the competitive Business world, automation is taking over many processes. Automating Business processes is making
use of technology to reduce manual efforts and execute recurring tasks. It is
used to minimize streamline processes. It is an intelligent approach to reduce
costs and improve customer service.

The benefits of automation in business are enhances business performance and reliability, which improves your end-user experience. The ability to
monitor processes helps you to find the errors and fix them. It enhances your
workforce allocation with continual process improvement which in turn increases
the response.

With the increasing demand for productivity, many businesses are
opting to automate as many manual processes as possible. Business process
automation is an essential tool to gain business control, and technological
advancements are accelerating the evolution of business process automation.

Different types of automation processes available for businesses

  • Robotic process automation
  • Cognitive automation

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Robotic process automation
(RPA) is a technology which allows to configure a robot or a computer software
to integrate and emulate actions of humans interacting within digital systems
in executing a business process.

User interface is utilized by
RPA robots to capture data and manipulate applications just as humans perform.
They trigger responses, interpret and communicate with other systems to perform
variety of repetitive tasks. RPA software robots makes zero mistakes and are
always active.

RPA works and relies on basic technologies such as macro
scripts, workflow automation and screen scrapping. It performs tasks with more
accuracy with the use of software robots.

Cognitive Automation

Cognitive automation is a type of enterprise automation process
that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to automate
complex tasks and enhance the power of Robotic process automation while
improving consistency, reliability and accuracy of day-to-day operations.

Cognitive automation improves
and extends range of actions that are correlated with RPA by leveraging
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and provides organizations with advantages like
customer satisfaction, cost savings and bring accuracy to complex business
processes involving use of unstructured information.

It can find
patterns, build its own rules and relationships between various data entities,
and assist humans in making intelligent business decisions. It helps to make
RPA even better with features like natural language processing, text analysis
and optical character recognition when utilized correctly.

Key differences between RPA and Cognitive Automation

  • Varied Sphere of Application

RPA technology can be used to automate repetitive human tasks
with more precision using software robots. It is ideal for the tasks and
processes where human intervention is not required. However, few business
situations require human decisions, and in a few cases, it is challenging to
make human decisions when much data is involved. 

At this point, cognitive automation steps in as a subset of AI
and helps automate more complex processes compared to RPA. 

  • Divergent Technologies 

RPA relies on basic technologies such as workflow automation and
macro-scripts. In contrast, cognitive automation uses advanced technologies
such as data mining, semantic technology, text analysis and machine learning,
making it easy for humans to take informed business decisions.

RPA depends on the deployment of framework and configuration and
doesn’t require coding. On the other hand, cognitive automation needs extensive
use of programming knowledge and uses machine learning.

  • Methodology of Automation 

RPA works on the if-then principle and is based on rules. It is
often used to automate time-consuming tasks and is a process-oriented
technology, whereas cognitive automation is a knowledge-based technology. It
has its own rules and mimics human behaviour by applying Machine Learning (ML).

  • Difference in Data Processing 

RPA works on standardized data and can only process the data
when available is a structured or semi-structured format. Other formats, such
as unstructured data, need cognitive automation to find similarities between
items learning from associations and build relationships.

  • Distinctive Benefits 

RPA helps businesses to test new ideas without paying heavily
and enable employees to perform more complex and cognitive tasks. RPA reduces
operational costs and improves staff productivity by taking over tedious tasks.

Cognitive automation helps automate specific business processes
and is pre-trained. It adds to the analytical capabilities of human by
providing them with cognitive inputs. It can continually learn and constantly
adjust to the new environment as new data keeps entering business systems every

Choose the right automation technology for your

The decisions or choice of technology of your organization depends on the nature of your business process. RPA would be the right solution if your business process involves voluminous and structured data, and your company is a rule-based organization.

If your company deals with complex and unstructured data, which
requires human intervention, cognitive automation would be the apt technology
to automate your business process.

However, few organizations have a combination of both simple and
complex tasks that require human intervention in their business processes. In
such cases, a combination of both RPA and cognitive automation will be the best
option to automate the business process and increase productivity. Combining
these two technologies provides end-to-end automated solutions for your

Also, there is an option for business organizations to choose
software vendors who can partner with organizations to suggest the right
technology to automate their business processes. 


Advancements in Robotics, Artificial intelligence (AI) and
Machine learning (ML) are increasing with the new age of automation.  Automation enables us to accomplish tasks
with cognitive capabilities. Opting automation technologies such as RPA and
cognitive automation for your business will significantly impact your business
growth and productivity.


  • 4 March, 2021
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