Why Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is Taking Over Your Job

There were predictions that robots will take over our jobs. As of today, this prediction will be fulfilled quickly. Our imaginations could tell us that these robots are hardware, machines made of metal or carbon fiber. This is not entirely the case as these robots are software called bots. Bots are programmed to repetitively automate operational and transactional tasks without the need for human input. This activity is known asRobotic process automation (RPA).

The world’s leading research and consulting firm Gartner predicted that the global RPA market will generate a staggering $ 1.9 billion and that “despite the economic pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the RPA market is expected to continue growing at double digits Prices until 2024 ”.

RPA bots can improve operational efficiency in any sector. Their uses are not limited to the public sector, banking, utilities, human resources, customer support, or even the supply chain.

RPA can enter and extract data, transmit and manipulate data, perform web scraping (information mining), email automation, optical character recognition (OCR), automatic form filling, and countless other tasks and processes.

What about practical RPA scenarios?

Imagine the Nigerian public service had all documents digitally archived, memos, bank statements, agreements, etc. Imagine all of this information was stored digitally instead of in its original format. For example, let’s take the case that a financial report is scanned and saved as a JPG or PDF instead of Excel.

Using RPA technology, their details and key information can be extracted from the scanned document and saved in an Excel spreadsheet. This makes the data useful in a way that Power BI or Tableau can handle.

Business tech

The financial sector has unlimited RPA use cases. You can automatically extract and compare information from documents. The Know-Your-Customer Process (KYC) and the Anti-Money Laundering Process (AML) can be carried out using Robotic Process Automation. The detection of inconsistencies in customer data and transactions for cases of fraud can be done promptly and without errors. Bots can even run audits to ensure compliance.

We cannot underestimate the high-level benefits of RPA, which include lowering costs, eliminating human error, high performance, better accuracy, and overall efficiency. These are the basic needs of all organizations around the world.

The RPA market is currently dominated by three large software companies:

These three aren’t the only RPA software companies. But they are the most popular. These companies have partnership programs for IT service providers.

The program enables partners to allocate resources to deliver value-added services to end users. Affiliate activation includes discounts, commissions, not-for-resale (NFR) licenses, marketing, and technical resources that make it easy to sell and implement RPA to prospects. Affiliate programs are an important source of income for local technology companies.

A team with vision and programming skills does not need to register as a partner. Rather, they can create their own RPA product. After all, RPA can be a simple script written in almost any development language. The team doesn’t have to create all of the features in the first version of the product. A simple bot that extracts, copies, and pastes data is a good place to start.

Robots-fight-for-the-ball-during-their-football-match-in-the-standard-platform-league-tournament-at-the-RoboCup-2017-in-Nagoya-Aichi-prefecture-on-July-30-2017-1024x576 Why Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is Taking Over Your JobRobots fight for the ball during their soccer game in the standard platform league tournament at RoboCup 2017 in Nagoya, Aichi prefecture on July 30, 2017

A local RPA company has everything to achieve market-driven product market quality in Nigeria in a short period of time. All the requirements for success are available in the country. Our processes are currently slow and human input leaves a trail of costly errors. .

Tasks performed by public sector employees, banks, and other companies are typically repetitive – such as copying and pasting information into various internal applications. These make us pretty ripe for innovation.

Also keep in mind that the regulatory environment in Nigeria is quite turbulent. The challenge forces banks and other corporate customers to always look for a solution that enforces compliance with their internal processes and offers efficiency at an affordable cost.

RPA vs Artificial Intelligence

One of the fundamental differences between RPA and Artificial Intelligence is the fact that RPA is not machine learning. It is not intelligent in and of itself. It cannot learn the task for which it was done.

In addition, RPA cannot form logic. User input is required for it to work as intended. Artificial intelligence (AI), on the other hand, can learn from every assigned task. AI can observe patterns and create logic from them.

However, combining RPA with AI results in intelligent process automation (IPA). Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) performs assessments and automates the result regardless of the data type.

Job offers and roles in RPA

Automation means that jobs are being taken away from people. However, the person who is taken on is not learning the new skills and tools required for the changing landscape propelled by the fourth industrial revolution (4IR).

In addition to using partnership programs from RPA software companies or starting an RPA company, one can find a role as an employee within a company or as a consultant providing RPA solutions and services. Some of these roles are;

  • RPA developer: This is intended for those with programming skills who can create, extend, and integrate RPA scripts.
  • RPA Business Analyst: An RPA business analyst captures the requirements and estimates the cost of implementation.
  • RPA process architect: Designs process and end-to-end automation. RPA Data Analyst: Collecting and analyzing data.

It won’t be long before large organizations in Nigeria see RPA not just as a novel and disruptive technology, but as an essential one that cuts their overheads, including staff costs.

Process automation is not slowing down anytime soon. However, we expect widespread acceptance in all industries over the years, especially in the financial sector.

The advice for local entrepreneurs is to build a business by developing their own bots or offering value-added services to the emerging industry. This will create employment opportunities to expand and replace those that might be lost due to the emergence of RPA.

Robotic process automation is an untapped opportunity in Nigeria and Africa and will create, change or create jobs in the near future.

About the author

IMG_3929-1024x1024 Why Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is Taking Over Your Job

Dabo Owen Etela is a product advisor and co-founder of Qustomar Products. He is a certified Scrum Master and Product Owner with almost two decades of practical experience in the development of software products, processes and the integration of systems for companies worldwide. He can be contacted via d [email protected]

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March 30, 2021