RPA Deployment Options: On-Premise vs. RPAaaS

by Brian Barrett

Many organizations ask the question, “Should I use RPA-As-A-Service or On-Premise?”  This is an important question that requires some thought and consideration.  Here are some pros and cons that should be reflected upon when evaluating these two options:

 

Categories

Pros /Cons

RPA-As-A-Service

On-Premise / Private Cloud

Overall Winner

Implementation

Pros

·  Faster to implement

·  Leverages proven platform implemented and tested by vendor

·  Simplifies access and user account setup

·  Less IT dependency

·   More platform options

·   Access policies follows in-house protocols and is governed by the organization

RPAaaS

Cons

·  Limited to vendor platform and policies

·   Slower to implement

·   Requires more IT time to setup servers and establish accounts/access

Cost

Pros

·   Reduced in-house cost for training and coordination

·   Requires less corporate FTEs for support

·   Clear and standardized cost

·   Short-term cost savings and quicker ROI

·   Potential for long-term cost savings

This truly depends on the organization. Generally, RPAaaS is cheaper short-term and on-premise is cheaper long-term. This can also come down to company’s preference of CAPEX vs. OPEX.

Cons

·   Costs can potentially be higher in the long-term than using on-premise

·   Unexpected costs

·   Harder to track all associated expenses (FTE time, infrastructure, IT support, etc.)

Security & Infrastructure

Pros

·   Vendor takes care of risks, disaster recovery, and security

·   Quick setup

·   Can ensure alignment with corporate policies and standards

·   Easier to integrate with 3rd party solutions like CyberArk

Tie

Cons

·   Limited customization to infrastructure setup

·   Control is relinquished to vendor

·   Access to backend information and details is limited

·   No or limited access/visibility into vendor setup

·   Maintenance to security and upgrades to servers maintained by corporation

·   Longer Setup

Maintenance

Pros

·   Maintenance is done by vendor

·   Requires much less time devoted to coordination, updating functionality, testing, and training by the organization

·   Less IT dependency

·   Ownership is in-house

·   Employees make and understand updates

RPAaaS

Cons

·   Turn around dependent upon policies defined and vendor availability

·   Requires trained in-house personal

·   Dependent upon IT and RPA personnel availability

Transparency & Reporting

Pros

·   Standard reports and metrics

·   Clear schedule and delivery

·   Ability to create and customize reports as needed

·   Access to all backend logs and databases

On-premise

Cons

·   Limited to standard reports

·   Limited access to backend logs and metrics

·   Reports are generated in-house

Above, we outlined the 2 extreme ends of the deployment model spectrum for RPA.  An additional middle-ground option that has grown in popularity is RPA Managed Services.  In this case, the process solution is located on-premise or on an organization’s private cloud.  Processes will change, applications receive updates, and enhancements will be needed.  In each of these instances, a resource with the skills to implement and test these modifications is needed.  RPA Managed Services enables organizations to leverage a skilled RPA Services provider, such as Ashling Partners, to manage the processes in operation and perform needed maintenance in a more customized manner.  This is oftentimes a direction taken to reduce costs, ensure processes in production run properly and monitored 24x7, and changes are made by trained professionals.  If you are going on-premise, you may want to consider leveraging RPA Managed Services for your processes to provide an additional level of support.

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Summary:

Both RPAaaS and on-premise have their pros and cons.  RPAaaS is the better option for those organizations seeking to get up and running, prove RPA as a concept, scale quickly, or achieve quick ROI.  RPAaaS holds the vendor accountable for maintaining the bots, supporting the infrastructure and environments, and providing standard and timely reports.  On-premise may be a better option for organizations seeking to save costs by having a large volume of processes automated through RPA, are investing in FTEs with the knowledge to maintain and support the solution, and have sufficient IT support to maintain the infrastructure.  If an organization decides to go on-premise or through a private cloud, RPA Managed Services may potentially be a great option for monitoring processes in production and performing needed maintenance.