As the RPA market matures, the lines between dumb robots (RPA 1.0) and smart robots (intelligent automation or RPA 2.0) are blurring. The delineation between front- and back-end isn’t as clear as it once was either.
The integrators used to be able to ask a client two questions:
- Do you need to get data out of a legacy system?
- Does it have a backend API?
If the answers were “yes” and “no”, an integrator knew they were headed for an RPA build. Now, Gartner defines RPA as a combination of user interface (UI) interactions and APIs.
This makes sense when you consider that RPA 1.0 emulates a human copying and pasting data. RPA 2.0 is not emulating a human. It is lighting up the potential of the digital workforce powered by humans and AI cloud services like Microsoft Cognitive Services or Amazon’s AI Cloud.
To get the most out of this shift you need to understand the capabilities of your current technology. Does the system have APIs? Is it cheaper, more effective, more stable to use APIs? And the answer isn’t always “yes”. RPA comes into play when APIs aren’t available or when emulating a human provides more business value than a system-to-system connection. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. A great automation strategy uses both APIs and RPA to get the most value. Your IT director can help you strike the right balance.
Learn more about RPA in 2021 on the source page.