Intelligent Automation vs Robotic Process Automation – The pros and cons

The present era is marked by automation of all kinds. Businesses have been able to successfully implement automation technologies to reduce cost, optimize processes, and boost the productivity and efficiency of employees.

However, organizations are often confused between Intelligent automation and robotic process automation (RPA). It’s important to note that both technologies are different in a number of ways. Let’s get to know a comparison between the two technologies in terms of their respective pros and cons.

What is exactly Intelligent Automation?

In intelligent automation, artificial intelligence (AI) is used to mimic the mental and intellectual abilities of human beings. The AI technology creates a computer’s ability to take in structures or unstructured data and processes the information to perform an appropriate action. It captures the data and triggers judgment-based actions and responses. Some use cases of intelligent automation include data analysis, CRM, voice recognition (Alexa and Siri), and facial recognition.


  • Process optimization: By using intelligent automation, businesses can reduce the burden of work on their staff. The technology can help companies get rid of bottlenecks in their processes and streamline workflows. It can greatly boost employee productivity and organizational efficiency.
  • Enhanced customer experience: Intelligent automation can improve customer experiences by automating several CRM tasks. From sending automated personalized messages to tracking performance data, the technology can be a big boon to marketing teams.


  • Challenging implementation: Implementing an intelligent automation process can be challenging because there’s a lack of skilled manpower. To get the best out of the technology, companies will have to get the right tools—something that not many know about. Besides, they must focus on training their employees to enable them to use the technology.
  • Challenging organization-wide adoption: Employees of a company may initially resist adopting automation technology because they fear losing their jobs. Most of them would oppose the idea of organization-wide adoption of the technology and instead would prefer to work manually as usual.

What is Robotic Process Automation?

Now that you know what intelligent process automation is in the context of today’s tech-driven world. Next comes robotic process automation or RPA. While most people use intelligent automation and RPA interchangeably, it’s crucial to note that RPA is only a step on the full spectrum of intelligent process automation. Let’s get to know more about it here.

Robotic process automation lets companies leverage software tools (bots) to perform relatively simple and repetitive tasks that bog down staff. It does so by combining the ability of software tools with the intuitiveness of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.


  • Dynamic working: The best part about robotic process automation is its dynamism. It has the ability to adapt itself to any running process. Implementing such a technology does not disrupt a current process, instead, it adjusts itself accordingly.
  • Optimum resource utilization: Another great advantage of robotic process automation is that it improves employee productivity and maintains their morale. By automating mundane and boring tasks, it can help companies achieve more in less time.


  • High initial investment: Implementing a robotic process automation technology involves a high initial investment. There’s no doubt that the ROI is substantial, but the significant initial investment can deter many companies.
  • Need for skilled staff: The burden of cost tends to increase also due to the need to hire new employees who can handle the technology. Additional costs may also occur if the company has to re-skill or re-train its existing employees.

Should you make the transition from Robotic Process Automation to Intelligent Automation?

In essence, intelligent process automation using AI or robotic technology is akin to the “thinking” process of the human brain to make decisions based on the available information (i.e., data, trends, patterns, analysis). It is a largely data-centric process and can use natural language processing and machine learning to process unstructured data. The technology can train itself using algorithms to recognize incoming information and take immediate action.

Robotic process automation, on the other hand, completes tasks based on rules. This is more like what the human body does to survive. It is more focused on getting a process done or being process-centric. The RPA tools are created to automate repetitive human tasks that are simple and rule based. It must be trained to execute a particular process and depends on clearly defined structured data.

While making a transition to automation, do make sure you assess the needs of your company so that you get the right solution. For more information, you can contact us at [email protected] or call us on +35622488300.