“Myths are a waste of time; they prevent progression,” says Barbara Streisand.
It is certainly no myth that Robotic Process Automation is the next big buzzword that’s doing the rounds in industrial, organizational and software circles. Dealing ostensibly with the designing and application of software robots and artificial intelligence workers, RPA is speculated to do away with the requirement of human resources for the completion of repetitive, monotonous tasks. Then will it affect the availability of jobs, leading to unemployment? Will RPA be too expensive for human race to handle? And is it really a long-term thing, or just another transient fad? Hang on with those questions, as we are back with a blog, to bust some of the biggest myths of RPA:
1) Is my job at risk?
If humans were meant to only engage in uninteresting, repetitive and monotonous tasks that do not challenge one’s intellectual faculties in any way, then RPA might probably pose a risk to your job. But again, were that the case, RPA would never have been designed at all.
Yes, robots might probably lead to dearth of stagnant jobs in the corporate and other sectors. But let’s face it, humans are much more than just a pair of hands doing unstimulating jobs. With RPA, your mundane, boring tasks will be taken care of on a daily basis, while you invest your mind and heart in more challenging sectors, such as production, communications, creativity etc. Lastly, let’s not forget that even robots are made by humans; and as a result, they will continue to require human intervention in order to be manufactured, and assigned to various day-to-day tasks.
2) Will RPA cause a hole in our pockets?
Let’s consider, for a moment, some examples of projects at various stages of inception and development – building industrial complexes, setting up start-up companies, building and establishing brands…all important projects cost significant amounts of money. But this obviously does not (and should not) deter humans from developing these ideas. The same is the case with RPA. Having said that, while RPA’s initial inception costs may be somewhat high, it can be extremely cost-effective once it is applied to day-to-day situations. If we were to compare RPA with other traditional practices like business process outsourcing or offshore manual processing, RPA would win hands down in terms of maximum cost reduction.
3) So if the application of RPA is not an expensive process, are we adopting this technology only to reduce costs?
A myth quite converse to myth number 2 opines that RPA is used only to ensure cost reduction. To resolve this myth, let’s consider the difference between robots and humans. No two humans can be exactly the same (not even identical twins!); and thus, not only two humans performing the same task, but also the same human performing the task at different times, tend to produce different outcomes. In contrast, robots are an asset to organizations in that they are consistent in producing the same outcomes every single time. So yes, quality and speed with regard to the task at hand are also other major advantages of RPA, besides cost reduction.
4) Wow! So robots are nothing less than Utopian, are they?
Okay, wait. Ever been exasperated by ‘404, Page not found’? Which means software can commit errors, too. Robots are no different. Yes, if programmed to perfection, robots can be perfect. And this reiterates the fact that robots are what they are designed to be. So if a human commits errors while developing these robots, they are bound to have imperfections.
5) But…really, RPA in all domains?
Well, the answer is…yes. No matter how creative or abstract a job may be, every job, at some stage or the other, consists of some amount of concrete, monotonous tasks. And as long as there are repetitive tasks, there will, and should, be robots.
6) So RPA, my friends, is the be-all end-all of everything! Err…is it?
This myth, if not busted, shall remain as the biggest and falsest myth of all. While RPA can do your day-to-day boring tasks, its purpose is NOT to replace human labour, but only to make it more efficient. Your robots do certain not-so-challenging tasks for you, so that you can invest your time and efforts into doing other greater things. Like…may be; design another robot?