WHAT IS AUTOMATION IN THE CLOUD?
Cloud automation refers to business process automation using cloud-native, web-based, Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence (RPA+AI) software. In a word, it means RPA-as-a-service: automation software that’s simple to access and use for anyone with an internet connection, on any device, that executes and orchestrates processes and workflows across the organization.
Cloud automation is also designed for automation self-service, with intuitive drag-and-drop actions and visual flow charts empowering non-technical teams to automate on their own. Cloud RPA enables users to automate any process via a web-based interface accessed in their browser.
HOW DOES CLOUD-NATIVE AUTOMATION WORK?
Unlike on-premise RPA software, a cloud-native automation platform is architected and built to make optimal use of the cloud’s capabilities.
Technology that’s created for the cloud is built with different building blocks. You can think of it like the difference between communicating by email versus sending a letter by post.
To respond to the demand for cloud solutions, RPA vendors have taken on-premises software and moved it into the cloud—what’s referred to as “cloud-washed” software. In these cases, while you can access the software in the cloud, everything else follows the deployment and maintenance model of traditional software and infrastructure. So it’s a bit like writing an email only to print it, package it, add stamps, and send it in the mail.
In more specific terms, cloud-native architecture is built and delivered using technologies and methods that are optimal for cloud environments. For example, cloud-native applications are packaged in complete units of functionality (containers for these functions have special names, such as Kubernetes), and run via microservices (collections of loosely coupled, independent services), on elastic cloud infrastructure.
In short, cloud-native RPA is much more than virtualizing an on-premises automation application and delivering it via the cloud. A real cloud-native RPA platform means engineering the design, implementation, deployment, and operation of the application as a cloud technology.
How it works for business
Part of the innovation of cloud automation is consumerizing RPA by revealing powerful automation tools to the business user in an intuitive way.
The goal is enabling employees across teams and departments to simply log in—from any internet-connected device—and start automating right then and there.
How it works for IT
Cloud automation requires minimal IT hand-holding. As a low-maintenance, zero-footprint approach, cloud RPA allows IT to deploy bots securely and at scale while minimizing total cost of ownership (TCO).
IT can monitor and manage the entire Digital Workforce of RPA bots from a single web-based control center, ensuring security and compliance in every aspect of automation.
How it works for developers
With cloud automation, developers can collaborate with business users on automation projects in real time to make bot creation, deployment, and end-to-end process management seamless. Cloud-native RPA is more flexible for developers, with built-in dev tools and the option to bring your own code.
How it works for digital transformation
Pivoting business processes during the course of digital transformation often also means changing computing resources, infrastructure, and technology platforms. Cloud not only removes infrastructure costs and complexities; it also creates enterprise flexibility and agility.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CLOUD AUTOMATION?
Lower total cost of ownership (TCO)
Cloud automation eliminates infrastructure investment and management costs and allows organizations to capitalize on the cost benefits of public cloud.
Empower the business with automation
Cloud RPA circumvents the legacy barriers (inflexible delivery models, technical complexity, and cumbersome user experience) to broad RPA adoption and application.
By making RPA accessible from anywhere, cloud RPA surfaces automation tools to more of the business.
Cloud makes it easy to access RPA via any device, such as smartphones and tablets, possible. Web-based RPA is available through common browsers such Google Chrome and Edge.
This consumer-like environment simplifies task automation and management, and enables IT managers to connect and view multiple Control Rooms simultaneously.
Ease of use
RPA is powerful in its ability to automate nearly any business process. Cloud RPA makes that power available to everyone instantly, and in an environment that is familiar—PC, Mac, or tablet—to minimize onboarding friction for new users as well as simplify the path for developers and technical users to leverage the full range of automation functionality to create bots faster.
Cloud-based architecture gives cloud RPA a unique ability to scale a Digital Workforce of RPA bots on demand. Via any cloud platform, it is possible to scale up or down as the needs of the organization change.
Cloud software security is constantly monitored as part of the service. Cloud RPA platforms are further designed for security—data is kept isolated, with strict adherence to global privacy laws.
Faster time to value
Cloud automation offers speed from adoption to automation. Instant web-based deployment enables bot development to start at any time, while intuitive, consumer-like interfaces enable users with varying skill levels to learn quickly and automate on their own.
Zero implementation time
RPA in the cloud does not require any setup or startup time at all, which stands in stark contrast to standard multi-month implementations for on-premises solutions.
As a 100% browser-based deployment (zero IT infrastructure requirements/footprint) with instant license provisioning, cloud RPA does not require support from IT.
From an IT perspective, cloud automation software is always up to date, so there is no need to upgrade client machines every time new functionality or fixes are released.
HOW SECURE IS CLOUD AUTOMATION?
While RPA security spans a wide range of topics, RPA in the cloud can provide superior security and privacy than on-premises, across the spectrum of requirements.
Cloud RPA can specify that personally identifiable information (PII) never goes to the cloud unless you tell it to, and operational data is only kept to bolster privacy and ensure compliance.
Cloud RPA must ensure data is always protected, in motion and at rest, and provide for stringent authentication protocols for compliance.
Control with privacy
Granular role-based access control is essential to set restrictions and segregation of data, while providing full audit trails on every action with strict privacy compliance.
Secure cloud services
From hosting to data protection to segregating tenants, cloud automation should be built with DevSecOps and adhere to best-in-class security practices.
HOW DOES CLOUD AUTOMATION COMPARE TO HYBRID OR ON-PREMISES DEPLOYMENT MODELS?
Given regulatory constraints for some industries, an ideal cloud RPA platform provides the option of native deployment in the cloud, on-premises, or in a hybrid mode where the data is on-premises while orchestration is in the cloud.
Hybrid deployment is advantageous for developers since the same software stack is running both in the cloud and on-premises. That means bots replicate seamlessly from on-premises to the cloud avoiding the need to re-create automations and add management cost and complexity.
From an infrastructure standpoint, cloud RPA should be able to be run on-premises, on a private cloud, or on a public cloud, such as Azure, AWS, IBM, Google Cloud, and others.
Fully hosted and managed in the cloud, this deployment model provides full SaaS experience with instant access to the up-to-date platform.
Offering a SaaS experience while data is hosted on-premises with lower TCO, this deployment model addresses situations where data sovereignty is mandatory.
On-Premises with updates through Cloud
This is a complete on-premises deployment with control over receiving updates and new capabilities from the cloud.
WHAT CAN RPA DO FOR YOU?
Get a personalized demo of the world’s most-deployed RPA platform. Consult with our team of RPA experts on your specific automation needs. During your live demo, ask all your RPA software and intelligent automation questions and we can help you accelerate your RPA journey.