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Blog | May 17, 2023

Evolving Software Robots with Intelligent Automation

Software Robots are Evolving | Bot Automation
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Meet your software robots, or ‘bots’ as they’re colloquially called. They’re tenacious, timesaving and they work hard to give you accurate results with improved productivity. On their own, they’re simple pieces of code constructed to complete the menial tasks assigned to them. You’ll likely recognize them as chatbots or web crawlers – things designed to run on specific instructions written by humans to perform simple tasks.

Software bots follow directions, but that’s where their capabilities stop – unless they’re paired with artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, that is. On their own, these bots are made for simple tasks and small successes. But with AI, they have an even greater potential.

You’re here because you want to see your organization grow. And to do that, you’ll need to think about how intelligent automation (IA) can transform your little bots into learning, exceeding digital workers capable of totally transforming your operations: from simple and straightforward to complex and unstructured.

Software Robots Definition

Software robots or ‘bots’ are predefined, rules-based programs coded to complete individual tasks as instructed.

Why Bots Alone Are No Longer Enough

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has gained popularity over recent years and there’s a good reason for it. Deploying RPA bots frees up your human employees for more interesting tasks, performing tasks quicker than their human counterparts and without error. RPA can help your organization achieve cost savings, increased productivity, and improved customer experience.

RPA is a business process automation technology that interacts with software systems through a graphical user interface (GUI) or API. RPA focuses on rules like moving data from one system to another, as an example.

Yet, with intelligent automation technologies such as AI and machine learning (ML) combined with robotic process automation, your software bots will no longer be limited in what they can do.

Intelligent automation helps unify your human and digital workforce and evolve your software robots to learn and mimic human intelligence, creating more streamlined workflows and fewer bottlenecks.

What Are Software Robots?

Okay, so what exactly are software robots and why are we talking about them?

Software robots are essentially programs coded to complete individual tasks as they’re specifically laid out for them. People write the recipe, and the bots cook the food to their exact specifications. These predefined robot applications are rules-based and meant for linear business processes, especially those repetitive processes that would otherwise waste valuable human resources.

But what about when a problem arises, or a more complex task needs attention? Software bots cannot comprehend more diverse or ambiguous processes on their own. They can’t come up with that extra sprinkle of pepper or that tweak to boiling the sauce. That’s where intelligent process automation comes in.

Software bots simulate human activity at a basic level, whereas IA gives the bots the tools to communicate and iterate more complex behaviors. They’re good for predefined actions, but they don’t learn or evolve without taking the next step in the automation journey.

What Can Software Bots Do for Me?

AI-powered automation helps your bots evolve as they run. That’s what makes IA so enticing – it scales intelligently across your enterprise, finding better ways to do things.

Introducing bots for small successes

Maybe you’ve already introduced RPA bots into your organization to complete menial tasks and achieve those small successes. In their simplest state, bots tackle predictable and repetitive tasks and they’re good for high-volume actions because they work quickly and accurately.

Evolution of software robots

When you’re ready to accelerate digital transformation efforts, you’ll need to think about large-scale transformation. Intelligent automation bridges the gap by using artificial intelligence technologies like machine learning, structured and unstructured data interaction, intelligent document processing (IDP), and natural language processing (NLP).

With robotic process automation’s interactive capabilities and IA’s learning capabilities, you’ll get an automation software system capable of processing a wider array of high-functioning tasks.

Now let’s dig into how software robots can be combined with intelligent automation.

Types of Software Robots in Automation Technology

The types of bots you utilize, and the types of robot software applications you implement, will depend on where you’re deploying them and how. You can find our ultimate guide to RPA and IA deployment here.

The adoption of automation requires you to know which business processes you’d like to automate, and the overall enterprise application for having that automation in place. From there, you need to be able to monitor and tweak your automation as they run.

Here are some examples of useful tools to help boost the success of your automation journey:

  • Process intelligence combines process mining, task mining, and business intelligence to transform how processes work. It uses process discovery, analysis, and optimization to help you scale automation faster by identifying the right processes and running them at peak performance.
  • Business process automation (BPM) is an intelligent automation technology that allows you to study, identify, optimize, and monitor business processes to deliver optimal results. Within the realm of BPM are process management, work orchestration, content management, and business analytics.
  • Intelligent document processing (IDP) is a software application that converts unstructured and semi-structured data into usable information for easier end-to-end automation.

These are just a few examples of software applications that can help you boost your automation success and run at optimal efficiency.

Applications of Software Robots

There’s a lot you can do with your automation across various industries and levels of operations. Most organizations start with automating basic office tasks, then evolve their intelligent automation to encompass more far-reaching and innovative solutions.

But first, let’s see a few examples of how software robots are being used.

Who is using software robots?

Financial Services

A banking system can use software bots to evaluate transactions for indications of fraud.

The bot pulls data from accounts and feeds it into an AI algorithm. The AI engine looks at a customer’s typical spending patterns and determines whether there’s an illegal activity.

These potentially fraudulent activities can be identified by simple software robots – but with intelligent automation, they can also take actions often requiring multiple steps such as alerting the government, freezing transactions, communicating with internal examiners and notifying the customer.

These AI-powered bots interact with various systems inside and outside the organization securely, without requiring any human intervention.

Customer Service

Chatbots are a well-known example of software robots working at a customer service level. In their simplest iteration, these bots can provide answers to straightforward questions, allowing them to pre-qualify for the next step of customer interaction and whether that customer should be referred to a human employee.

With AI-powered software bots, these interactions evolve to uphold multiple conversations with multiple customers simultaneously.

Bots can respond instantly to provide real-time answers to customers about a product or service, thereby reducing customer wait time and improving their overall experience.

Will Robots Take Over Human Jobs?

We’ve talked about how software robots can help your organization achieve better efficiency and cost savings, but what about your employees? You’ve probably heard – and perhaps expressed yourself – the fear that robots will take over human jobs. But is that true?

The story is a bit more complicated – and interesting – than that. But here are the highlights: with dull, repetitive tasks taken over by software bots, humans can focus on more meaningful work. They’re empowered to develop their skills further and utilize the qualities we know to be human: empathy, thoughtful decision-making, and in-depth communication.

How Can Software Robots Be Deployed to Evolve?

Finally, let’s look at how your software robots can be deployed with IA to create scalable, learning-capable automation for your organization.

It’s never too late to introduce IA in your automation journey. Automation is an ever-evolving field and luckily, RPA bots and IA are intrinsically linked, so if you’ve already invested in software bots at a smaller scale, you can adopt a solid framework to continue your intelligent automation.

Look at what you’d like to improve in your processes and find those tools and technologies that suit your needs. They may be the ones we mentioned here, maybe you’ve got a whole list already or perhaps you’re looking for some guidance before you kick things off.

SS&C Blue Prism can help you determine the right use for your software bots, powered by intelligent automation.

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