Robotic process automation (RPA) is a hot topic among business leaders because it’s a real answer to problems that companies are facing in 2022. Namely, the impact of inflation and the difficulty of hiring right now. Yet, when people hear about it, they tend to raise certain concerns about the negative impact they believe it will have on businesses and workers.
Well, we’re here to bust some of the top myths about RPA! And we’re so confident that these myths are false that we choose to call RPA, “Data Processing Automation” (DPA).
RPA/DPA involves physical robots
When people first hear of “RPA,” they often get the idea that there are physical robots sitting at computers and doing the repetitive and dull work that humans do. You might be wondering if they come with legs, or wheels.
In fact, RPA “bots” are just custom software programs that execute tasks on a computer. RPA has been around for decades in simplistic forms, but only certain industries have applied resources to developing more complex use cases. Unlike automation on assembly lines, there’s no high-tech, precision machinery involved. And if we were talking about physical robots, they’d be too slow. RPA is fast because the “bots” are completely digital.
It’s simply custom software, and we don’t talk about robots because there are no robots in RPA/DPA.
RPA/DPA Replaces Human Workers
This is our favorite myth to bust about RPA. In a nutshell, the greatest benefit of RPA is automating boring, repetitive office work so that human employees can be free to do more rewarding tasks like engaging with customers or improving systems and processes. The goal of RPA is to make it possible for people to get more done in less time, so that they can develop new skills and become more valuable to a company.
Only Enterprise Businesses Use RPA/DPA
When small business leaders first hear about RPA, they may think that it isn’t available to automate their processes and streamline their workflows. It must be too expensive and time consuming for small business to implement, right?
Not at all! The RPA market for SMBs is going to explode over the next few years as Managed Service Providers like DatCom leverage various tools to create automation for clients looking to compete. RPA will even empower them to scoop up market share from larger and less agile companies.
RPA/DPA Only Works with Structured Data
While it is true that the easiest targets for automation are tasks involving spreadsheets and databases, DPA developers also use OCR and natural language processing to scan handwritten order forms and read resumes to weed out underqualified job applicants. The versatility of today’s DPA solutions means that service providers can establish strong partnerships with their clients as they dig deep to create greater time savings.
RPA Is Only Effective in Certain Industries
It’s true that certain industries, such as financial services, have many profit-generating tasks that are easy to automate. But in the modern world, any business with an administrative office can use DPA to achieve dramatic time savings. We have done it for our own internal accounting and turned a 16-hour process into a 3-hour process.
And that means that if you own or manage a small or medium-sized business with people dedicated to computer-based clerical functions, you can leverage DPA also.
Here are just a few of the best applications for any administrative office:
- Accounts Payable
- Accounts Receivable
- Extracting data from emails, pdfs, or handwritten forms
- Data entry across unintegrated software systems
Don’t let “hearsay” about RPA/DPA ruin your chance at preparing for an uncertain future. In today’s economic climate, with recession looming on the horizon, it’s important to understand what DPA is, and what it is not. The most important thing is that it isn’t simply a turnkey tool. Most SMBs are not equipped to program it for themselves. That’s why it’s important to get help from a Managed Service Provider like DatCom. We have the tools and the talent to get the job done before these economic stressors pose a problem for your company.