What are the differences between RPA and IPA?

June 30th, 2020
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With the digital revolution in full swing, and companies striving to become more resilient than ever before, automation is gaining momentum. Repetitive and time-consuming tasks are out, with teams focusing increasingly on high-added-value tasks. To make this transition, companies are turning to the complementary tools of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and/or Intelligent Process Automation (IPA).

Focus on RPA

Robotic Process Automation enables companies to improve the efficiency of their processes and services.

RPA software can run routine methodical and standardised processes, in accordance with some basic principles. For example, this may involve extracting data from one system and re-entering it in another system. This then leaves humans to deal with the more unusual, exceptional cases.

In recent years, these tools have evolved to reach a certain level of maturity, paving the way for large-scale process automation. What's more, these robots can be deployed in a matter of weeks, which means lower implementation costs.

Focus on IPA

Intelligent Process Automation refers to a new generation of tools used for more complex processes.

These tools rely on cognitive technologies: a product of technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning and natural language processing. They are able to assist humans with unusual or exceptional tasks that require a certain degree of reflection, creativity, discernment etc. To do this, these tools process all types of data (including semi-structured or unstructured) and can even learn by observing human behaviour.

However, these solutions take longer to implement, particularly as they require a more advanced configuration to meet specific business objectives and scenarios.

To sum up, Robotic Process Automation enables companies to deliver services at a lower cost, while improving quality and reducing low-value-added tasks. Intelligent Process Automation goes one step further, helping companies to expand their range of services and generate added value for customers.