Intelligent Automation and RPA: Key Differences and Similarities

  • January 11, 2023
  • Elisa Silverglade
  • 9 min read

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the difference between intelligent automation and RPA is crucial if you want to get the most out of your technology investments. 
  • Robotic process automation (RPA) is software designed to automate repetitive tasks by mimicking human activities.
  • Intelligent automation (IA) is a set of technologies that can automate business processes.
  • The main distinction between intelligent automation and RPA lies in how they approach tasks. 
  • Both can help businesses increase efficiency while reducing errors by eliminating mundane manual work from employees’ daily routines.
  • Techromatic is the best intelligent automation center of excellence.

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning has caused organizations to start looking for ways to optimize their processes – with even more emphasis on intelligent automation (IA) and robotic process automation (RPA). 

These terms may sound the same or, to some, they mean the same thing – but they are not. They are two separate things that happen to have some similarities in how they operate. It is critical to understand the difference between intelligent automation and RPA if you’re looking for the best from your investment. 

Are you looking to implement either intelligent automation or robotic process automation in your organization but don’t know where to begin? This expert guide will get you started with the details on the difference between intelligent automation and RPA and how they intersect. 

What Is Robotic Process Automation? 

Robotic process automation is software designed to automate repetitive tasks by mimicking human activities such as keystrokes or mouse clicks. RPA does not require coding knowledge or an understanding of complex algorithms, unlike traditional automation tools; instead, it relies on simple rules to carry out tasks. 

This makes it ideal for businesses that don’t have the resources or expertise to develop custom solutions from scratch. There are endless benefits associated with robotic process automation, including the following.

3 Ways Robotic Process Automation Is Beneficial 

Robotic process automation is a powerful tool for streamlining repetitive tasks and processes with the following guaranteed benefits. 

1. Cost savings

Robotic process automation has the potential to save significant costs associated with hiring more staff or outsourcing labor-intensive projects. Automating routine tasks can eliminate the need for expensive hardware and software purchases and maintenance.

2. Reduced errors

Robots are programmed to perform precise numerical operations without errors or variance due to fatigue or error, as usually is with humans. Automated processes deliver results with unparalleled accuracy, speed, and consistency because they are programmed to follow precise instructions without deviation from the prescribed course of action. This reduces costly mistakes and improves overall quality control efforts. 

3. Increased Efficiency

Robotic process automation also increases efficiency by freeing up valuable employee time that would otherwise be spent on mundane tasks like data entry or customer service inquiries. Automating these processes allows employees to focus on high-value activities that require creative thinking or problem-solving skills.

These benefits of robotic process automation make one thing quite clear: it saves time and money – the very goal every business strives for today. Here is a glimpse of the real-world applications of robotic process automation. 

3 Real-World Applications of Robotic Process Automation

Robotic process automation is a digital tool that can help streamline business operations in various sectors to automate manual and repetitive tasks. Here are some of the three real-world applications of RPA.

-Payroll Management

Manual payroll management is time-consuming and error-prone. RPA automates time-consuming data entry and ensures accuracy by eliminating human errors. It also allows for faster employee payments, ensuring they receive their wages on time. 

-Customer Support

RPA is also critical in customer support and can come in handy in freeing agents’ time to focus on more complex tasks, such as providing personalized customer service. RPA can also automate customer service inquiries by providing automated responses to frequently asked questions or directing customers to the appropriate resources when needed. 

-Invoice Processing

RPA is also helpful for invoice processing because it allows businesses to process invoices quickly without waiting to be manually entered into a system. Whether used for payroll management, customer support, or invoice processing, RPA has proven its worth with the ability to automate tasks while still producing results at a higher rate than traditional operation methods would allow. 

These benefits and real-world applications give you a better understanding of RPA and how it can be used to your advantage. What, then, can intelligent automation do for you? 

What Is Intelligent Automation?

Intelligent automation (IA) is a set of technologies that can automate business processes. Combining artificial intelligence (AI) with traditional automation tools allows IA to increase efficiency while providing even more accurate results.

IA enables organizations to create sophisticated solutions to make decisions quickly, reduce manual workloads, and improve customer experiences. The advancement of AI technology allows it to become more versatile and accessible to businesses of all sizes.

