SKALER’s automation experts are technology-agnostic masters of multiple toolkits. While we appreciate the out-of-the-box feature sets most automation platforms offer, we take pride at being leading experts in open-source based automation solutions. In the past, we’ve covered what open-source automation has to offer, but here’s an easy-to-understand list summarizing some of the strengths of the open approach. We hope this elaborates on why it’s gaining traction so fast in the enterprise automation segment.
1. It’s dynamic by nature
Open-source based process automation provides great opportunities for demand-based business value. In addition to scheduled jobs, it is possible to launch process automation solutions whenever they are needed without having to worry about available robot capacity. This could also enable consumption-based purchase models where you only pay for resource consumption according to what you actually use.
You can co-ordinate the jobs from any application or user interface. For example, if your organization uses e.g., MS Teams or Slack for daily communication, you can supervise and interact with the automations from within the same communication channels you currently operate in.
Scaling your virtual workforce up and down is a no-brainer. Open-source automation comes with the ability to scale runtime resources up and down based on workload and process throughput requirements. This is a must- have capability for processes with high seasonal volume variation and demand for rapid throughput times.
Scalability as such is not a unique feature to open-source automation, but what should be interesting for business and process owners, is that in the open approach, upscaling of runtime resources does not incur additional license costs. Therefore, provided that the use case is suitable, you can harness any given amount of runtime resources, execute tasks in parallel, and handle the job within a timeframe determined purely by the business.
There are two angles to this theme (platform and solutions). Firstly, SKALER’s proven enterprise architecture for open-source automation provides limitless possibilities for integration into your existing IT systems landscape, with no hidden fees for APIs and network connections.
Secondly, our modular and automation solutions based on Python are optimized for high transactions volumes and complex processes, and their execution can usually be enhanced with additional runtime resources. Our solutions provide natural support for microservices-type of architecture, meaning that they can also be extended with new reusable components and competences easily.
4. Developer experience
Developers working with open source are supported by a significant global community and have access to an immense number of libraries developed by the community, far exceeding the competences that are available to out-of-the-box RPA tools. The open-source toolbox gives our automation developers great freedom and great responsibility of finding the best fitting solutions to each business demand.
High productivity is supported by leveraging generic software development tools and best practices for debugging and version control, for example. Written code is always more concise, transparent, and often easier to comprehend than convoluted flows designed with a visual tool, which is something that software developers are usually keen of.
5. It’s free of license costs
No-brainer alert. Open-source means no technology-related license costs for building and running automation solutions. Obviously, this entails unlimited possibilities to harness software robot IPR you own in your business.
6. Cost efficiency
Besides cutting costs associated with the development tools and runtime environment, open-source automation solutions offer a few other significant cost-efficiency related benefits. For example, getting started is easy with limited investment into development tools and infrastructure.
According to our extensive experience in open-source automation deliveries, the costs associated with developing automation solutions do not significantly differ from the development costs associated with proprietary RPA platforms. However, when it comes to operative costs and upscaling, the open approach stands out.
7. Tool optimization
We believe it makes more sense to focus on understanding and streamlining your business processes instead of optimizing your tools and technologies that power your automations.
If you are looking for an approach to automation capabilities that fits from entry to massive scale, it is hard to go wrong with open-source. Open-source RPA packs the same capabilities as most commercial platforms, without restricting you to the feature set or modules of one ecosystem. Even the highly sophisticated Python libraries, such as TensorFlow and PyTorch, integrate seamlessly into open-source automation when there’s a need to include more intelligent and cognitive capabilities in your solutions.
8. Robustness and resilience
There’s no running away from the fact that every automated process fails occasionally. According to our experiences, professionally built open-source robots tend to do so more rarely.
Obviously, a lot of this is down to the skills of the automation developer and the stability of the target systems, but there are a few more considerations. Open-source automations look quite a lot like what’s going on under the hood in RPA tools. Our open-source automations are not stressed by additional layers of complex software, which helps increase the resilience of the automations. The solutions are often simple and reusable code compilations that are written for specific business needs.
Moreover, as open-source automations are produced by software developers, robustness is driven by relying on the data and integration layers of systems whenever possible, rather than the user interface layers, which are more prone to errors with system changes.
Open-source automations are typically built with Python and Robot Framework – two hugely common technologies. Successful application of these technologies in automating business operations relies on process automation specific best practices.
The proven open-source automation model applied by our experts is based on standardized robot body templates and a vast reusable codebase which aims to ensure efficient maintainability of all implementations. In addition to the process automation development best practices, common quality assurance practices are followed.
Open-source automation robots can be configured to send alarms about any specific robot event to any given service management system. Typically, these alarms are triggered due to errors and incidents in the process, but they can also be harnessed very effectively to build human-in-the-loop workflows.
Last but not least on our list is another somewhat self-evident strength, IPR. With open-source automation, you retain the intellectual property rights to all your automations and are not tied to use a specific platform for your automations to function.
That’s it. 10 reasons to start harnessing open-source automation in your organization. If you’re interested in finding out more about these benefits, don’t hesitate to reach out.
About the writer:
Business Development Director at SKALER
Automation focused business developer and a fan of smooth processes.