Frequently Asked Questions for Process Automation

While RPA is absolutely as powerful as it sounds, it’s not nearly as complicated as you might think. Here are some answers to the most common questions.
How does process automation work?

Robotic Process Automation is software that runs on a computer. This software is programmed to mimic the actions or tasks of an employee. A developer builds a script which executes specific actions with any accessible application (e.g., local, network, web-based, or legacy) or file. Typical interactions include entering and extracting data, inspecting and comparing data, making if…then decisions, running reports, manipulating folders and files, sending and receiving email, and much more. The power in the technology is in its ability to work across a broad set of systems.

Is automation technology proven?

Yes! While the concept of process automation has existed since the 1960s, process automation with RPA didn’t begin until much later. In a short while though, RPA has become a mainstream business discipline offering measurable savings across many parts of the organization. 

What impact will automation have on my employees?

Employees of mid-sized companies generally have a positive experience since automation is focused on eliminating tasks, not jobs. When routine, tedious, and often error-prone tasks (that few enjoy doing anyway) are automated, your employees have more time to focus on activities that require their judgment, creativity, empathy, communication, and ability to collaborate. Employee engagement and retention often improve as a result.

How long does an automation project take to implement?

Automation projects can range from very large to very small. In the case of a large project, we break the work into a series of smaller projects that can be automated quickly and deliver incremental value. On average, we’re able to automate a task every two weeks. This rapid and steady cadence enables an automation program to achieve very significant objectives in the first year.

Why do automation initiatives fail?

RPA initiatives most often fail due to three primary reasons: a lack of executive sponsorship, limited program governance, and/or a misunderstanding of the talent needed for implementation. For an RPA initiative to be successful, it must have a program leader that is senior enough to cast a vision and get things done. Also required is a central person or team that can both contribute to an RPA project roadmap and monitor the increasingly positive impacts of the initiative on your organization. Lastly, an organization needs the right talent. There’s some hullabaloo that claims that anyone can write RPA code, but in our experience, there are specific skill sets and abilities that are necessary for RPA projects to be successfully implemented end-to-end.

Is my business too small for automation?

The potential for automation in your business is based less on your company size and more on the kinds of work your team completes. If your team’s responsibilities are based on digital information found in spreadsheets, emails, databases, etc., then it’s very likely there’s an opportunity for automation. We can help you determine the potential of that opportunity and will recommend you either take a DIY approach or partner with a professional services partner like R-Path Automation.

How much work can my organization automate?

It really depends on the volume and frequency of digital work for which your team is responsible. For example, if one member of your team spends 20 minutes of their time each week transposing sales orders to the inventory management system, automation – at least from a professional services partner – may not make sense. If, however, there a team of people that spend 20 minutes each day conducting the same task, it’s very likely that automation could save your organization significant time and provide bandwidth for other important work. If you’re unsure about the automation opportunities in your business, please consider reaching out; we’ll be happy to share our experiences with you.

In which industries does automation work best?

In our experience, there’s potential for automation in almost every industry so long as there’s a sufficient volume of digital work. Like computer software or mobile apps before it, RPA is truly industry- and department-agnostic; its effectiveness is based solely on its intelligent application to business problems. Once you see how RPA provides the equivalent of a custom software solution for your business’s specific tasks and processes, you will quickly realize its universal applicability.

How does RPA relate to Generative AI?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Generative AI are two distinct but related technologies in the realm of automation and artificial intelligence. While RPA focuses on automating routine tasks within structured environments, Generative AI is more about creating content or making decisions that require creativity or human-like understanding. However, there are some points of intersection between RPA and Generative AI.

How can I be sure that RPA tools are secure, particularly when it comes to PII?

RPA involves automating repetitive tasks by creating software robots or bots. These bots mimic human interactions with digital systems to perform tasks such as data entry, retrieval, and processing. Here are some ways RPA keeps data secure.

  • Access Control: RPA systems can enforce strict access controls, ensuring that only authorized personnel have access to sensitive data. This includes role-based access controls (RBAC) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) to prevent unauthorized access.

  • Data Encryption: PII handled by RPA bots should be encrypted both in transit and at rest. Encryption algorithms like AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) can be employed to protect sensitive data.

  • Audit Trails: RPA platforms can maintain detailed audit logs of all interactions and transactions, providing a comprehensive record of who accessed what data and when. This helps in compliance auditing and tracking any potential breaches.

  • Anonymization: Where applicable, PII can be anonymized before processing. This reduces the risk associated with handling sensitive data.

  • Data Minimization: RPA workflows can be designed to only access and process the minimum amount of PII required to complete a task.

  • Secure Communication: RPA bots should communicate securely with backend systems through encrypted channels (e.g., HTTPS) to prevent eavesdropping and data interception.

Want to put RPA to work for you?

Speed, accuracy, and efficiency are required to meet today’s market demands. Are you ready to embrace the power of automation? Let’s talk.



Find out what RPA can do for you.

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