The RPA market is still rising. Even accelerated by the global pandemic, business process automation and task automation are becoming a standard asset of today’s enterprise IT landscapes. In my last blog post, I discussed the current RPA trends, including:
- RPA is here to stay
- RPA will become one service amongst others in a wider business technology platform
- Low-code/no-code (LCNC) bot building experience is a must-have in RPA
- Intelligent RPA is more than just using AI services as elements of a bot
Today, I want to reflect on the relevance of low-code/no-code tooling to empower business users to quickly and robustly create customizable solutions that require little to no programming knowledge. Think of it as building software with pre-built bots using an intuitive visual interface, similar to the picture menus in diners for customers who don’t speak the language.
Importance of low-code/no-code and Hyperautomation for SAP
The concept of low-code and no-code development platforms is not brand new. Some of the rapid application development tools have been around for decades, providing developers with basic, simple-to-use platforms to be able to adapt to rapidly changing requirements. SAP continues to invest in LCNC capabilities, and has already built this into the Business Technology Platform. Solutions such as SAP Intelligent RPA provide a “What you see is what you get”-bot builder, and SAP Cloud Platform’s mobile services deliver low-code components and add-ons for accelerated development. The benefits of delivering a low-code/no-code experience aretwo-fold:
- For developers, low-code capabilities enable them to work faster and more efficiently, being able to focus their resources on value-added, creative tasks
- For non-developers, no-code tools empower them to build extensions and applications on their own, gaining a new level of flexibility to react to fast changing environments almost as soon as emerging needs arise
As LCNC can be offered across the portfolio, it should not be considered as an independent platform or app. Instead, it’s a developer experience capability that can be offered for most already existing tools. There is also a continuum visible, there are no clear boundaries between Pro-Code, Low-Code and No-Code, both with regards to target developer personas as well as target use cases.
Focusing on delivering a low-code/no-code experience presents a unique opportunity to extend the reach beyond software developers to business users at scale. At SAP, our vision is to
- Democratize development across the entire IT landscape so that anyone can seamlessly compose applications and processes, increasing the pool of people who can drive digital transformation initiatives.
- Enable governance and transparency, as well as synergies between IT and business units.
- Deliver one platform to achieve data-to-value by accelerating data integration and simplifying the development of application extensions.
Delivering a single platform will also enable Hyperautomation, the seamless combination of RPA, Business Process Management (BPM), Process Insights, Analytics and Application Extensions.
Combination of advanced technologies for the next level of process excellence
The importance of standalone RPA will reduce significantly in the next years. RPA is one component to achieve business process automation, but not the only one. Strategic approaches like BPM, data driven insights with process mining and task mining, monitoring & analytics, operations management and of course artificial intelligence form a unified, intelligent automation toolkit. We call this convergence of tools and technologies “Hyperautomation”, and it is the basis for the next level of process excellence.
Putting AI together with RPA can streamline operations and make organizations more efficient. This effect even increases with a low-code/ no-code developer experience: Enabling the ones that know the business process best to build, deploy, and maintain process-specific automation bots on their own, makes automation scale-out possible. It is important to note that this democratization of software development does not mean, IT is no longer involved. The IT department is still in charge of controlling which users have access to what data, functionality and systems. They can complete complex tasks faster and more effectively, focusing on quality-proofing the bots, assuring security standards, as well as operating the bot farm 24/7.
SAP Intelligent RPA 2.0: Main innovations
SAP will launch Intelligent Robotic Process Automation 2.0 at TechEd 2020, with a new cloud-based design studio to build bots. The new cloud studio will offer a Low-Code experience, even enabling most use cases to be built with No-Code.
This marks another milestone in the Hyperautomation roadmap of Intelligent RPA, where a variety of features is already available:
• Native Integration with SAP Intelligent BPM
• Technology connectors to ensure clean application drive
• Dedicated connectors to SAP UI5 / Fiori and SAP GUI
• Integration with SAP Conversational AI
• Easy-to-use Bot Studio Design Time
• No-code experience for simple use cases
• Event-based capture for bot building
• State-of-the-art Debugger
• Cross-LoB content/SAP-best practices as pre-packaged bots available on SAP Intelligent RPA Store
• Strong Partner Ecosystem and Offerings
• Attended/Unattended modes
• Bundled offerings with SAP´s core portfolio of products
Our roadmap contains further exciting innovations, like guided bot building, recorder functionality, Process Insights & Analytics, as well as further pre-built content and connectors and integrations.
Stay tuned for the next blog post of this series with a more detailed outlook of SAP Intelligent RPA 2.0 from a functionality level.
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