicker turnarounds. The human workforce will focus on more complex tasks, such as customer relationship and marketing. They will be permitted to assume roles that enhance their creativity and innovativeness, thus bringing about productivity at the individual and corporate levels.
Is your organization positioned for this Fourth Industrial Revolution?