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Robotic Process Automation and Workload Automation — Why you need both

RPA and WLA are complementary automation solutions with distinctly different enterprise use cases

Read Time
2 mins
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Last updated
Jul 10th, 2020

Workload automation and robotic process automation each help to drive business efficiencies through automation. However, these two automation solutions are not entirely interchangeable, as they utilize different methods that result in varying efficiencies for diverse users. In fact, combining the benefits of these two process automation tools can often lead to better results than individual implementation.

If you are considering the best automation solution for your bank or credit union, it is critical to understand the diverse offerings of WLA and RPA - and how these solutions can work together for the most effective automation strategy.

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is software programmed to do basic tasks across applications that mimic human users. RPA provides value to organizations with a high volume of data collection or data entry, so business users can focus on the highest value work.

What is Workload Automation (WLA)?

Workload Automation (WLA) is software used to design, schedule, monitor and manage scripts and executables across the enterprise. WLA provides transformation IT infrastructure automation to organizations with complex needs and mixed environments. Advanced WLA products provide robust disaster recovery capabilities, APIs, and connectors.

What are the Main Differences Between Workload Automation and Robotic Process Automation?

One of the core differences between WLA and RPA is their automation focus. RPA focuses on frontend process automation. It's primarily for business users, installed on desktops, and utilizes bot technology.

By contrast, workload automation focuses on backend process automation. WLA is primarily for IT users, and utilizes agent technology installed on servers along with REST APIs to integrate with other applications.

Overview of RPA Technology

RPA excels as a frontend or desktop automation tool

  • Implementation complexity: RPA can be implemented quickly for simple tasks, but spirals up as more complexity is demanded.
  • Solution scalability: Low. RPA software is able to automate desktops but it can be limited when automating servers and data centers.
  • Technical usage: RPA mimics user input into the application UI, file downloads from web sites, and similar tasks.
  • Cost: The cost of RPA is low if your needs are simple and you don't have many users.
  • Scheduling and trigger options: While low-end solutions are activated by the user, high-end RPA products provide time-based execution.
  • Use case: RPA facilitates mass data-entry with ease, auto-formats documents, and replaces similar repetitive end user tasks.
  • Best suited for: Business users. RPA minimizes data entry so they can focus on higher value responsibilities.

Overview of WLA Technology

WLA excels as a centralized automation platform

  • Implementation complexity: Implementing workload automation requires more work upfront, but WLA is built to handle scalable complexity.
  • Solutions scalability: High. Workload automation can typically automate any process involving data centers, servers, and applications, as well as some mobility offerings.
  • Technical usage: WLA automates any executable across any number of servers in the enterprise simultaneously. This includes file transfer, mobility, and SLA monitoring.
  • Cost: The cost of WLA is higher upfront than RPA, but less expensive at scale.
  • Scheduling and trigger options: Both time-based and event/dependency-based. Workload automation operates across all systems simultaneously, in sequence, or both.
  • Use case: Workload automation allows end-users to make processing requests or pull complicated reports with a click of a button, without making a call to IT.
  • Best suited for: IT Users. Workload automation minimizes production errors, centralized version control of scripts, audit trails, compliance and security, provisioning systems, and many others.

Ready to talk to an automation expert?

SMA Technologies can help your enterprise create a comprehensive automation solution that delivers strong ROI.

In this article

RPA and WLA should both be used as a comprehensive automation solution. While RPA covers simple tasks like form-fills, WLA can handle far more complex IT process automation and integrate with third-party apps much more efficiently.

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