Robotic Process Automation: 6 common misconceptions

What false expectations are raised using RPA in companies?

Misconception #1: RPA fully automates processes from A to Z
It’s the right decision to automate structured, repetitive tasks with RPA, as it’s the best tool for this purpose. It shows its strength especially in shorter, repetitive activities of usually a few minutes. This includes, for example, retrieving data from one system and storing it in another.

Misconception #2: RPA completely replaces other solutions
Conceptually, RPA can be used in almost all processes. However, sometimes commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software is a better choice. For example, companies have been using invoice processing software for many years. Over time, these solutions have improved greatly as feedback and process expertise are incorporated.

Misconception #3: RPA automates processes best via user interfaces
Although in many cases it makes sense to use existing tools and not simply replace them with RPA, RPA definitely has its raison d’être – to integrate different systems with each other. This is a major challenge facing many companies. Integration is time-consuming and expensive because some clients, the web browser or legacy system applications are difficult to integrate with modern technologies.

Misconception #4: RPA will replace employees
The fear that employees will be replaced by an automation tool like RPA is growing all the time, especially as intelligent automation platforms become the talk of the town. RPA on its own can’t process unstructured data, such as documents, because it lacks the necessary “intelligence”. But intelligent automation combines RPA and artificial intelligence capabilities, enabling it to easily recognize the difference between an invoice and a complaint letter without consulting a human.

Misconception #5: RPA in the back office has no influence on customer satisfaction
As RPA is predominantly used for simpler activities, one might believe that it has no impact on customer satisfaction. But that’s not true. When digital colleagues take over repetitive tasks, not only are requests processed more quickly, but employees spend more time building relationships with customers.

Misconception #6: RPA can be used for complex processes and immediately throughout the entire company
Companies recognise that RPA offers enormous optimisation potential. It’s possible to deploy RPA across the enterprise and even use it for some complex processes. However, companies sometimes make the mistake of thinking RPA can help them achieve end-to-end automation. Nevertheless, RPA is better suited for the automation of tasks rather than processes.

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