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Robotic Process Automation vs Traditional Automation | Quick Guide

Navdeep Singh Gill | 27 February 2023


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Introduction to RPA and Traditional Automation

Automation has already broken all the records of mankind's imagination regarding what could be achieved and how! Automation helps develop software and machines which can perform accurately without any human error and give service 24X7. Process automation has become a superhero for industries for a long time. Automation has saved time, reduced risk, increased efficiency, compliance maintenance, and enhanced profitability.

Today, in these modern times, we find ourselves standing on the towers of these industrial revolutions, which have taken this globe to our fingertips. The automation industry made things much easier and quicker.

Businesses are also looking to change their working ways from traditional business processes to automated processes. Using automation technologies, businesses can do that. So what are robotic process automation and traditional Automation? How are these two different from each other? What would be the significant differences? We shall Look upon this in this article.

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What is Traditional Automation?

Traditional automation combines old technologies and different programming and APIs that integrate with different systems, It was mainly built to integrate the user applications with the backend systems of organizations to perform the predefined backend tasks with minimal human intervention independently.

In the service industry, majoring in customer service application and workflow automation Traditional Automation made its way. In it, developers need to know and understand the target systems, and the users need to know programming skills will operate it. This is the crucial difference between Traditional Automation with Robotic Process Automation.

What is Robotic Process Automation?

It is a technology that helps to create software robots for handling repetitive routine tasks. It combines user interface (UI) interactions, integrates with APIs, and performs repetitive tasks between enterprise and productivity applications. By deploying software robots, which emulate human processes, RPA tools complete the autonomous execution of various transactions and activities across unrelated software systems.

It is one type of software automation technology that is developed with Artificial Intelligence(AI) and Machine Learning (ML). It helps design software bots that help carry out day-to-day tasks quickly and independently without human interference.

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Robotic Process Automation (RPA) vs. Traditional Automation

Both Automation technologies are used to improve the quality of outcomes and reduce manual intervention. But there are many differences between RPA and Traditional Automation. With it, you can make a machine do any task at any step of the operational process. On the other hand, it is a type of automation that will stick to the front end of your system and carry out tasks without having to move to the back end for anything.

Although both Automations are used for software integration to automate the business process, there are a few key differences between them.

Technology Difference

RPA mainly uses software bots to understand user action at the user interface level, as it can also use APIs to integrate various applications. In contrast, Traditional Automation uses APIs and other ways to integrate various systems. To create bots, developers need to understand user behavior and follow the steps for creating a project. To create a traditional automation system, the developers need to know the target system inside out. Therefore, in it and RPA fight, it is more convenient in terms of use and technology base.

Software Limitations

It has many disadvantages, like restrictions in different applications due to lack of software source code and limitation of APIs, making it difficult to integrate diverse systems. In other words, traditional automation is challenging, and it requires deep knowledge of the software. On the other hand, it usually works with User Interface(UI), so the aforementioned restrictions are redundant in the case of RPA.

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Cost Efficiency

When comparing Robotic Process Automation with Traditional Automation with cost efficiency, the initial investment is high in the case of it compared to it. But, when it is compared over a long time, the cost of RPA becomes low compared to it.


RPA offers a high level of customization options when compared with traditional Automation. It can integrate with multiple applications like e-mail, calendar, ERP, and CRM for seamless data flow and auto-replies creation. It also enables SMEs (Subject matter experts) to create the bots per the user's need.

Turnaround Time

In the battle between RPA and traditional automation, it also wins regarding turnaround time; developers can instruct the bots to perform a specific action within a project section. On the other hand, it demands complex programming and several quality tests. In addition, it moreover requires steady to-and-fro between different IT groups as well as critical IT support.

Can we replace RPA with Traditional Automation?

In the race, it is a clear winner, but it is impossible to replace it with traditional automation entirely. It still has its important uses. When we need to move big volume data from one system to another, It would deliver speed and efficiency and be more suitable.

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Robotic Process Automation and Traditional Automation have their work, and both are still successfully running in various companies, businesses, and industries. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Automation should be used for any task depending on its type and what companies would like to implement.


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