The Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a form of task automation designed for businesses with high administrative dimension. It consists of entrusting virtual assistants with repetitive tasks, previously done manually. Bots are able to connect to applications, enter and copy data, perform simple checks, or process emails. They, thus, make it possible to accelerate many digital processes, sometimes considerably. The main criterion for determining whether a process can be automated is the presence of recurring and materialized data processes, which use simple rules: comparing invoices, verifying addresses, entering data into different databases.

Most support functions today rely on digital processes, in both large companies and SMEs. Among the potential beneficiaries of Robotic Process Automation, financial departments, accountants, human resources departments and IT departments are at the forefront.

A mature market

If the term of RPA is recent, the market is actually quite mature. The approach is based on certain techniques that have existed for a long time, and in particular:

  • Capture of data from screens (screen scraping);
  • Macros or mini-programs;
  • OCR (Optical Character Recognition)

The novelty of Robotic Process Automation’s solutions is the combination of these techniques with concepts derived from artificial intelligence, such as stand-alone bots. A recent report from Grand View Research estimates the market for RPA solutions at US $3.11 billion in 2025. Analysts say this is a major move that will fundamentally change all support businesses. In the introduction of a report on these new types of robots, EY’s consultants Write My Assignment London, for example: Any technology that can reduce the cost of manual operations by 25% to 40% or more, without modifying existing systems, while improving service quality and producing a return on investment in less than a year can be truly qualified. lever of transformation and rupture.

Many gains for support functions

In addition to these savings, easy to measure, the setting up of virtual assistants offers other benefits to the trades:

  • Increased productivity: By reducing processing times, robots increase productivity. Thus, in a bank, the manual processing of a failed transaction order required between 5 and 10 minutes. Once the process was automated, this time was 0.25 seconds;
  • Increase in availability: For processes such as the supply chain, which have high availability requirements, robotics can save valuable time;
  • Better quality data: When asked about virtual assistants, 62% of respondents in a Forester survey cited reducing the error rate as their first benefit. The company thus has more reliable data for its analyzes and reporting, and its visibility is improved. This reliability is also important for regulatory processes, which must ensure the compliance of data and processing.
  • Employee satisfaction up: Who has never wished to be rid of unrewarding administrative tasks to be able to devote himself to motivating projects? By freeing employees from this workload without real added value, the robots allow them to focus on more rewarding tasks. RPA is a factor of professional fulfillment, which can help HR departments reduce turn-over.

Levels of RPA

There are different levels of RPA.

  • RPA assisted or front office. It performs front office work. The robot realizes exactly the spots that were shown to him, built;
  • Unassisted RPA or back office: It is about robot management, simple reporting, back office work, work orchestration like job scheduling or performance analysis;
  • Autonomous RPA: This level is more complex and performs information processing with workflow. It is a more developed and powerful solution that achieves complete, vertical and transverse treatments;
  • Cognitive RPA: It is the interaction with the software of recognition and interpretation of the information like recognition of documents, the voice, able to manage unstructured data.

The implementation is very fast for front office solutions because it is done directly on the workstations of employees and therefore on the periphery of the IS. You can almost talk about a robot per person. This first level of RPA has no impact on the IS and does not require intervention on the various software. The back office level requires more work because it retrieves information from other software. But there is still no change on the IS and does not question the IT organization.

Unlike other automation approaches, the RPA is done directly at the user interface: the robots interact with the different applications of the company in exactly the same way as a human collaborator, reproducing the manipulations Alike. Because of this, RPA is a technology that is quite simple to deploy and does not require advanced skills in programming and system integration.