Robotic Process Automation vs. Traditional Automation


The prospect of robots becoming mainstream in our homes is a topic that keeps flaming up in the media. But the business world has seen new efficiencies deploying robots and automation solutions that mimic human actions. Gradually, robotic process automation has silently replaced traditional automation as digital transformation efforts grow more intuitive and efficient. Many people stick with the former or latter based on their preferences and unique business needs. But knowing the differences between both options can be a great way to nail your final choice. This article delves into robotic process automation and traditional automation, outlining how they differ.

What is traditional automation?


Automation technology has evolved a great deal and traditional automation solutions have existed for over a decade, focusing on seamlessly parsing different systems with API integration and programming. End users utilize programming knowledge to understand the target system. In today’s no-code digital world, that may be tagged as a bit of a reach. Yet traditional automation has a few use cases specifically benefiting organizations seeking to move voluminous data between systems. Generally, the traditional method is the form of automation deployed to repetitive processes by combining application integration at the database and infrastructure level.

What is robotic process automation, and how does it work?

Robotic process automation (RPA) is a software technology that enables organizations to create, design, build, and deploy software robots that mimic human actions. RPA robotics can be a quick fix solution to the way people perform complex and mundane tasks in any production environment. The robotic process automation technology has existed for a long time in screen scraping forms.

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RPA functions also exist in several other forms, including API integration into enterprise applications and connectors into Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) systems. That, notwithstanding, successful RPA implementation hinges on a simple principle of accessing information from your existing IT systems to copy each business operation using a special algorithm. That way, you can leverage RPA robots for every type of task, from the deployment of new services to using keyboard shortcuts, just like humans. And you can bet the virtual robots guarantee you significant efficiency gains.

Modern RPA tools can also use artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing to mitigate breakages and other issues while performing assigned tasks.

How do they differ?

Traditional and robotic process automation has several features alike, however, they’re not to be confused. Here are a few ways you can distinguish between the two options.

Software Limitations

The traditional method doesn’t favor software source code flexibility making it hard to integrate diverse systems. Programmers require a thorough knowledge of the programming software used for integration. In contrast, RPA saves developers from these restrictions by leveraging the UI layer, and no language syntax or scripting is required.

Technology Difference

Robotic process automation uses software robots to copy human actions at the user interface level. Unlike the traditional system developers who must have air-tight knowledge about a target system, RPA bots follow designed steps and rules moving away from the underlying technology and its associated applications. Ultimately, RPA can be a more convenient and efficient way to use automation technologies.


Customization is one of several automation opportunities that RPA proponents exploit for improved operational efficiency. RPA can enable businesses to create intelligent bots tailored to the specific needs of business users. Also, RPA can seamlessly integrate ERPs, calendars, e-mail, and CRM for optimum convenience.

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Turnaround Time

Traditional automation requires a lot of time and effort to achieve a company’s desired goals. RPA eliminates integration limitations associated with the traditional method making it easier to manage all robots in one place. The traditional method also requires multiple quality tests, complex programming, and critical IT support, which slows the pace of operations.

All in all, RPA is a more convenient option to automate a business’s operations even though traditional automation has its niche benefits. Eventually, the promise of the RPA technology’s impact on productivity is inherent in its future and rapidly increasing adoption rates worldwide.


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