Why all the fuss about bots?

Image for decorative purposes: Laptop computer with floating robot head plugged into it.

What are bots? 

Bots are robotic process automation (RPA) software that emulate human actions interacting with digital systems and software. Software robots, or bots, can do relatively simple things like understand what’s on a screen, complete the right keystrokes, navigate systems, identify and extract data, and perform a wide range of defined actions.  

Bots are particularly good at repeatable, routine tasks - and they can do it faster and more consistently than humans, without the need to get up and stretch or take a coffee break.  

Are RPA bots the same as artificial intelligence (AI)?  

RPA bots are not AI and AI is not RPA. Bots are not intelligent.  

How do bots benefit your team?  

Using bots to carry out mundane, repetitive tasks, frees up staff time to work on more interesting tasks. Bots can keep working when humans need to sleep, and they’re five times faster at completing tasks. They can get a lot more done. Overall, they can buy back significant time to enable people to do what they do best, and that’s deliver added value. Not only does that help your team deliver, but it can also improve workplace satisfaction.  

There’s nothing easy about staffing, especially where workload demands are uneven, activity levels unpredictable, and turnover is high. Unlike the human workforce, bots can be scaled up and down comparatively easily. They can be deployed quickly and much more cost-effectively. It’s a lot easier to have the right level of staff at the right time, providing greater stability for your workload and for your team members. 

It’s easy to make mistakes with repetitive tasks, and one mistake can have a cumulative impact on costs, customer satisfaction, and other outcomes. The difference with bots is, that they are completely consistent. They can be set up to comply with policies, making what they do completely accurate, too. That leads to improved, more reliable data quality. It can also reduce human contact with sensitive data, which reduces risk of compliance issues.  

While some IT expenditures may keep you waiting months or years for your return on investment (ROI), when you switch on a robotic workforce, ROI is quickly visible because your operating costs (OPEX) generally reduce.   

Article citation: NICE, What are the benefits of Robotic Process Automation, 24 May 2021, <https://www.nice.com/rpa/rpa-guide/the-benefits-of-rpa/>

Get started 

Are you ready to take the next step with robotic process automation? We’re here to help! 

Contact the IT Services Robotic Process Automation team at apps-qa@lists.bham.ac.uk

Stella Poole, Head of Quality Assurance and Robotic Process Automation

Colleges

Professional Services