What is RPA?
RPA or Robotic Process Automation is, to put it simple, a predefined set of clicks of your mouse on top of an application. In theory it gives you ability to replace a human being and save costs on clicking the buttons and entering some data. Sounds great.
What is AI?
AI or Artificial Intelligence is means of simulating a human being defining those mouse clicks that we want to achieve in RPA. To put it very simple – it’s a capability of a machine to take actions upon multiple variables in different situations.
So why RPA is an expensive workaround?
Being an introvert, the words are not sprouting to make huge paragraphs like other websites, nevertheless, the key point is the following. Enterprises have dozens of applications that are used by business, in many cases they differ from country to country – different versions, different functionality, maybe even different applications at all. In order to maintain RPA functionality for all of these, you need to keep your change management function very busy to say the least.
Imagine, you run your business unit in Luxembourg on SAP. It has a certain version, your development team has several environments to work with, on top of your existing features, you need to take into account RPA. Every single test must cover RPA which is madness. You move a button, you need to change your RPA. Every time. There’s no escape.
Imagine, you have more than Luxembourg. Every time there is a major SAP release, RPA brings hell of a burden, in every country, with all specific things.
Remember RPA is a dumb thing – click here to do this, click there to do this.
Whatever the business benefit is in a short term, you have to think – what’s coming up. It contradicts the management setup nowadays – no one gets bonuses in a long term anymore. Whenever you bring benefit today (and huge setback tomorrow) you get a bonus. KISS.
What should enterprises do?
Enterprises should embrace change and focus solely on AI. It’s not going to be a break through moment instantly and the investment is huge, nevertheless, in a long term, you get some sort of intelligence behind your robotic actions and you gain more by paying less adapting every single robot you asked your vendor to develop.