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The Rise of Robotic Process Automation Software

Christoph Werner  /   Mar 28, 2022

Will robots rule the future? If the hype around Robotic Process Automation (RPA) continues to grow, perhaps they will! But what’s all the fuss about? We look at the pros and cons of RPA and reveal how simulation can unlock its full potential.

What is Robotic Process Simulation?

RPA is a way that companies can create software robots that will emulate human interactions when it comes to routine administrative tasks. In particular, it is applied to areas that are especially mundane, for example the re-keying of data into a system.

RPA has seen massive growth in the past few years. A report by Deloitte suggests that 78% of organizations have already implemented RPA, a figure which is set to grow in the coming years.
According to research from Salesforce, many businesses are already looking at new approaches. The software giant found that 95% of IT leaders are prioritizing workflow automation, with 70% seeing the equivalent of more than four hours of savings per employee each week. That’s a big chunk of tasks now being handled by non-human methods.

78% of organizations have already implemented RPA

Source: Deloitte

And there are some big advantages in replacing humans in delivering certain tasks. Freeing up employees from boring, repetitive tasks means they can focus instead on more creative or relationship-based endeavors, for example. Everyone wins, firms benefit from extra brain power while some of the more routine work is handled in the background by RPA.

Identifying where Robotic Process Automation software has the most value

Of course, there are many tasks that look like they could be ripe for RPA – one of the key elements is finding out which ones work best. Simulation software from Simul8 can help in this – identifying where RPA has the most value and can save the most time, or has the greatest impact on the bottom line (they’re not always the same thing).

There’s another part to simulation: what effect does the introduction of RPA have on the processes of a company? We all know of instances where a major change within a business may have made a big improvement in one particular area, while at the same time having a detrimental effect on other parts of the business.

That’s because companies are not one single entity but any number of interlocking business processes. If RPA fixes one issue, does that mean that there’ll be a problem somewhere else? By adopting simulation, users will not only be able to find the best use for RPA support, but also clearly map out its full impact across all processes, which offers the chance for further optimization.

95% of IT leaders are prioritizing workflow automation, with 70% seeing the equivalent of more than four hours of savings per employee each week.

Source: Deloitte

The goal of Robotic Process Automation software

RPA philosophy can be taken a lot further. The ultimate goal of RPA is that AI will become the administrator so, while skilled developers are still needed to manage RPA projects currently, there will be less and less human involvement in the future. But this is all some time off: we’re entering the world of science fiction here, but it’s certainly true to say that software robots are becoming more complex and sophisticated, and are already becoming more widely used.

Simulation will play a key role in this development, mirroring human input and helping to refine the software. It’s going to be a circular process as better software will make better RPA deployment, leading to better software updates.

There will come a time when companies will consider it amazing that humans once used to do such a multitude of routine tasks that can easily be managed by robots. The world is changing quickly and companies need to make sure they’re not losing out.

Learn more about our work with RPA

Find out more about using RPA for simulation projects, or learn more about the benefits of Simul8 simulation software by getting in touch with our team today.

About the author

Christoph Werner

Christoph Werner

Christoph Werner has an MSc in Operational Research (distinction) from the University of Strathclyde. In 2018, he completed his PhD. Since 2018, Christoph has been working as part of our Simulation Excellence team where he has helped Simul8 users with numerous simulation projects in automotive, defense, healthcare and other service sectors.