Home Robotic Process Automation How Does Robotic Process Automation Differ From Intelligent Automation

How Does Robotic Process Automation Differ From Intelligent Automation

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In the evolving world of technology, robotics process automation has become a crucial aspect that enhances efficiency and productivity. Two key technologies that have emerged in this domain are Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation (IA).

While they may seem similar, there are significant differences between them. This blog post delves into these differences, providing a comprehensive understanding of RPA and IA.


Automation is transforming businesses worldwide, enabling them to improve their operations, optimize business processes, and increase their competitive advantage. RPA and IA represent two different aspects of this transformation. Before we discuss their differences, let’s first define these terms.

Defining Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

RPA is a form of business process automation that uses software robots or ‘bots’ to perform repetitive tasks, such administrative tasks such as data entry, transaction processing, and responding to simple customer service queries. These bots mimic human actions within specific operational processes, thereby reducing the time and effort required to complete these tasks.

Defining Intelligent Automation (IA)

On the other hand, Intelligent Automation, as the name suggests, goes a step further by combining automation with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities to simulate human intelligence. It not only handles routine tasks but also interprets complex data, makes decisions based on this data, learns from experience, and even adapts to new situations. Therefore, IA is seen as a more advanced form of automation.

Organizations often achieve an average 30% reduction in operational costs by implementing automation software, Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

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Understanding Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

RPA is primarily designed to automate repetitive tasks that were previously performed by humans. The goal is to increase efficiency and accuracy and automate tasks, leading to cost savings and improved business outcomes. RPA is relatively easy to implement as it doesn’t require significant changes to existing systems. Instead, it works on top of current applications, following the same rules and procedures that a human operator would.

Organizations implementing Intelligent Automation often report an average 85% improvement in customer satisfaction due to faster response times and improved accuracy.

Understanding Intelligent Automation (IA)

IA is a more advanced form of automation that combines RPA with cognitive technologies like AI and ML. This artificial intelligence technologies enables IA to handle complex tasks that require understanding, decision-making, and learning.

For instance, an intelligent automation system can analyze customer sentiment in support tickets, prioritize them based on severity, and even suggest suitable responses. The ability to learn from past experiences and improve over time sets IA apart from traditional automation technologies.

RPA can lead to an average 45% reduction in the time required to execute routine business processes.

Comparing RPA And IA

While RPA and IA might seem similar at first glance, they differ significantly in their technological capabilities, operational business processes, applications, and implementation strategies. Let’s delve into these differences in more detail.

Differences In Technology And Functionality

RPA is a rule-based technology that follows predefined processes and doesn’t have the capability to understand or interpret data. On the other hand, IA uses advanced algorithms and machine learning models to understand, interpret, and make decisions based on data. It can even adapt to new situations by using structured data and learning from past data and experiences.

Differences In Business Applications

The applications of RPA are typically limited to automating repetitive tasks, and rule-based tasks. It’s commonly used in areas like data entry, invoice processing, and IT support. On the other hand, IA can handle more complex tasks that require understanding and decision-making. This makes it suitable for applications like customer service, fraud detection, and predictive analytics.

Differences In Implementation And Operation

RPA can be relatively easier to implement and operate as it works on top of existing systems without needing significant changes. However, since it’s rule-based, any changes in the process require modifications in the RPA scripts.

On the contrary, IA requires more advanced setup and maintenance due to its use of AI and machine learning. But once intelligent process automation is implemented, it can adapt to changes and improve over time, reducing the need for ongoing maintenance.

The global RPA market was valued at approximately $14.4 billion in 2020, demonstrating its rapid growth.

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Case Studies Of RPA And IA

To illustrate these concepts further, let’s look at some real-world examples of how RPA and IA are used in various industries.

Examples Of RPA In Industry

In the banking industry, RPA is widely used to automate tedious and repetitive tasks like account opening and closing, loan processing, and fraud detection. For example, a bank can use RPA bots to quickly process loan applications by verifying the applicant’s details, checking their credit score, and determining their eligibility based on predefined rules.

Examples Of IA In Industry

IA finds its use in more complex scenarios. For instance, in healthcare, IA can be used to analyze patient data and predict health risks. It can interpret medical reports, understand patient history, and make recommendations based on its analysis. In customer service, IA can also analyze data on customer interactions, understand their sentiment, and suggest personalized responses, improving customer satisfaction.

