Robotic Process Automation: Cloud vs. on-premises

How a cloud-based RPA differs from an on-premise solution? Jukka Virkkunen, partner and co-founder of Digital Workforce, the leading intelligent automation service provider, discusses the difference between the two options. Most importantly, he concludes that the cloud service is also about thinking the use of robotics strategically – and making choices about what is left undone.

Is cloud service as simple as getting robotics from a socket?

Almost, choosing the cloud service makes it possible for our clients to start using and seeing the results of RPA within days. The cloud service offers a quick and convenient way to begin using robotics. Introduction of a pre-built and optimized cloud service is easier and faster than using an on-premise solution. In the cloud service, there is a network segment that’s already pre-built for each client. When a client starts using the cloud service, the robots are immediately ready to operate.

By utilizing Digital Workforce’s Repository, a comprehensive process and component library, the automatization of the chosen processes can be further accelerated. Also, the Repository can provide significant cost savings by cutting the development cost of a single automated process by as much as fifty percent. Simply put, the Repository is a library of ready-made automation components. These parts of previously automated process can be re-utilized to automate new objects. Excellent maintainability, consistent quality and efficient change management are ensured by using the same components in several different processes rather that executing processes separately from each other.

Does a cloud service allow flexibility when volumes change?

New software robots can be deployed into service flexibly when needed. The need for robotics increases often gradually, but it rarely decreases over time. Cloud service is often more cost-efficient way to tackle this issue, rather than buying high-capacity software licenses and training employees to become RPA-experts. In the Digital Workforce Robot as a service -cloud service, Digital Workforce buys the needed 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 to using it straight away. The robots work reliably within their assigned mandate and use the same applications as any human user.

How well does the client organization need to understand RPA when using the cloud service?

Clients should have basic know-how of RPA before introducing the robotics to avoid the most common failures. 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 makes it possible for organizations to tap into larger, strategic benefits.

Digital Workforce is a specialized service provider arranging training in robotics. Depending on the client, their location and the scope of the use, the training can be done either online or onsite. Digital Workforce Academy learning environment is designed to match the different levels and forms of RPA training needs that organizations have.

What is the competitive edge of cloud based RPA?

Replicability and scalability of the cloud based RPA service produces 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 the RPA service and quick response times to failures. Providing this kind of technical environment on premise would be extremely expensive for any organization. Therefore, nowadays almost every organization has outsourced their IT environments to their 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 automatized, where the technology can be utilized and what are the potential savings. Everything else can be copied from others, except for the company’s way of doing things. Therefore, you should make sure you first know what is the core of your business and what is not, then work out ways to minimize the costs everything that is not strategic.
Robotics provide one way 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, the company can invest into more important tasks rather than investing in tactical or operative areas. 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. Sometimes business insights and guidelines are not familiar with a robot-like way of doing things, which may raise fears about security. However, using robots is completely safe. Robots are connected to customer’s own AD, and the client determines its access rights and scope. The customer decides, who has the access rights to applications, and whether they need to be humans or robots. Digital Workforce does not provide access to the robot’s log information to the customer, which increases safety. The robot replaces a human in information work and doesn’t do anything that’s not allowed or make any human errors.

The main things regarding security in the use of robotics are how the robot is managed, how the processes are automated, and how they are maintained and improved. Robots usually get minimum access rights and the ability to read or write specific things relating to the process. When a robot is provided from a cloud service, it cannot be reached from outside. However, the performance and functionality of the robot can be easily 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 software robotic specialists. Digital Workforce has invested especially in the deployment services that support our customers in rapid and efficient application of new technologies. At the same time, we try to advocate 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 utilized when the RPA technology is applied strategically as a part of a larger technology toolset. For companies utilizing a cloud based RPA service, it is most important to think about the use of RPA strategically – what is central to business and what tools help to focus on the company’s core business. When RPA fits the bill, the rest can be trusted on our specialists!

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Article: Jukka Virkkunen – Digital Workforce Partner and co-founder

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