Robotics

IT and robotics

2nd August 2018
Alex Lynn

Information Technology involves storing, retrieving, altering and transmitting massive amounts of data. Because IT is heavily reliant on computers, automating the field is definitely the most practical direction.

Author: Joseph Zulick, Manager at MRO Electric and Supply

Slowly taking rein in the sector, RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is terminating the manual effort associated with IT tasks and business processes. RPA grips technologies such as AI (artificial intelligence), machine learning and vision, big data analytics and, eventually, quantum mechanics, to complete several tasks.

There are two types of automated deployments:

  1. Simplified robots that execute a script to recurrently execute a specific function.
  2. Cognitive RPA/software-based AI that learns the tasks they are presented with and learn how to make choices on their own.

Currently, large global IT and BPO (business process outsourcing) organisations are using lesser forms of RPA. Using RPA enables organisations to provide IT services at higher efficiencies and minimise costs, and utilising RPA enables organisations to provide IT services at increased efficiencies while cutting costs.

Many say that a handful of companies are currently in the early stages of conducting RPA proof-of-concept trials, while some are entertaining production pilots.

Affected areas

Many IT service lines are expected to come under RPA’s influence.

  1. Helpdesk is a field that falls under this category. RPAs could potentially automate non-ticketing activities that, as per IT reports, occupy 25% to 40% of a helpdesk’s tasks. Some of these tasks include monitoring, providing clarifications and reporting. As for ticketing, RPA could assist in automation common service requests such as password resets.
  2. IT infrastructure outsourcing is another area that is expected to be impacted by RPA. In this, robots could observe critical thresholds and, under certain threshold breach conditions, could even fix the issue.
  3. Companies have already started to leverage RPA for many of their client projects. Processes that mandate RPA include rule-based, high volume, several systems, repetitive tasks, data mining, or data entry tasks. 

Automation advantages

  1. RPA slashes labour costs immensely.
  2. The technology offers a less prying way for integrating systems because software AI access applications through the user interface.
  3. Robots would connect to various UIs, including legacy green-screen applications, and would not touch the underlying software.
  4. RPA projects require less time and money when compared to traditional automation.
  5. AI robots will provide better quality, faster processing times (within hours compared to weeks with manual approach), major improvement in traceability for audit purposes, and increased high-speed analytics.
  6. RPA would easily scale and address fluctuations in volume.

Automation projects, as per industry experts, should not take more than a year to complete. They would likely cost between half a million USDs to two million or more, depending on the number of robots and their complexities.

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