In the age of information technology and mass automation, manual processes abound. Notwithstanding the emergence of IT solutions promising major advances in efficiency – cloud technology, artificial intelligence and big data – workers continue to perform many tasks better suited to machines. Other desired functions, such as mining and analyzing data troves, burdened by technical challenges, frequently remain beyond the capacity of unaided workers to perform.
For many organizations, the answer could be Robotic Process Automation, a tool that has been around for a few decades. Recent improvements, such as the incorporation of machine learning, have made RPA a fast-growing tool in the realm of artificial intelligence solutions. In particular, RPA is adept at digging into informational silos and analyzing unstructured data, a near-to-impossible task for traditional tools. Stringing together RPA bots makes it possible to use the technology to perform increasingly complex tasks. And the emergence of bot economies will make it increasingly feasible to share RPA bots with other departments or organizations, driving economies of scale and efficiencies.