As more than 69% of corporate boards report accelerating digital business initiatives in response to Covid-19 (The 2021 CIO Agenda, Gartner report), organisations anticipate this percentage to grow further. Across all sectors, companies are swiftly providing their business models with a new digital reality. In addition, the urgency to optimise efficiency and resiliency has accelerated digital demands resulting in innovative digital initiatives.
Choosing automation and integration:
RPA and API services are constantly in demand, thanks to the growing need for automation and integration. Historically, businesses preferred RPA's no-coding option because it promised faster results with minimal involvement. On the other hand, it was rare to find organisations that used API integration. However, automation and integration are collaboratively providing organisations better choices to hyperautomate processes and workflows.
Expand the horizon with hyperautomation:
API and RPA have always been perceived as competitors, even a simple google search results in articles as 'RPA vs API: Which is better and why?', 'RPA platforms vs APIs; Pros and Cons', 'The difference between RPA and API' and so on. It is clear that API integration and RPA have benefits and challenges, hence instead of choosing one, organisations should choose the best of both worlds. As organisations enter the second phase of RPA after the initial excitement, they are more aware of its advantages and limitations.
A single software tool cannot offer the power, intelligence and capabilities to entirely replace human involvement to provide end-to-end automation of complex business processes. Gartner suggested that the future is 'Hyperautomation', Forrester calls it 'Digital Process Automation’, and International Data Corporation (IDC) refers to it as 'Intelligent Process Automation'. Regardless of what you call the new trend, you have to consolidate advanced technologies such as RPA, AI (Artificial Intelligence), iBPMS (Intelligent Business Process) to achieve a higher level of digitisation.
API Integration and Robotic Process Automation are constantly infiltrating each other's domain. To surpass the limitations of traditional RPA, a new variant of bots are entering the market - integration bots. When process optimisation needs automated information exchange between APIs, these bots use system UI to access data. Unfortunately, besides the old mainframes and legacy systems, many service-based software tools consider UI their primary communication channel and worry little about providing API-based access. In this scenario, integration bots play the role of APIs.
Can RPA make API decisions?
Many API management vendors have also recognised the value of combining API integration and Robotic Automation. They collaborate with RPA providers to give simple and secured API-RPA connections. Bots can easily make API requests as the backend platforms and apps do not change as frequently as the front end user-interface. As a result, bots that use APIs are more resilient, require less maintenance due to frequent UI changes, and are less expensive to support.
As you look for the right technology to choose for your business, it is not easy with so much contradictory information available. Is there a precise answer? No. It depends on your organisation's IT landscape, incumbent ecosystems, available budgets, resources, skills and much more. We propose a hyperautomated approach, a combination of API integration and Robotic Process Automation. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses will help you strategically apply both technologies to suit your requirements and develop a robust solution to enable you with digital transformation.
Neebal, a technology solutions provider, has delivered top of the line solutions across Agro, Pharma, and BFSI verticals. Neebal aims to provide top tier services for API Integration, RPA, and advanced mobility with prime focus on Hyperautomation. Founded in 2010, Neebal is a proud recipient of the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Award (APAC) and the Deloitte Fast 50 Award (India) for four consecutive years (2017-20).