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Hybrid Cloud Operations with RPA – The Relevance and Benefits
~ Rajesh Agarwal – Sr. VP & Head – Robotics Process Automation
Convergence of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) with new age technologies such as Cloud has unlocked many innovative possibilities. Enterprises have to continue the use of legacy systems due to different strategic reasons ranging from those being vendor/client preferred or inherited from mergers & acquisitions or simply because the cost of migration is beyond budget. Here RPA brings all legacy systems on the same plane as ERPs and acts as the greatest leveller with RPA-on-Cloud simply taking this technology to the next level. Though Cloud is looked at with some scepticism, the risks can be easily mitigated by using forward looking technologies available today. Let us see how this hybrid framework is relevant in a dynamically changing business ecosystem.
The Critical Path:
A few might know that RPA on Cloud is the “Critical Path” to quick deployment, fast roll-out, and a quick return on investment. Furthermore, it extends RPA usability by manifolds and across geographies. Consider a data augmentation exercise across wider geographical regions for example, where the enterprise has its ERP system on Cloud besides an on-premise system. Here, RPA is appended to the ERP that retrieves information from various modules to augment and process data and connects with the on-premise databases only as and when required in order to save turn-around-time.
Let us see an example where RPA is hosted on Cloud in the form of a platform. Cloud inherently helps the enterprise to make infrastructure rationalizations by taking their brick and mortar operations to a highly scalable computing platform and yet monitor the operations anytime anywhere. The business can still retain its core strategic operations on-premise and take only the routine operations and acquired systems to the cloud, if so preferred. Now consider RPA being deployed on this cloud. RPA as PaaS provides an automated and ready-framework to upload your data from where the processes are automatically executed to deliver the end result. The difference between on-premise and on-cloud RPA is that the latter framework gets tremendous compute power and is executed within a fraction of the time required for on-premise RPA execution.
Benefits of Hybrid Cloud Operations using RPA:
- High Productivity: The framework boosts enterprise productivity and helps to conjoin RPA operations running on-premise and on-cloud. It increases the ambit of operations with a single licence.
- Adaptive Platform: It helps to leverage existing IT setup in a flexible manner – basically acting as the greatest common denominator by being able to seamlessly process data spread across the estate.
- Tremendous Scalability: It helps enterprises to systematically take their IT systems, which are acquired through mergers & acquisitions, to the cloud in a step-by-step manner as and when feasible and automate the processes in stages.
- Conspicuous Security: A bot (unit of RPA) performs only that what it has been told to. The enterprise has the sole authority to define the rights and hence the bot (which is also a user that follows user-based security monitoring) tows the given trajectory minus human errors. Furthermore, the bot is hardly accessible from outside the cloud environment. With complete encryption, multi-factor authentication, limited admin access, firewalls, and instant updates, the framework provides tighter security than the usual business models.
- High Availability: Cloud operations offer seamless business continuity and RPA on cloud ensures 24x7 unhindered operations without human intervention. The on-premise portion can be simultaneously backed-up on cloud to further ensure seamless continuity.
- Augmentation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities: RPA bots can be upgraded using AI for deciphering multi-lingual unstructured text from various sources. Using Machine Learning, the bots can be put in constant learning mode that helps them to take smarter decisions and step up efficiency. Huge amounts of enterprise data migrated to the cloud provide potential opportunity for enhanced learning.
- Anytime Anywhere Accessibility: The functionality and performance of the bot can be monitored by authorised users (only) around the clock from anywhere with the help of hand-held devices thus offering greater agility and enhanced mobility.
- In-built future proofing: The RPA PaaS framework ensures continuous technology upgradation with very little administrative activities in a pay-as-you-use model.
The potential of a Hybrid Cloud-RPA Model:
Many enterprises are slow at adopting new technologies due to inherent constraints in a dynamic business world that is constantly under flux. RPA PaaS lowers the barrier for adopting RPA. The enterprise can do a few pilots on cloud before conducting a full-fledged RPA PaaS based implementation across functions. Here pre-built frameworks help enterprises gain a head-start into robotics. Embracing this hybrid digital disruptor, helps gain a competitive edge along with increased productivity and performance even while functioning with legacy IT estate. The Hybrid Cloud RPA allows enterprises to migrate to cloud automation in a sensible and systematic manner at their own pace and at a low cost while creating a strong yet supple IT infrastructure. It also helps them to innovate and transform on a frugal budget despite being predominantly operational on legacy systems, which cannot be sunset and consume high amounts of IT budget for their maintenance.
In short, “Stay technologically relevant with Hybrid Cloud Operations using RPA – the greatest leveller – in hyper-converging business landscapes”. The framework provides high storage, great computing power, and seamless automation over the internet in a single package along with predictable subscription costs. At the same time, it helps to mobilize resources, reduce expenses, reduce capital expenditure, and increase IT performance. Simply put, the framework offers high productivity, availability, and scalability along with remarkable security that helps enterprises build strong and resilient IT estates that are accessible across geographies.