Robotic Process Automation (RPA): Cloud vs. on-premises
How does cloud RPA differ from an on-premise solution? Jukka Virkkunen, partner and co-founder of Digital Workforce, the world’s leading dedicated Intelligent Automation (IA) service provider, discusses the two options. He concludes that cloud service is all about considering the use of robotics strategically and making choices about what is left undone.
Is cloud RPA as simple as getting robots from a socket?
“Almost, choosing cloud RPA makes it possible for our clients to start using the technology and seeing the results within days. The introduction of a pre-built and optimised cloud service is easier and faster than using an on-premise solution. When a client starts using our cloud service, the robots are immediately ready to operate in a pre-built network segment.
By utilising Digital Workforce’s Repository – a comprehensive process, and component library – automation can be further accelerated. Repository can also provide significant savings by cutting the development cost of a single automated process by as much as fifty percent. Simply put, Digital Workforce Repository is a library of ready-made automation components. Parts of previously automated processes can be re-utilised to automate new objects. Along with cost savings, re-utilising automation objects ensures excellent process maintainability, consistent quality of automations, and efficient change management. ”
Does cloud service allow flexibility when volumes change?
“This is the greatest advantage of cloud service. New software robots can be deployed flexibly when needed and the customer doesn’t need to invest upfront in oversized RPA. Because the need for robotics increases often gradually, cloud service is more cost-efficient than buying high-capacity software licenses and training employees to become RPA-experts.
In our Robot as a service -cloud service, Digital Workforce buys the software licenses and converts them ready for the client. The clients do not need to test and try the cloud service in advance, they can simply begin using it. The robots work reliably within their assigned mandate and use the same applications as any human user.”
How well does a client organisation need to understand RPA when deploying a cloud service?
“Cloud users should have basic knowledge of RPA before introducing the robots to avoid running into problems. In the long run, having some knowledge of RPA is also important to be able to internally identify more processes suitable for the technology. Understanding the possibilities and restrictions of RPA enables organisations to tap into larger, strategic benefits. However, the technical delivery of the solution can be left to a service provider.
Digital Workforce is also a certified training provider in robotics. Depending on the client, their location and the scope of use, training can be arranged online or onsite. Digital Workforce Academy learning environment is designed to cover the complete range of RPA training requirements that organisations have.”
What is the competitive edge of cloud RPA?
“Replicability and scalability of cloud-based RPA service produce competitiveness. RPA has an important role in decreasing operative costs. Sometimes the service starts from a customer-specific cloud environment. If the client already uses public cloud, the next step is to take the RPA service also to public cloud, in which case the cost level will further decrease.
It is rarely beneficial for companies to host their own cloud environment. Digital Workforce hosts its cloud services on a 24/7 supported environment, which ensures the continuity of service and quick response times around the clock. Providing this kind of technical environment on-premise would be extremely expensive for any organisation. This is why most organisations have outsourced their IT environments to partners.”
How can companies tap into the large-scale benefits of RPA?
“Companies can get the most out of robotics by knowing what to automate. To tap into large-scale benefits, they should first understand what tasks should be automated, where the technology can be utilised, and what are the potential savings. Everything else can be copied, except the company’s way of doing things. Therefore, you should know what is the core of your business and work out ways to minimise the cost of everything else.
Robotics provides a tool to do things more efficiently. Most business areas are operational or tactical – not strategic, in which case robotics can be used to reduce cost. Hence, a company can invest in more important tasks. With the help of robotics, the tasks are done quickly and effectively, and the company does not need to use its time to business areas that are not strategic.”
How safe is a cloud service?
“A robot is often safer than a human. However, sometimes business guidelines are not familiar with robotics, which may raise fears about security. Robots are connected to the customer’s own AD, and the client determines the access rights and scope. Digital Workforce does not provide access to the robot’s log information to the customer, which further increases safety. The robots also can’t make any human errors.
The things to consider regarding the security of RPA are:
- How are the robots managed?
- How are the processes automated?
- How are robots maintained and improved?
Robots usually get minimum access rights and only the required ability to read or write specific things relating to the process. When a robot is delivered from a cloud, it cannot be reached from outside. However, the performance and functionality of the robot can be monitored, for example, from a mobile device. Digital Workforce has developed a user-friendly RPA Management-tool that makes it possible to manage and monitor the robots whenever and wherever.”
How does RPA relate to other technologies?
“The consultants of Digital Workforce are accredited specialists. Digital Workforce has especially invested in the deployment services that support our customers in the rapid and efficient application of new technologies. At the same time, we advocate for robotics to be considered as a part of a greater ecosystem – RPA is an important operational tool for today’s companies but it can be best utilised as a part of a larger technology toolset. For companies considering a cloud-based RPA service, it is important to think about the use of RPA strategically – what is central to your business and what tools can help you focus on your core business? When RPA fits the bill, the rest can be trusted on our specialists!”
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Article Robotic Process Automation: Cloud vs. on-premises: Jukka Virkkunen – Digital Workforce Partner and co-founder
Digital Workforce is a leading service provider specialising in Intelligent Automation (IA) services on an industrial scale. We offer a full suite of services, tools, and insights to support your journey through the intelligent automation life-cycle. Our cloud service is the easiest way to build an industrialised automation solution that grows flexibly with your organisation’s needs. Our RPA maintenance service also ensures that you tap into the full benefits of your automations as your robots run smoothly 24/7/365.