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5 Situations Where APIs Fall Short and RPA Can Save the Day

Posted by Francine Haliva on May 10, 2018 10:07:15 AM

When evaluating the ways in which to make IT integration projects less complicated and less expensive, two popular options spring to mind: API-based integrations and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). It’s not that APIs couldn’t help you boost your productivity. (They likely could.) And it’s not that they’re not a promising and reliable option for many businesses looking to automate back-end activities. (They are.) It’s just that setting up API integrations involves coding and development (not to mention time). But is it possible to enjoy the kinds of productivity increases that APIs offer, without investing the time and technical resources that they demand? 

That's where the latter option comes into play.  RPA’s competitive advantage comes from the fact that organizations can implement the technology without needing to make changes to existing systems. By mimicking how humans execute processes – but faster and more reliably – a user-friendly RPA solution like Kryon can automate back-end processes without any need for complicated IT integrations. Because they can “read” computer screens, Kryon’s software robots can work with all types of servers and software, requiring significantly less time and technical expertise than their API-based alternatives.

In general, being platform-agnostic, less dependent on IT professionals, and ultimately less expensive are three of RPA’s key advantages as compared to API-based alternatives. But there are certain situations in which APIs especially come up short.

If you face one of these five problems, it’s a good sign that your business may be a strong candidate for RPA:

1. An API or web service call is unavailable

When making a choice between RPA and API for integration, basic availability is a key consideration. The availability of an API, native integration, or application source code is essential to traditional, IT-controlled integration methods such as APIs or web service calls. 

In contrast, one of RPA’s distinguishing features is its ability to run seamlessly on multiple applications and packaged solutions, regardless of the availability of APIs. As a result, RPA serves as a cost-effective solution when you can’t count on an API or web service call. 

2. Integration is limited due to disparate legacy systems

Many older enterprise application systems in use today do not offer integration layers. Not only is it often prohibitively costly and time-consuming to create APIs from scratch for these systems, but doing so requires a deep knowledge of software for which support and documentation may be scarce. Needless to say, this is no time for guesswork.

In contrast, RPA solutions such as Kryon can easily interact with these systems by emulating the interactions of a human user with the system’s UI – sidestepping any need for complex integrations. Using patented AI technology such as optical character recognition (OCR), Kryon RPA works seamlessly on any application – whether based on Citrix, the web, desktop, legacy applications, or any other software.

3. You’re short on IT resources

While API technology is a game changer for organizations undergoing digital transformation, it also can involve a great deal of time-intensive work for their IT teams. Many IT teams simply lack the bandwidth necessary to set up integrations with APIs from various products and services while juggling their other priorities, resulting in bottlenecks.

One of the challenges many developers face is consolidating a large set of features and variations across different APIs into one coherent layer. And with each new API, developers face the new challenge of determining how it works and what value its development effort brings.

One of the key strengths of Kryon RPA is that it significantly lightens the burden on IT teams by enabling business users without technical expertise to easily create automation workflows. These business users can simply record processes across any application, creating automated processes that can be augmented with advanced commands to perform back-end operations. By enabling business process analysts (rather than programmers) to carry out 60-70% of the workload surrounding RPA, Kryon lowers both the cost of labor and the total cost of ownership.

4. API usage limits risk business continuity

API-based integrations and usage are often metered, potentially creating a risk that your company will reach its daily limit and then need to wait until the following day before processing can continue. At best, this could be a hassle – but at worst, it could significantly impact business continuity. Some companies opt to remedy this situation by buying an insurance policy in the form of an overinflated API-hit allowance that may only rarely be used. Kryon robots, in contrast, can execute an unlimited number of processes – including during peak periods – working 24/7 to complete more tasks in less time.

The cost of metered APIs can also be a significant ongoing expense. For example, a multi-org Salesforce deployment using several modules (Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, etc. – each of which has a different API) can result in hefty per-transaction costs, especially when integrated with other applications also having API usage charges. This doesn't even take into account the costs associated with development, testing, and maintenance of the integration code (all of which require skilled development resources). In a significant deployment, these costs can impact the viability of using API-based integration approaches.

5. Timing is critical 

The more urgent a task is, the more helpful RPA can be. Compared with costly and complex long-term API integrations, Kryon robots provide a faster solution, working 24/7 to complete more tasks in less time.

Additionally, Kryon RPA development typically takes 50% less time than traditional development. Once in place, new processes can be created and deployed to robots in days (if not hours). Kryon’s RPA solutions also have lower implementation costs and shorter implementation times – efficiently automating entire end-to-end business processes with minimal IT resources.

 

Ready to see how Kryon RPA can help you increase your company’s efficiency, with a minimal investment of time and resources from your IT team? Schedule a demo!

Topics: Robotic Process Automation, RPA, API