Question 1. Can RPA Automations Break Other Applications?
In general, an RPA program executes tasks considerably faster than a human and has less errors. Therefore, automations can easily overload other applications that are not ready for it. When applications are exposed to the internet they can easily go out of control with millions of users or robots suddenly accessing them.
Whats the Solution?
Simply put, there needs to be a strategic approach to any RPA implementation, even if the implementation serves a temporary purpose. In order to ensure an RPA implementation doesn’t break or hinder existing applications, here are some general steps:
Survey the process ahead of time:
This is where a business process analysis
can come into play, and nurture the understanding of how RPA can complement business process management. In cases of high-volume processes, preliminary load testing is also important.
Create a governance board:
Create a governance board (even a temporary one) with RPA “champions”, and pair them with your IT team. These champions ideally need to consist of those pulling the trigger on the implementation.
Focus on scalability:
Put simply, the robotic workforce must correlate with the task at hand. Meaning in this loan processing instance, the quantity and functionality of the digital bots at work should have been scaled significantly.
Ensure the right software is selected:
A robust RPA architecture must address tools and processes for handling various types of automation needs. It must also be understood that there is no “one size fits all” tool for your desired RPA functions. Each tool has its own strengths and weaknesses.
Question 2. For transaction purposes, how can you best prepare your software?
Accounting and finance processes are one of the most sought after candidates for an automation implementation. Especially in terms of check processing (or in this case, loan processing), RPA can alleviate the manual strain encompassed in these repetitive tasks.
However, RPA can’t simply be intertwined with a faulty, or unprepared system. Existing applications must be prepared to onboard digital bots taking over certain processes, which in the case of the PPP loan failure, may have not been done properly.
Whats the Solution?
When implementing any automation software, the transaction volume should be considered and forecasted. Stress and load testing should be performed ahead of time to avoid application crashes, which is true for both RPA and non RPA-based transactions. Though the SBA has “banned” the use of RPA in future transnational processes, there’s been no conclusion if the PPP loan system crashed solely because of banks using RPA to submit applications.
Explore how RPA can transform accounting and finance processes >
Question 3. Should You Implement a Flow Controller?
The first approach when designing an RPA solution is to make it as fast as possible. However, in scenarios like this one, faster is not always better. When pairing RPA among other applications in processes (without a “check and balances” system in place), platforms are susceptible to crash, run slowly, or disrupt the internal process of other applications. Without a trigger-based system in place, workflows are liable to run erratically.
What’s the Solution?
There are several ways to implement flow controllers into automations, which should be considered for applications prone to crashes. Also, RPA applications wait for the portal to be available to start their execution, and have several validations in every step to ensure correct results. This doesn’t mean it will not break the application, but it won’t try to continue processing until the application is back. You should consider the transaction volume if this is an application you don’t want to break or slow down, like your ERP system for example.