RPA is one of the most impactful technologies enabling digital transformation, and businesses are always looking for new areas to implement it. Interest in leveraging RPA in IT has been rising in the past 10 years as IT teams are searching for tools to automate repetitive tasks which may take up to ~30% of their time.
In this article we explore IT use cases that can help IT leaders tackle their challenges that can be tackled with RPA, such as data processes prone to error, network monitoring, and IT helpdesk management.
What are the benefits of RPA in IT?
RPA bots are a great candidate to automate tasks such as password changes and system updates, reducing time spent on mundane processes and improving data management. Here are some of the top benefits of implementing RPA in IT:
- Improving data management: Leveraging RPA bots for data transfers and updates eliminates duplicate data, missed updates, and other human errors.
- Protecting privileged data: Automating the transfer and manipulation of business data protects priveledged information from unauthorized access and minimizes human interference.
- Reducing response time: Automating rule-based tasks, such as password changes or email set up, minimizes the time that IT teams usually take until responding to colleague or customer requests.
To explore RPA benefits, read our in-depth article on the topic.
How is RPA used in IT?
RPA bots rely on screen scraping and OCR to replicate human interactions with GUI elements on the screen, therefore, some of RPA’s use cases in IT include:
Numerous data-related activities can be automated via RPA bots, such as:
- Data entry: RPA bots can be programmed to copy and paste data from one source to another, such as from websites to excel, or by using OCR to scan PDF documents and enter its data to text files or spreadsheets.
- Data transfers: RPA bots can automate the transfer of data from one system to another (e.g. ERP, CRM). This significantly reduces transfer errors and data duplicates. It also improves compliance as bots log their activities and create event logs and audit trails.
- Data updates: IT teams can leverage RPA bots to automate the update of databases from request tickets, emails, systems, applications, etc.
- ETL: Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) processes include extracting data from specific databases, converting the data into a designated formats, and loading it to different databases or warehouses. ETL processes can be automated by RPA bots as they are repetitive, rule-based, and prone to human error.
- Data validation: RPA bots can perform data validation tasks such as cross-checking against different IT datasets, and screening for irregularities or duplicates.
IT networks are sets of computers and servers which share resources (e.g. printer, scanner) and use common communication protocols to communicate with each other. RPA bots can automate the management of networks by:
- Monitoring server connections: RPA bots can monitor connections and perform regular diagnostics to ensure that servers are connected to each other and to different devices. They can also generate server performance reports and send them to the responsible personnel in IT teams.
- Automating protocol execution: There are different server and network protocols (e.g. transmission control protocol (TCP), internet protocol (IP), file transfer protocol (FTP), etc.) which provide a structure for requests between users and server in a network. RPA bots can automate the execution of protocols depending on user authorization, server capacity, and internet connection strength, and can notify users of failures in execution.
Businesses can also leverage workload automation (WLA) software which can schedule, initiate, and monitor network management processes at certain times or triggering events.
Employee onboarding and offboarding
RPA bots can be programmed to automate some of the employee onboarding and offboarding processes, such as:
- Creating / disabling business emails, accounts, and setting up account passwords.
- Adding new users to meetings or calendar events based on job title.
- Providing user access to business data or files based on the job title. For example, a bot can be programmed to give users access to HR data if their job title includes keywords such as “HR”, “officer” and “manager”.
- Remove business account and restrict user access to business data at the time of contract termination.
IT helpdesk management
IT teams can utilize RPA bots to cover rule-based technical support requests and tickets that come to the IT department and helpdesk, such as:
- Resetting passwords and login information.
- Installing and configuring software or application on designated machines.
- Responding to hardware requests (mouse, keyboard).
Since RPA bots can monitor server and system connections and performance, they can be used for:
- Detecting system vulnerabilities, and threats of unauthorized access.
- Perform first level security controls, such as denying access to certain databases at the discovery of a data breach attempt.
- Automating system backups and latest patch installation.
To explore how RPA can be used to enhance security measures, feel free to read our article on RPA use cases in cybersecurity.
For more on IT automation
To explore other IT automation use cases and tools, feel free to read our in-depth articles:
- 42 Back Office Automation Examples with RPA, WLA, & AI / ML
- IT process automation (ITPA) Use Cases & Applications
- RPA Incident Management: 5 IT Metrics RPA Can Improve
- IT Orchestration: Benefits, Use Cases, & Tools
And if you still have any questions about RPA, feel free to download our comprehensive whitepaper on the topic:
For your different automation needs, we have data-driven lists of vendors prepared for various needs:
- Automation hub, where you will find automation tools for different automation purposes,
- RPA software,
- RPA consultant,
- IT consultants.
And let us guide you through the process of finding the right tool:
This article was drafted by former AIMultiple industry analyst Alamira Jouman Hajjar.
Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.
Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.
Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.
He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.
Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
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