Why Choose Robotic Process Automation Instead of Traditional Approaches to Automation & Integration
One of the first questions we are asked is why anyone should use Robotic Process Automation instead of traditional automation or integration methods. There are a number of questions to consider when looking at implementing a solution requiring automation and/or integration.
- Business Oriented
- Are technical skills required to implement the solution?
- Can the business users & maintain the solution without technical skills?
- Can the solution retrieve, manipulate and upload data?
- Can the solution interact with many sources? E.g. web sites, terminal applications, desktop applications, spreadsheets, databases, APIs
- Enterprise Class
- Is it centrally managed?
- How easy is the solution to maintain?
- How easily can business logic/rules be updated?
- How simple is the process to deploy between development, test and production environments?
- Is the performance adequate?
- Is it robust?
- Can it handle changes to web sites, applications and/or data?
- Can it handle outages both internally and with other systems?
- Is it scalable?
- Will the solution grow with your organisation from one user to thousands of users?
- Is it secure?
- Is all internal and external data handled securely?
- Has the solution been independently audited?
- How quickly can the solution be implemented?
Limited to only retrieving data and only from web sites. These tools do not handle structural changes to web sites without re-development effort and can only be implemented and maintained by technically skilled staff. There is no enterprise class functionality.
Traditional Tools & Development
Developers can always implement a solution to meet any requirements requested. However, software development and maintenance is extremely time consuming and can be done only by technically skilled staff.
By design, connectors do not provide full coverage of all scenarios in integrating between products. Even plug and play connectors require some implementation by technically skilled staff. Also, modifications can only be done either by technically skilled staff or by the vendor.
Data is generic, typically does not contain the specific data required and requires manual manipulation before it is useful.
BPMS implementations require up front analysis and definition of complete business processes. Additionally, even code-less BPMS tool require technical knowledge to integrate with other systems.
Robotic Process Automation
The comparison here is based on the Kapow as the Robotic Process Automation platform.
It is focused on business users. Whilst there is a requirement for technically skilled staff to install and monitor the infrastructure the platform runs on, most development and maintenance tasks can be performed by business users. The platform has capability to integrate with numerous sources including web sites, portals, terminal applications, desktop applications and many others. It also has all the required features required for enterprise class application deployment. Lastly, as implementation is done by business users using a simple graphical tool, it is very quick.
- Kofax (2018) Top 3 Ways to Deploy Robots https://www.kofax.com/-/media/Files/Infographics/EN/ig_top-3-ways-to-deploy-robots_en.pdf