Reasonable Benefits of Intelligent Automation for Business

Intelligent automation is quickly transforming how businesses operate, and according to McKinsey’s comprehensive report, businesses have witnessed tremendous rewards from leveraging intelligent automation, including:

  • Automating mundane tasks by roughly 50–70%
  • Improving productivity and cost savings by 20–35%
  • Enabling greater agility and scalability 
  • Improving data accuracy and security

Intelligent automation gives organizations a more efficient and cost-effective approach to running their operations while driving better decision-making. So, how can businesses use intelligence automation? 

3 Ways Businesses Use Intelligent Automation 

Businesses of all sizes are turning to intelligent automation to increase efficiency and achieve their goals. But how? Here are the three key sectors that are taking advantage of the power of intelligent automation. 

1. Banking and Finance Industry

IA is used in this industry as the technology can be used for fraud detection and cybersecurity, reducing manual efforts and increasing accuracy. It can also be used to address compliance, risk management, and data analytics. 

2. Healthcare

By analyzing large data assets, AI-enabled technology can detect patterns that enable healthcare experts to make faster, more informed decisions. 

3. Chatbot for Customer Service and Support

Chatbot software is one of the most popular IA solutions, as it provides companies with an efficient method of responding to customer inquiries in real-time. This helps businesses handle customer interactions more efficiently with a guarantee of superior service.

AI-based technologies are helping businesses unlock their potential in streamlining operations and boosting productivity. Following is a detailed overview of the critical differences between RPA and IA. 

Intelligent Process Automation vs. Robotic Process Automation

The main distinction between IA and RPA lies in how they approach tasks. Intelligent automation leverages AI to automate complex business operations by using a combination of technologies, including:

  • Natural language processing (NLP)
  • Computer vision
  • Machine learning algorithms
  • Data analysis
  • Predictive analytics
  • Workflow management tools

These tools can carry out multiple tasks simultaneously, allowing businesses to streamline their processes and make faster decisions with greater accuracy.

Robotic process automation focuses on automating manual tasks such as data entry or document processing through software robots or bots. RPA can be used with AI technologies such as NLP or computer vision for more complex tasks, but its primary purpose is to automate manual processes at a larger scale with minimal human intervention. 

It is also important to note that intelligent automation solutions typically require implementation by experts, while RPA solutions can be implemented with minimal human input. 

Robotic Process Automation vs. Intelligent Automation – Not So Dissimilar After All

IA and RPA have different approaches to automating repetitive tasks and optimizing processes, but they share an essential commonality: Both can help businesses increase efficiency while reducing errors and saving time and money. 

Pairing these two technologies can also give organizations even more power—with better insights into learning customer behavior and decision-making processes and uncovering new opportunities for growth and improvement. 

Techromatic Offers Expert Guidance on Intelligent Automation and Robotic Process Automation

Intelligent automation and robotic process automation work toward a similar goal – ensuring flexibility and saving costs and time – a lot more is usually involved. Part of this is understanding how they work and the unique attributes that set them apart. 

The experts at Techromatic can help if you’re considering this investment but are unsure where to begin. Our broad experience and expertise help to ensure we provide the highest quality services to help automate organizational processes. 

Techromatic is an intelligent automation center of excellence with tools designed to provide repeatable and reliable solutions that can improve efficiency and orchestrate multiple systems without any user intervention. 

Our award-winning team will deliver comprehensive solutions and services tailored to your unique needs, so contact us today.

Is RPA and IA the same?

No, RPA and IA are not the same. RPA is software designed to automate repetitive tasks by mimicking human activities while IA is a set of technologies that can automate business processes by analyzing large sets of data, identifying patterns and opportunities within them, and making decisions that it deems most appropriate. While both can help organizations increase efficiency and reduce errors by eliminating mundane manual labor from employees’ daily routines, the approaches used for each are different.

Which is better RPA or IA?

It depends on the needs of the organization. Depending on the scope and complexity of their tasks, either RPA or IA may be beneficial. For organizations that need to automate certain simple tasks quickly, RPA is often a better choice. However, for those with more complex requirements that require predictive analytics, intelligent automation may be a better fit as it can automate more intricate processes. Ultimately, it is important for organizations to assess their needs before deciding which option is most suitable for them.

What is meant by intelligent automation?

Intelligent automation (IA) is the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and software robots to automate business processes. IA combines automated robotic processes with AI to allow computers to think, learn and make decisions similar to those made by humans. This technology analyzes large sets of data, finds patterns in the information, draws conclusions from it, and makes decisions that it deems most appropriate. IA can help organizations increase efficiency and reduce errors by eliminating mundane manual labor from employees’ daily routines.

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