Robotic Process Automation: Cloud vs. on-premises

14.9.2017

How cloud based RPA differs from on-premises solution? Partner and co-founder of Digital Workforce, Jukka Virkkunen, talks about the difference between the two options. Most importantly, he says, the cloud service is about thinking the use of robotics strategically – making choices about what is left undone.

Is cloud service simple as robotics from the plug?

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

By utilizing Digital Workforce’s Repository process and component library, the automatization of the chosen processes can be further speeded up. Also, Repository helps to create significant cost savings by cutting the cost of a single automated process by a halve. Simply put, repository is a library of ready-made automation components. These parts of previously automated process can be 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 separate from each other.

Does cloud service allow flexibility when volumes change?

New robots can be put into service flexibly when needed. The need for robotics rises often little by little, but it rarely decreases as time passes. Cloud service is often more cost-efficient way than buying high-capacity licenses and training employees to become RPA-experts. When using cloud service, Digital Workforce buys and converts licenses ready for the client. Today, clients do not need to test and try the service beforehand but they can move straight to use it. The robots work reliably within their assigned mandate and use the same applications as any home user.

Does the client organization need to understand RPA in cloud service?

Clients need to have basic know-how before introducing the robotics to avoid failures. In the long run, having some knowledge of RPA is also important to be internally able to 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 companies have.

What is the competitive edge of cloud based RPA?

Replicability and scalability of the cloud service produces competitiveness. Robotics has an important role in decreasing operative costs. Often a service starts from a customer-specific cloud. If the client uses public cloud, the next step is to take the service there, in which case the cost level will further decrease.

It is rarely wise for companies to host their own cloud environment. Digital Workforce hosts its cloud 24/7, which ensures the continuity of the service and quick response to failures. Hosting this kind of cloud would be extremely expensive for a company to execute. Nowadays almost every company has outsourced this kind of environments to partners.

How can companies tap into the large-scale benefits of RPA?

Companies 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, but the company’s way of doing things – make sure you 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 bring one way to do thing more efficiently. Most the areas of business are operative or tactical – not strategic, in which case robotics can be used to minimize cost. Hence, the company can invest to 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 their time to areas that are not strategic.

How safe is cloud service?

Robot is often safer than a human. Sometimes business insights and guidelines do not recognize 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 client decides, who has the access rights to applications, and whether they need to be humans or robots. Digital Workforce does not open robot’s log information to the client, which increases safety. Robot replaces a human in information work, and does not do anything that is not allowed to do or make any human errors.

The main thing of security in the use of robotics is how the robot is managed, how the processes are automated, and how they are maintained and improved. Robots usually get the minimum access rights and the ability to read or write specific things relating to the process. When a robot is in a cloud production, 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 robotic technologies?

When the robotic maturity increases, we stay above the curve. The consultants of Digital Workforce are accredited software robotic specialists. Digital Workforce has invested especially in deployment services that support the client in the rapid and efficient application of the new technology. At the same time, we try to speak for robotics as a part of a greater ecosystem – RPA is an important tool for today’s companies but it can be best utilized when the technology is applied strategically as a part of a larger toolset. For the client utilizing a cloud service, it is the most important to think of the use of robotics strategically – what is central to business and what tools help us to focus on our core business. When RPA fits the bill, the rest can be trusted for our specialists!

 

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Article: Jukka Virkkunen – Digital Workforce Partner and co-founder
Picture Wonderlane licence CC BY 2.0