Do you wonder how automation takes place? And who is responsible for it?
The solution to automation problems is RPA, and in this article, you’ll find out what RPA is and how it operates. You’ll also find out what is RPA architecture so that you can understand its operation better.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
What is RPA?
When a software program emulates human actions on digital systems to perform business operations, we call it a Robot Process Automation (also known as Robot Process Management). Its abbreviation is RPA. RPA helps organizations in automating repetitive processes, which saves their time and resources.
The name of RPA is self-explanatory as a robot is something that imitates human actions. A process is a sequence of steps that cause meaningful activity, and automation is when a program performs a task without human supervision or intervention.
They are better than humans in performing their duties because:
- They don’t get tired
- They don’t take breaks
- They are less expensive
They are less prone to errors than humans, which makes them a perfect tool for any organization. There are multiple RPA tools available in the market, including UiPath and Blue Prism.
Now that we’ve revised what RPA is, we can start discussing RPA architecture.
RPA Architecture Components
The architecture of any RPA tool is very complex and has multiple components. Each of these components has a set of duties to perform. Here is a small list of all elements of an RPA architecture:
- RPA tools
- Execution Infrastructure
- Configuration Management
Let’s discuss each one of those in detail to understand it better.
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Tools of RPA
No matter what RPA software you use, its tools should have several capabilities. They should be able to automate multiple kinds of application environments, including Citrix, desktop, and web environments.
They should be able to develop digital robots and them through programming logic. These robots should understand through configuring and recordings. They should build components you can reuse later and apply them to other robots. This way, you’d have fast deployment speed and modularity. Having such elements also makes the maintenance of them more manageable.
The tools of your RPA software should have the ability to read and write from multiple data sources. They’d have to build shared application object stores and repositories for keeping locators so they should be capable of that as well.
All of your RPA bots and tools remain stored in the cloud, which we call the RPA platform. This platform allows the storage of all your RPA based resources and software robots. You can divide these assets further across the software robots library. The RPA platform can schedule, monitor, and distribute the software robots of your system.
It can give you helpful and valuable analytics about the RPA bots and their statistics for better insight.
The execution infrastructure of RPA stores the virtual or physical lab machines that you can control through usage patterns. You can also scale up (or scale down) the number of machines in the system parallelly to automate the task through the execution infrastructure. This process is completely automated, and it rarely requires any human supervision or intervention. So, you can let it work on its own.
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RPA’s configuration management looks after the versioning of the assets. It ensures that your software robots and assets get regular updates, and if needed, it introduces newer versions as well. When you scale up, the different members of your team develop new RPA assets. Because some assets are reusable and shareable across multiple software robots, it’s vital to have source code management solutions for merging and branching of those assets.
RPA has multiple layers, as you can see in this guide. So, you can’t assume that RPA is a single tool. It’s a collection of numerous devices and assets that work together to create a fully functioning architecture.
At the start of every process, the system first educates the software bots, and then you have to consider the kind of modifications you require for the procedure. After that, you perform the automation and keep it in check to make sure it runs continuously without any hindrances. The configuration management looks after the automation. After a particular iteration of automation, you’d examine the process, software bots, and assets to see if there’s any room for improvement. With these repeated processes, your system gets better regularly, and you get the optimal Robot Process Automation for your enterprise.
An Example of RPA Architecture: UiPath
UiPath is a leading RPA tool provider in the market. Its solution helps organizations in automating workflows and enhance their efficiency substantially. UiPath has a drag and drop interface, which smoothens the learning curve. UiPath’s architecture has three layers, as well. They are:
The client layer has UiPath Studio and UiPath Robot, whereas the server has UiPath Orchestrator. The Persistency layer of UiPath contains the Database. All of these components have specific roles. This was just an example, many other RPA solutions have such layers and components, and they function similarly to the manner we’ve discussed previously.
What to look for while selecting RPA software?
As you must’ve noticed, an RPA architecture has multiple components. To build an optimal RPA system for your operation, you should get your RPA components from a single vendor. That’s because they’d integrate more effectively, and you wouldn’t face any compatibility issues.
Some vendors only offer a particular component of RPA, such as the configuration management or the platform. On the other hand, you can also find vendors who provide all the parts separately. The most crucial aspect to look at while selecting any RPA solution is to check the configuration management. It’s responsible for keeping your resources up to date while scaling up. And you wouldn’t want to face those issues later on.
So, in the end, you found out what RPA is and how it functions. We also discussed how you could find a suitable RPA solution according to your needs. Robotic automation is an exciting topic, and many organizations are continually working on its development.
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How can RPA benefit businesses?
RPA comes with multifarious business benefits. Some of the most significant advantages include a boost in ROI levels, optimization of company expenses, and overall improvement in business performance. When implemented correctly, RPA can enhance the ROI levels of companies by 30 to almost 200 percent, according to estimates put forward by experts at McKinsey. Besides, companies can replace manually intensive operations with automated processes and optimize overheads by nearly 25 to 50 percent. The best thing is that RPA can help businesses attain 100 percent accuracy in overall operations and save time. So in the process, RPA frees up human resources and allows them to engage in core business areas where they can add more value and augment business performance.
What are some of the RPA tools used by companies today?
As more and more organizations realize the power of Robotic Process Automation, there has been a phenomenal increase in the adoption of RPA tools worldwide. Studies show that at least 20 percent of all companies have already implemented RPA in 2021. This rate of adoption has increased by 13 percent when compared to its figures from last year, i.e., 2020. Some of the most popular RPA tools used by enterprises are – UiPath, Blue Prism, Inflectra Rapise, Pega, Automation Anywhere, Keysight’s Eggplant, and Kryon, among others.
Which industries are the best for using RPA?
With the breakneck speed at which RPA is being adopted today, studies suggest that this market is set to cross $13 billion by 2030. Needless to say, every industry today is implementing RPA. Starting from the finance and banking industry and insurance to manufacturing, healthcare, utilities, transportation, and logistics, there is no industry that has not benefited from embracing this sophisticated technology. Put simply, any industry that relies on computers for any aspect of its operations will tremendously benefit from the high speed, efficiency, and accuracy offered by RPA.