The whole intelligent automation solutions market is projected to reach approximately $15.5 billion by 2027, indicating its increasing significance.

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Natural Language Processing (NLP) And Intelligent Document Processing (IDP)

Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) have revolutionized the way organizations handle unstructured data. Unstructured data refers to information that doesn’t fit into conventional databases, such as emails, social media posts, and documents.

Extracting meaningful insights from unstructured data was once a daunting task, but with the advent of NLP and IDP technologies, it has become much more accessible.

One crucial component of these technologies is Optical Character Recognition (OCR). OCR converts printed or handwritten text into machine-readable data. By employing OCR, organizations can digitize physical documents, making them searchable and allowing for further analysis. OCR is particularly useful in industries such as healthcare, finance, and legal, where massive amounts of paperwork need to be processed efficiently.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is another integral part of the equation. RPA utilizes software robots to automate repetitive tasks that were previously performed by humans. By combining RPA with NLP, IDP, and OCR, organizations can streamline their operations, improve accuracy, and reduce costs.

For example, instead of manually extracting data from invoices, purchase orders, and contracts, intelligent automation solutions can quickly extract the relevant information, validate it, and update the necessary systems, all within seconds.

With the advancements in NLP and IDP, organizations can go beyond mere data extraction. These technologies enable businesses to gain valuable insights from unstructured data. For instance, sentiment analysis algorithms can determine the overall sentiment expressed in customer reviews or social media posts, helping companies understand customer satisfaction levels and identify areas for improvement.

Furthermore, NLP can be utilized to analyze customer feedback and categorize it into different topics or themes. This allows organizations to identify recurring issues and prioritize them accordingly. By addressing these concerns promptly, businesses can enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Intelligent document processing also plays a vital role in compliance and risk management. By automating the extraction and analysis of legal contracts, organizations can identify potential risks or non-compliance issues. This proactive approach helps companies mitigate risks and ensure adherence to regulations.

Moreover, NLP and IDP technologies enable organizations to enhance their decision-making process. By analyzing unstructured data from various sources, such as news articles, social media trends, and customer reviews, businesses can gain valuable insights into market trends, customer preferences, and competitor strategies. Armed with this information, companies can make informed decisions and stay ahead of the competition.

However, it is essential to note that NLP and IDP are not without their challenges. One common obstacle is language understanding. Different languages have unique nuances, idioms, and cultural references, making accurate interpretation a complex task. Additionally, handling sensitive or confidential information in unstructured data requires robust security measures to ensure data privacy.

Around 70% of routine, rule-based manual tasks across various industries are suitable for automation using RPA.

In conclusion, the advancements in NLP, IDP, OCR, and RPA have revolutionized how organizations handle unstructured data. These technologies empower businesses to extract meaningful insights, automate repetitive tasks, enhance compliance and risk management, and improve decision-making.

As technology continues to evolve, the possibilities for leveraging unstructured data will only expand, enabling organizations to thrive in today’s data-driven world.

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Future Trends In Automation

The future of automation is promising, with advancements in AI and machine learning driving the growth of intelligent automation. As businesses continue to realize the benefits of automation, we can expect to see more widespread adoption of intelligent automation refers using both RPA and IA.

While RPA will continue to automate routine tasks, the role of IA is set to expand, handling more complex tasks and making more data-driven decisions. This evolution towards more intelligent automation represents a significant opportunity for businesses to improve their efficiency and effectiveness.

Intelligent Automation, which includes AI and machine learning, can result in an average 90% reduction in the human intervention errors.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, while RPA and IA are both forms of automation, they serve different purposes and offer different capabilities. RPA is best suited for rule-based tasks that require consistency and accuracy, while IA is designed for tasks that require human intelligence, understanding, decision-making, and learning.

By understanding these differences, businesses can choose the right automation technology that best meets their needs, thereby maximizing their return on investment in automation.

Last Updated on October 14, 2023 by Priyanshi Sharma


  • Parina

    Parina Parmar is a full-time dog mom with a knack for content, editing & advertising. She has years of experience in the communication industry, and her dedication to maintaining the integrity of the author's voice while ensuring clarity and coherence in the text sets her apart in her field. She is dedicated to immersing her love for culture, music, and the advertising industry in her works.


    • Bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communication
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    • Bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communication
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