One of the most fascinating developments in Business Process Management is RPA which has created a buzz for being a game-changer in the IT industry. The adoption of robotic automation can redefine the BPM marketplace altogether. Now before we go ahead and answer our big question here, let us have a clear understanding of what RPA is and why it is becoming the hot topic in the industry.
RPA is an abbreviation for Robotic Process Automation. Sounds bewildering? Let’s break these technical words into explanatory definitions to get a better understanding.
- Robotic – A robot is an entity which is capable of being programmed by a computer for doing complex tasks. In terms of RPA, this task would be to mimic human actions.
- Process – A process is a sequence of steps that lead to a meaningful activity or task.
- Automation – Automation is defined as the technique, method, or system of operating or controlling a process by highly automatic means with minimum human assistance.
On merging these words together, we can explain RPA as the process of automating workflows with help of robots/software to reduce human intervention and enable higher efficiency. By programming software robots to replicate processes that are normally performed by human workers, consider it as having a virtual “employee” that can perform a repetitive activity significantly faster and more cost-effectively than humans.
Coming back to “Why is RPA the Next Logical Step for Testing Professionals?”
Although people are aware of the increasing demand for automation resources in the industry, a testing professional still struggles in deciding whether to opt for Manual testing or Automation testing. One of the major reasons for this dilemma is that there are many professionals who have been working in Manual testing for quite a long period of time and are a bit reluctant to the automation activities and hence do not want to opt for Automation testing. Also, there are many people who are not comfortable with programming but still want to switch their career from Manual testing.
Only if these people had a machine, maybe a Robot, that could administer their programming difficulties to help them find a way out of this dilemma and grow in their careers.
But is it possible to have a Robot working for you in the real world?
Yes, it is possible with Robotic Process Automation which uses software with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities to handle high-volume, repetitive tasks that typically needed humans to perform.
In RPA, the first step is to teach the software Robot how to carry out a task. It is as simple as teaching a new team member. However, to do that you should have a strong domain and process knowledge. Robot teaching is done by the RPA software (Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, uiPath etc.) available in the market, which uses flowcharts to define the flow of the process. To create a process, which is performed by the software Robots, you just need to drag and drop controls like decision controls, actions etc. on the screen and arrange in sequence. Once the Robot has learned, the processes are assigned to different resources (Virtual workstations) like we assign tasks to an individual.
RPA training can help you close a loop – one that began with QA development, and now ends at the opportunity to add more value to your existing enterprise IT, and business processes, with less work.
In a nutshell, RPA is a convenient option for the non-coder testing professional as well as the business owner because of its faster implementation since it refers to the low-code approach to development which means the testers use ready-made modules to create efficient solutions. Also, the competitive advantages of RPA are apparent. Implementing RPA, companies get the opportunity to increase process efficiency and reduce operating costs. Business owners can be sure that tasks completion is under control since bots are not created to deviate from rules. And last but not the least, RPA implementation allows focusing on mission-critical tasks and investing in qualified employees who cover business-critical tasks. Robotic process automation has thus taken the world by storm.
With RPA, we are moving into the world of Intelligent Automation (IA), where Robotic process automation is combined with Artificial Intelligence to take the traditional automation techniques to the next level where robots are transitioning from ‘doing’ machines to ‘thinking’, ‘learning’ and ‘adapting’ machines capable of anticipating the requirements and acting accordingly. RPA holds the power to amplify human potential which results in a much more efficient business and IT-oriented process. It is the next logical step for testing professionals as it is set to be one of the fastest growing technology sectors in the next few years to come and early adopters are going to reap the benefits.