Which Robotic Automation Platform is best?
Perhaps the number one question I get asked is; “which platform should we choose for our automation needs?”
Now, those of you that know me, will no doubt expect me to immediately name a vendor or technology, but that isn’t what I feel is the right answer to this question.
Of course, you could reach out to the analyst community and get a summary of all the leading vendors and see how they compare or stack up against each other. But unfortunately, some of these reports leave you feeling confused. Yes, you get a sense of leaders and challengers and visionaries etc, but the detailed reports seem choc full of benefits and cautions. Of special note are the warnings about problems scaling out.
Crikey, imagine buying into a technology then finding out it doesn’t scale, or you are perpetually stuck in the proof of concept phase.
So, which is the best?
Well I will stop dancing around the subject and give you a definitive answer. The best solution for your needs, bar none, are the ones that meets all your needs. Not ‘the one’ that meets some of your needs but the ones that meet all your needs.
Imagine, if you asked a binary question around your office applications and said, 'which is the best product to meet my needs?' Would you choose Word, Excel, Powerpoint, or Outlook?
You can put tables in a Word document, but you certainly wouldn’t use it as a primary tool to build spreadsheets. You wouldn’t use Excel as your word processor, or present from outlook.
In a previous comment on LinkedIn, I used the analogy of the tool box. Each Robotic platform has its strengths and weaknesses in different use cases. Using this analogy, you wouldn’t compare a spanner to a hammer or to a screwdriver, would you? Before you start a DIY job you have a full tool box, and use the right one for the job in hand. You certainly wouldn’t go out to tender and strategically choose a spanner as the most useful implement, then use it to bang in nails. Even if you could crudely bang in nails with it, how would you drill holes or screw things in.
Does one size really fit all?
But this isn’t the case with IT and Robotic Process Automation. For some reason there seems to be a desire to have a one size fits all approach. Some of the tools are very expensive and take a considerable amount of time to implement (especially if you choose one recommended from a company that makes money out of implementations!). So, businesses think they should be choosing a single platform. This I am afraid, is muddled thinking. Firstly, you should choose tools that need little to no implementation - after all, how much training did you get to use Word or Excel? Then you should be looking at the jobs you need doing, and choose the right tools to help you fix them. It sounds so obvious but as the market matures this will be a common approach.
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Digital Transformation Expert