Defining intelligent automation vs robotic process automation

Defining IA vs RPA

The rise of automation technologies  

Automation technologies have taken the wheel when it comes to streamlining business processes. According to a recent study, 70% of organisations worldwide are now leveraging automation with the goal of optimising internal processes, driving efficiency and increasing accuracy.  

Intelligent automation and robotic process automation – two powerful automation technologies – may sound similar, but possess a very different set of capabilities, features and benefits. Being able to differentiate and understand the differences between both technologies can be a defining factor for organisational success. 

So, what are their differences and how can business leaders leverage them to achieve business goals? 

Robotic process automation – repetition on steroids 

Robotic process automation – known as RPA – uses software robots to automate simple, manual and repetitive tasks within a business process. It works by integrating with existing business applications via application programme interfaces (API) or user interfaces (UI) and following structured rule-based scripts that mimic the work behaviour of humans.  


Why is RPA a showstopper for organisations? 

One word – efficiency. RPA enables organisations to be more efficient by taking over mundane tasks from human employees and allowing them to focus on more valuable business activities. What’s more, RPA reduces costs and increases productivity by removing the need for manual labour – it is essentially a ‘super-human.’  


How are organisations leveraging RPA?  

Organisations worldwide are realising the vast potential of RPA; it has taken the lead as the most popular automation technology, and it is now expected that 93% of business leaders will be leveraging robotics by 2023.  


Organisations are leveraging RPA for: 
  1. Data entry and migration 
  2. Extracting documents, data and content 
  3. Processing and fraud detection 
  4. Updating customer records 

Learn about NashTech’s leading robotic process automation solution here. 

Intelligent automation – a collection of powerful technologies  

According to a recent study, over 50% of organisations are planning to incorporate intelligent automation technologies in 2023 and 73% are already embarking on the journey.  

Intelligent automation goes beyond the rule-based capabilities of RPA. Intelligent automation incorporates a combination of powerful technologies, namely, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotic process automation and natural language processing. Together its advanced algorithms, cognitive functions and automation capabilities streamline business processes and create workflows that can think, adapt and learn by themselves. Thus, making for a powerful automation technology.  


Why are organisations implementing intelligent automation? 

Contrary to RPA, intelligent automation works with unstructured data and context-rich scenarios, enabling it to drive smart informed decision-making, personalise interactions and execute real-time analysis – sometimes better than humans.  

Here are example use cases of intelligent automation: 
  1. Advanced data analytics and predictive analytics 
  2. Customer relationship management and query handling 
  3. Onboarding clients and employees  
  4. Product lifecycle management 



Two powerful automation technologies – how do you choose? 

We have broken down the difference between two powerful technologies in the world of automation. But which is right for your business? 

Well, it comes down to use cases and business goals. When deciding the best automation technology for your business, you should consider task complexity, scalability, and the role of the human. 


Task complexity 

Do your tasks require cognitive thinking and human input, or are they manual, repetitive and process driven? 

RPA is best suited for rule-based repetitive tasks that can be defined clearly by simple, rigid scripts. Organisations that are looking to enhance business processes with intelligent decision making, complex and elevated thinking may benefit greater from intelligent automation that will be able to provide greater contextual analysis and adapt over time. 


Scalability and flexibility 

RPA is inflexible and can only execute actions based on rules that are assigned to it. Thus, when it comes to scalability, RPA lacks room for growth. Intelligent automation can adapt seamlessly across complex business operations and progress over time due to its learning capabilities. 


Human interactions and capabilities 

The natural language processing (NPL) and contextual element of intelligent automation enables organisations to provide personalised experiences through customisable and automated customer support, data analysis and query resolution. While RPA can help to schedule appointments, notify shipping and tracking status, it cannot handle sophisticated objection handling that customers often require. 


Reimagine your business processes with NashTech 

Intelligent automation has become a significant component of business models worldwide. Its myriad of benefits has enabled organisations to drive efficiency and reach new heights of intelligent thinking and decision-making. At NashTech, we can help you to reach your strategic goals using smart intelligent automation technologies. Together our portfolio of technologies and team of automation experts can help you to create a strategy that streamlines your business operations and drives efficiency. 

Find out more about intelligent automation here.


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