RPA bots can radically transform business operations. Source: Shutterstock.

RPA bots can radically transform business operations. Source: Shutterstock.

Investing in RPA? Choosing wisely is key to maximizing your investment

ROBOTIC process automation (RPA) is revolutionizing workforces across the board and gaining popularity because it can streamline enterprise operations and optimize costs.

Simply put, RPA is a software that can be programmed to autonomously perform tasks within business processes. This can be anything ranging from generating automatic email responses to improving customer service.

RPA is something that CIOs should consider adding to their digital toolkit.

They can be classified into three models: Unattended, attended, and hybrid. The type of bot to be deployed depends on individual enterprise needs, with unattended and attended bots being the more widely used ones.

# 1 | Unattended RPA bots

As its name suggests, these RPA bots can communicate with computer systems and applications to execute tasks, without requiring human interaction, based on established schedules, or when triggered by specific events.

Unattended bots are best used for repetitive tasks that require no variation in the way they should be performed. They allow for these tasks to be executed within a short time, in high volumes.

For example, in call centers, these unattended bots can take a customer’s phone number, placing it in the queue for a call back from a human worker who can attend to the customer’s request.

# 2 | Attended RPA bots

Attended bots are programmed to work alongside humans, and are typically targeted toward more complex front-office activities.

Because these tasks do not follow any specific pattern, they cannot be automated end-to-end.

In the call center, for example, when a customer calls, an attended RPA bot can scour various applications to retrieve information about the customer, and then present it to a human professional.

# 3 | Hybrid bots

Hybrid bots can be thought of as an ‘upgraded’ attended bot that is augmented by AI.

For example, a hybrid bot can use natural language processing to analyze data in real-time during an actual conversation. This analysis is fed to the attending human professional, helping them better understand the customer’s needs.

Alternatively, the hybrid bot itself can interact with a customer, helping them until certain instances arise that require the knowledge of a human worker.

This saves time, enabling organizations to operate better. Workers can now focus on other facets of the business that requires them more.

Ultimately, RPA is a technology that has the potential to leapfrog any organization’s performance. CIOs must have clarity on what their organization’s needs are and deploy the appropriate RPA model to dominate in their various industries.