Robotic Process Automation vs Workflow Automation: What’s the Difference?



When it comes to automating your business processes, you might be wondering: “Between robotic process automation vs workflow automation, which should I go with?” And what’s the difference, anyway?


To steer you in the right direction, let's break down the differences between RPA and workflow automation and help you decide which one is best for your business.


What Is Workflow Automation?

Workflow automation is the process of automating a business process or workflow. This can be done by using software to automate individual tasks or creating rules and conditions that trigger certain actions.


For example, you might use business process automation to automatically send an email to a customer when their order ships. Or, you might set up a workflow that automatically generates a new support ticket when a customer emails your help desk.

There are many benefits of workflow automation, including:

  • Increased efficiency and effectiveness: Workflow automation can streamline repetitive tasks that require no human involvement or creativity. This, in turn, can free up time for employees to focus on more important tasks.

  • Reduced errors and improved accuracy: You can say goodbye to human error. That's because business process automation is designed to be accurate, every single time.

  • Improved customer satisfaction: Automated processes can help ensure that tasks are completed on time and that customer queries are dealt with promptly. In addition, automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks can free up staff time to provide a higher level of service, creating a better overall experience for customers.

  • Reduced costs: Workflow automation can result in significant cost savings for your organization. By automating processes and eliminating manual tasks, you can reduce operational expenses and improve efficiency.

Workflow automation can be used in a variety of industries and business tasks, such as:

  • Accounting and finance

  • Customer service

  • Human resources

  • Marketing and sales

  • Manufacturing and production

  • IT and software development

Workflow automation can automate just about any task or process in your business, and it can be customized to fit your specific needs - which makes it a perfect solution for any business dealing with repetitive task loads.


What Is Robotic Process Automation?

Robotic process automation (RPA) workflow is a type of business rules operation that uses software “bots” or “robots” to execute automation and robotic processes.

RPA bots are designed to mimic the actions of a human user, such as clicking a mouse, typing on a keyboard, or filling out a form.


For example, you could use an RPA bot to automatically fill out an online form with your customer’s information. You could also use an RPA bot to automatically log in to a website and perform a task (such as checking the status of an order). You could also set up an RPA bot to handle customer service inquiries.


Some benefits of robotic process automation include:

  • Increased operational efficiency: RPA bots can work faster than a human, increasing the efficiency of a task.

  • Reduced costs: RPA can reduce the cost of a task because you don’t need to pay a human to do it.

  • Greater accuracy: RPA bots can reduce errors because they are designed to follow a set of instructions.

If you are considering implementing robotic process automation in your business, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • First, you will need to identify the tasks you want to automate.

  • Second, you will need to choose the right software for your needs.

  • And third, you will need to train your staff on how to use the software.

RPA automates just about any task that can be done on a computer. And, like workflow automation, it can be customized to fit your specific needs.


What’s the Difference Between Workflow Automation and RPA?

So, what’s the difference between IT process automation vs RPA? As we've discussed, there are two different types of automation: workflow automation or what's commonly known as business process automation (BPA) vs robotic process automation (RPA). Though they are similar, there are some important differences between the two.

  • The main difference between workflow automation vs RPA is that workflow automation can be used to automate any task or process, while RPA is specifically designed to automate tasks that are done on a computer.

  • RPA workflow is typically used to automate simple, repetitive tasks that don’t require human judgment or decision-making. In contrast, workflow automation is used to automate more complex processes that involve multiple steps and/or different systems.

  • RPA is usually event-driven, meaning that it is triggered by a specific event or action, while workflow automation can be event-driven or time-based.

  • RPA typically requires less IT infrastructure and support than workflow automation, as it is often used to automate tasks within a single application. On the other hand, workflow automation often requires integration with multiple applications.

  • Workflow automation typically requires more setup and configuration than RPA. This is because workflow automation often involves creating operational business rules, while RPA typically only requires you to configure the bots themselves.

So, which one is right for your organization? The answer depends on your specific needs. If you need to automate simple, repetitive tasks with little human intervention, a task or process that can be done on a computer, then RPA might be the best option.


However, if you need to automate more complex processes that involve different user interphase, tasks, or processes that can’t be done on a computer, or if you need more customization and flexibility, then workflow automation might be the better choice.


How Teamworks Group Can Help You

Still not sure which one is right for you? Robotic process automation or workflow automation? Reach out to us online, and we’ll help you decide. We have years of experience in both RPA and workflow automation, and we know exactly how to get the most out of either technology. With our help, you can streamline your processes, save time and money, and increase efficiency in your workplace.