The increased focus on automation is shifting the way organisations think about business processes such as IT support, data entry, scheduling, workflow and resource management. By combining RPA with cognitive technologies such as machine learning, speech recognition, and natural language processing, organisations can automate higher-order tasks with AI assist that in the past required perceptual and judgement capabilities of humans. Furthermore, there is an extensive focus on incorporating AI and machine learning within RPA to result in intelligent automation (Ramalingegowda, 2019).

There are several factors that are propelling the rise of RPA. While there is a rapid adoption of RPA across industries, it is increasingly moving beyond the usual task and process automation to now being a business transformation lever.  In performing robotic process automation, many think of the RPA software robot as the “arms and legs” and the Ai components as the “brain”. An example of how incorporating AI into RPA solutions can make the technology even more efficient is Cognitive Document Automation (Schmidt, 2018).

CDA processes both structured and unstructured content, especially in processes that involve the handling of documents. An AI-powered RPA Solution can become increasingly efficient over time. When documents get processed, the solution learns how to intelligently manage variations independently of the channels the information is exchanged through, whether electronic channels like emails or web portals. CDA provides the greatest accuracy, efficiency and consistency and dynamically adapts to your evolving processes.

While there is a rapid adoption of RPA across industries, it is increasingly moving beyond the usual task and process automation to now being a business transformation lever. 

Leveraging AI for emerging organisations is not complicated. A way to start includes:

  1. Build a simple bot to boost customer satisfaction and improve employee workflow.

An easy way to get into AI is to build a company chatbot and integrate it into your customer service process. According to (Inbenta, 2016) more than 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human by 2020.  Company bots can drive onboarding and provide answers to HR questions.

  1. Deploy AI ready solutions

Even without the budget to conduct a major infrastructure overhaul, emerging organisations can still leverage smart technologies and applications that use artificial intelligence. Software as a service providers offer AI ready solutions at low or no cost, making state of the art tools available even on a budget.

Guidelines to know which processes to automate include:

  1. High repetition/Volume- Reduction of repetitive human effort is one of RPAs key benefits. Repetitive data tasks at volume may be an indicator of low-order activities that can be automated.
  2. Amalgamate this with a high-volume setting and you will find employees that are experiencing process-fatigue and distraction, all of which lead to an increase in the probability of an error. Consider the impact that automation could have on lowering enterprise risk or improving the end-user experience.
  3. Time-sensitivity- Procedural backlogs that delay delivery of services to end users or delay the notification of risk events are great candidates for automation (Vincenzes, 2019).

It is important to clearly identify and understand the mechanics behind a successful realization of RPA in presence of an AI driven strategy. RPA systems where AI is the focus of interest fundamental understanding of how both technologies co-exists in collaborative manner is required (Khan, 2019).

In conclusion, AI’s role in the enterprise is growing as cognitive tools and tactics are standardized across IT environments. With RPA set to transform business processes and the workplace, organisations cannot afford to overlook it or view it with wariness. Emerging organisations need to outline a vigorous RPA strategy, chalk out an investment plan that aligns with business vision and strategy and identify the right implementation partner to drive significant and impactful business outcomes.

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