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Next-Generation RPA – the Future is Now!

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A New Generation of RPA Adds Greater Cognitive Capabilities and Intelligence

Arvind Jagannath,
Director of Product Management

Gartner defines Robotic Process Automation (RPA) as “a digital enablement technology that predominantly leverages a combination of user interface (UI) and surface-level features to create scripts that automate routine, predictable data transcription work.”

The term RPA dates back to the early 2000’s, but the technologies that proceeded it, such as screen scraping, workflow automation and AI, go back (in their early versions) as far as the 1950’s. Over time, RPA has combined the capabilities of these different technologies as they have evolved and improved through the years.

RPA has been traditionally known for doing one task and staying on it until it was completed. It replicates the action of a person interacting with documents or systems, and has been effective for automating routine, mundane tasks that were previously done by humans. It is good at putting information into, or taking information out of, various systems, and is known for having high accuracy rates, error free repeat-ability and being able to work on a 24/7/365 basis. This traditional RPA has benefited companies in a number of different industries, including finance, accounting, insurance and others.

The Evolution of RPA

However, a new level of RPA is emerging that is much more intelligent than the previous generation. It can go beyond simply collecting data and actually understand the data that it has collected. With this understanding, it can take actions and alter a chain of events as needed, allowing it to do more complex tasks that traditional RPA was not able to automate before. This enables the automation of low-level decision making and makes for easier integration with enterprise business intelligence (BI) solutions.

Next-Generation RPA in Action: Our Cognitive Business Automation Platform

At AI Foundry, we have combined several technologies, including the latest in imaging, AI, machine learning, big data, BPM and DevOps to create the Cognitive Business Automation Platform. This integrated platform is a form of advanced RPA that brings a high-level of automation to document-centric processes and can be used to operationalize data locked in documents in real-time, automating manual tasks and improving the efficiency and productivity of a business.

The Cognitive Business Automation Platform is self-learning, continuously gathering feedback on document variations using machine learning. It continues to learn and evolve over time as it gets exposed to more documents (and new types of documents). It can make decisions based on documents and the data inside them, learning which data and information are preferred, identifying and extracting text and data, and making classification decisions.

It can also trigger remedial events early in document processing. For example, a borrower applying for a loan can be given immediate feedback on missing documents early on during the loan process, which help the borrower avoid delays in their loan. For a consumer, this can be important when you are moving and need to secure financing in order to close on a new house quickly. For a lender, this can help to process loans faster and more accurately, making your organization more productive while helping to reduce time and costs.

The Time is Now for Next-Gen RPA

Today, the use of RPA is growing rapidly. Gartner recently reported that the worldwide RPA software market grew 63% in 2018 and is forecast to reach $1.3 Billion in 2019. To truly undergo a digital transformation, companies need to embrace the new generation of RPA to help automate their operations. By reducing or eliminating the need to manually handle data and make simple decisions, it can free up professionals to focus on more value-added, customer-facing work that can have a bigger impact on growing your business.

This new wave of RPA will accelerate the automation of certain tasks and decision-making and allow businesses to improve their productivity, efficiency and gain a competitive advantage as they optimize their digital and human workforce.