The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Standards Association defines RPA
as: ‘‘A preconfigured software instance that uses business rules and predefined activity choreography to complete the autonomous execution of a combination of processes, activities, transactions, and tasks in one or more unrelated software systems to deliver a result or service with human exception management’’. These preconfigured software instances known as robots, or software robots, reproduce the work typically performed by humans. In other words, RPA has the capability of automating human tasks.
Rather than hard-coding automation workflows and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) into software programs, RPA mimics a person’s actions in conjunction with existing systems. RPA works in the same way that a human worker reads and interprets data from a physical document and transfers this to multiple applications on their computer.
Robots can seamlessly move data across boundaries, from one application to another, mimicking activities such as clicking, typing, and moving between windows. In addition, these robots can use native and add-on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning models (ML) to enhance overall capability and learn from experience over time.