What is Cognitive Robotic Process Automation?Vanda Williams
Bots have proven to eliminate inefficiency, boost the customer experience, and automate routine tasks, but what if they could complete complex tasks involving perception and judgement skills?
Today, developers are working to incorporate cognitive technologies, such as speech recognition and machine learning, into robotic process automation – and are giving bots a brand new talent.
Once reserved for humans, perceptual and judgement-based tasks are now being automated. Companies are progressively using software robots to imitate how people interact with software applications to perform routine business processes. Similarly, enterprises are beginning to apply robotic process automation together with cognitive technologies (i.e. speech recognition, natural language processing, machine learning) to become more efficient and agile as they move down the path of becoming fully digital businesses.
Before we get into the implications of incorporating robotic process automation software with cognitive technologies, let’s first define robotic process automation.
What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?
RPA is the utilisation of computer software ‘bots’ to handle repetitive, rule-based digital tasks. The metaphorical ‘robot’ or software emulates human behaviour when interacting within digital systems – enabling them to open email attachments, complete forms online, record and re-key data, and perform other tasks that imitate human action.
What are the benefits of Robotic Process Automation?
RPA’s potential benefits are numerous. They can include reducing costs, lowering error rates, improving service, reducing turnaround time, increasing the scalability of operations, and improving compliance. Moreover, robotic process automation tools maintain a non-invasive technical approach which reduces the investment and time/effort required to develop the solution and improves ROI.
As RPA capability matures, Deloitte predicts that “more value will come from adjacent sources such as improved accuracy and reduced risk, better customer experience (faster responsiveness to queries, service requests and fraud) and reduced employee attrition or increased productivity from better morale.”
What is Cognitive RPA?
Cognitive RPA are tools and solutions that leverage AI technologies to improve the experience of your workforce and customers by giving bots human-like capabilities. Typically, bots can only perform tasks with clear-cut rules. However, the integration of cognitive technologies with RPA makes it possible to extend automation to processes that require perception or judgment.
Cognitive RPA implications
For most companies today, ROI is driven by capacity creation and cost reduction/avoidance. In the future, businesses will be able to capture value from RPA across multiple benefits levers including customer, growth and risk/control.
Cognitive RPA has the potential to go beyond basic automation to deliver business outcomes such as greater customer satisfaction, lower churn, and increased revenues.
However, enterprises have been relatively slow to implement cognitive process automation applications. According to Deloitte, 53% of firms surveyed have commenced their RPA journey, but only 3% have scaled their digital workforce. In order for businesses to succeed, they should think about deploying cognitive technologies through RPA frameworks, including faster implementation with less effort and more rapid ROI than in-house development or platform investments could deliver.
Cognitive enterprises are the future
Many organisations are only beginning to explore the use of robotic process automation. The power of cognitive RPA, other than its ability to process unstructured data and then use that data to drive higher levels of automation, is that it’s more than just bots automating routine process steps.
Organisations that are looking towards becoming cognitive enterprises should think strategically about how they’re using their bots and whether they can be further integrated into company procedures. For instance, one of the most exciting ways to put these technologies to work is in omnichannel communications. When you integrate RPA with a wide range of customer touchpoints and channels, you can enable customers to do more without needing the help of a live human representative.
Altogether, RPA can be a champion of efforts to digitise businesses and to tap into the power of cognitive technologies.