Cloud Computing – Taking RPA to next level
Deploying RPA on cloud is gaining traction, as the cloud has become a life-changing resource. There are multiple cloud Platform that offer the capabilities to deploy RPA on the cloud and give organizations an option to fast track their RPA journey. Before going into details of cloud computing in RPA we can start with simplified understanding of Cloud Computing, here we go:
Cloud computing is nothing but providing different services through the Internet. To put this in simple words - services such as networking, data storage, databases, networking, servers, software, analytics and intelligence are delivered over the Internet, which is actually “The cloud”. This actually means accessing data and programs remotely instead of your computer's hard drive.
Enterprises that provide cloud services enable users to store files and applications on remote servers and then access all the data via Internet. As long as someone has access to the web, they have access to the data and the software programs from anywhere in the world.
Types of cloud computing - Deployment
Not all clouds are the same as there are various types of clouds, each type of cloud computing have different models, types and services to offer the right solution for the businesses. There are basically three different methods to implement cloud services: 1- on a public cloud, 2- private cloud or 3- hybrid cloud.
Public clouds deliver their services on servers and storage over the Internet. These are operated by a third-party cloud service providers. With a public cloud, all hardware, software and other supporting infrastructure is owned and managed by the cloud companies. These services can be accessed and managed using a web browser.
A private cloud is reserved for specific customer, usually a business or organization. A private cloud can be physically placed on the company’s on-site datacenter. Some organizations also pay third-party service providers to host their private cloud where services and infrastructure are enabled on a private network.
Hybrid cloud is actually the combination of public and private clouds, the hybrid cloud offers creating parallel environments in which applications can move easily between private and public cloud, a hybrid cloud gives your business better flexibility, more deployment options and helps optimize existing infra, security and compliance in the organizations.
Types of cloud computing
Cloud computing services are primarily comprised of three services: software-as-a-service (SaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), and platform-as-a-service (PaaS). It is important to know what these cloud computing services are and how they are different from each other to accomplish the business objectives.
Software as a service (SaaS)
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is a model in which access to the software is provided on a subscription basis, it is a method for delivering software applications over the Internet and on demand basis. With SaaS, cloud providers host and manage the applications and underlying infrastructure and handle any maintenance, such as software upgrades and security patching etc. It is typically accessed through a web browser, with users logging into the system using login credentials.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
This the most basic category of cloud computing services where cloud providers offer storage and compute services on a pay-per-use basis. With IaaS, you rent IT infrastructure— operating system, servers, virtual machines (VMs), storage etc. through IP-based connectivity.
Platform as a service (PaaS)
Platform as a service refers to a platform for creating software that is delivered via the Internet. It supplies on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering and managing software applications. This platform is designed to make it easier for developers to quickly create the applications without worrying about setting up or managing the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network etc.
Taking RPA to the Cloud
Traditionally RPA is deployed on premise, RPA solutions primarily came with the solutions focused on large enterprise offerings where data privacy, security were very tight. Now as the market is maturing on RPA and as companies are moving to the cloud, you can comprehend that the options to deploy RPA in the cloud are becoming more available. Since IT industry is moving to the cloud hence there's a lot of acceptance from the RPA market as well. A cloud-native approach to RPA will definitely change the way automation is implemented around the world. As the usual cost of infrastructure and maintenance associated with a traditional (On-premise) approach are eliminated, the on Cloud deployment model surely democratizes RPA.
OnCloud options available in RPA Industry
In RPA Industry, there are multiple “enterprise cloud deployment” options available, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud or Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Most of the RPA tool vendors offer technical alliances with these valued Cloud Partners to provide multiple options to chose the right cloud partner as well as a secure gateway to the scalable Digital Workforce.
The RPA solution can be deployed on-premises, in a hybrid cloud, or on leading cloud platforms to provide scale and flexibility. Many enterprises are moving their applications from on-premises to be hosted in private and public cloud instances. These tools offer migration path to accelerate this transition to the cloud and now it is easy to understand the benefits of moving to the cloud platform:
Low Cost of Ownership
Deploying RPA on cloud saves huge cost of IT infrastructure and its maintenance. Companies do not have to pay high server hardware and software costs.
Flexibility and transparency
The cloud platform offers flexible and transparent model, Instead of committing to a large number of BOTs or purchasing costly hardware to run your BOTs, you can utilize existing infrastructure and industry expertise.
RPA on cloud frees you from constant on-premise maintenance cost and reduces system downtime and costs for solution maintenance and upgrade.
RPA on Cloud is easy to deploy, has low turnaround time for implementation and allows you to make changes faster, which ultimately offers quick ROI realization.
Before moving to on cloud platform we also need to consider some disadvantages as well, such as - Data security and privacy where the cloud service provider is expected to manage and safeguard the underlying hardware infrastructure of a deployment. However, as an organization it is your responsibilities to manage user access and all the risk scenarios. Vulnerability to cyber attack – Since in this model everything is accessed over the network, there are high chances of severe attacks and security breaches from time to time. There are some best practices to follow which help you reduce cloud attacks. It is advisable to understand the cloud model and offerings from different vendors and select accordingly.
Manish Arora, RPA Solution Designer – Pre-sales, Tech Mahindra Manish has 12 years of experience in RPA industry along with multiple domains and business operations. He has 8 years of experience in various RPA technologies as a Project Manager, Business Analyst and Pre-sales consultant. He currently serves as a Solution Designer in RPA Pre-sales team and helping the organizations transforming their business through Robotic Process Automation / Cognitive Automation.