Dawid Pawlicki

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The Importance of User Interface in Robotic Process Automation

The Importance of User Interface in Robotic Process Automation

Robotic process automation is gaining popularity since it’s proven to empower critical business processes while recalibrating human labor and manual effort. It’s mainly used by enterprise businesses, where the “no-code” factor plays a key role, making the process visualization crucial.

RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is software automation technology that is programmable by users to accomplish business tasks. It uses bots to automate routine tasks within software applications normally performed by a company’s employees. These products are used to save time and eliminate the need for human employees to conduct time-consuming, repetitive, and tedious tasks.

The beginnings of Robotic Process Automation 

Not everyone knows that robotic process automation, which is now gaining popularity, dates back to the early 1970s when pioneering organizations began developing computerized automation to embrace a process-focused approach and improve business results. The rise of Business Process Management in the 90s brought in multiple significant automation technologies. These technologies have enabled the automation of business processes and were called Business Process Automation (BPA). Robotic Process Automation is considered an emerging field within BPA and continues to be a driving force of Business Process Modeling (BPM).  

Initially, RPA was established to reduce costs in Business Process Outsourcing by automating manual tasks and repetitive processes. Quickly it was applied to Shared Services, IT Outsourcing, and other business areas. It has started with the usage of basic technologies, to show the real power and possibilities nowadays with Artificial intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing, Unstructured Data Processing, Predictive & Prescriptive Analytics, and simple judgment-based automation. 

Robotic process automation competitive landscape 

Robotic Process Automation is a very competitive industry offering many complex products. Referring to Gartner’s study, the RPA software market is one of the fastest-growing segments in the enterprise software market as it grew 62.9% in 2019. Worldwide Robotic Process Automation Software revenue is to reach nearly $2 Billion in 2021 and is still expected to grow at double-digit rates through 2024. COVID-19 and a global recession could drive further adoption. Business disruption and remote working are prompting customers to have a deeper look into RPA as a tactical automation option, to digitize paper-based, routine human processes. The entry of large vendors such as Microsoft, SAP, and IBM only proves the rapid growth and future of the category.   

The Forrester Wave™ report identified the 14 most significant RPA providers similar to Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for Robotic Process Automation” featuring 16 vendors of Robotic process automation software. The leaders are companies that established the category back in the 20s. The podium contains UIPath, Blue Prism, and Automation Everywhere. They deliver complex platform and professional services but differ when it comes to product specification, graphical user interface, the level of Artificial Intelligence (AI), or Machine Learning (ML). 

Gartner magic quadrant for robotic process automation
Magic Quadrant for Robotic Process Automation, source: Gartner (July 2020)
  • UiPath
    The UiPath platform is the most known and sophisticated at the same time. It is the leader when it comes to the execution and speed of deployment with the largest set of client success stories. The software includes an integrated library of pre-built automation components to augmented custom automation. The company builds a rich network of alliances with technology partners who help their clients in implementation. Not all deployment scenarios are low-code or no-code, but UiPath clearly strives to offer an intuitive user interface to its bot dashboard. 
  • Automation Anywhere 
    It’s a market leader when it comes to the exclusively RPA sector. It’s known for fast implementation and ready-to-use integration. The company has a market presence around the world. The most routine bot automation is designed to be very easy to build. The flexible architecture allows easy scaling. Simple bots are low-code. 
  • Blue Prism
    Is the most established RPA vendor in the market, having been founded in 2001 by a team of software automation experts. They have built a large library of complimentary automation, analytics, and decision management applications. Services are squarely targeted at large enterprise companies with deep resources. The graphical user interface allows less technical staff to create automation. It also includes a drag-and-drop interface for building process automation. 

User-Friendly Interface is becoming an Unfair Advantage

Referring to Gartner, future RPA clients will come from non-IT buyers. It means, that the future RPA platform should allow everyone – from RPA Developers, and Business End Users – to collaborate and put automation squarely at the core of everyday work.  

The adoption of RPA will increase as the awareness of RPA grows among business users. In fact, by 2024, Gartner predicts that nearly half of all new RPA clients will come from business buyers who are outside the IT organization. They like the quick deployment of low-code/no-code automation. The challenge they have is integrating RPA successfully across heterogeneous, changing environments, and making the use of the solution easy and simple.  

Gartner

To meet these expectations, future RPA vendors must make bold moves to deliver a “robot design for citizens,” where non-technical staffers can set up bots. These requirements can be covered by a graphical user interface, which, to be honest, has a lot of room for improvement. 

Robotic interface model

Visual interface can:

  • increase customer experience, making robots management as straightforward as possible 
  • speed up adaptation giving people the possibility of freedom to manage bots 
  • lower entry level for business users who are outside the IT organization 

The winners of the no-code era 

Robotic process automation has a lot to gain from the graphical user interface. It can bring simplicity, improve business operations by eliminating unnecessary coding, add value, and increase profit margins. Alternatively, this level of simple UI often means sacrificing some level of upper-level functionality in bot capability. Companies that overcome these challenges become the winners of the no-code era. 

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