ServiceNow jumps into RPA with an upcoming update • The Register

Workflow specialist ServiceNow has announced that it will put a heavy emphasis on robotic process automation (RPA) in the next version of its platform, so that aging applications work with each other in a way more friendly.

One analyst said users already invested in workflow would welcome the release, but RPA specialists may have a technical advantage.

ServiceNow has promised that the “San Diego” version of its Now platform will include a more modern visual design as well as RPA capabilities. The latter is found in the Automation Engine, which combines the Integration Hub with a new RPA Hub that provides a centralized command and control center to monitor, manage, and deploy digital robots that automate repetitive manual tasks.

The RPA hub includes over 1,300 pre-built components and a desktop RPA design studio, allowing users to design, test, and release bots. Users can also create bots from ServiceNow’s low-code Flow Designer tool on the Hub Spoke RPA.

If you have subscribed to the ServiceNow proposal, RPA is an element that plugs into the backend

Nerys Mutlow, chief innovation officer at ServiceNow, said that because low-code functionality puts bot design in the hands of process owners, organizations need an overarching governance process.

“You’re not just giving it to anybody, but also when people start developing these new processes, like everything on the platform, it can go through a process of governance, change and That means you can kind of broadcast the ability to drive those processes, but you can still have that overall governance and control,” she said.

One of the weaknesses of RPA built by screen-scraping application UIs is that when the UI changes, bots can break. Monitoring these changes requires IT governance and has not been automated within the platform, she said.

A more sustainable approach to integration comes from APIs, and an approach to API integration can also be managed from the automation engine. But the system does not notify RPA builders of API integrations that have already been designed for particular problems. “We’re trying to simplify the naming convention in this type of integration hub,” ServiceNow’s Mutlow said. The register.

Neil Ward-Dutton, analyst firm IDC’s veep for AI and automation practices, said ServiceNow is among a group of vendors moving to RPA from workflow integration. work and applications. Others include Pegasystems, Appian, IBM and Microsoft.

Pure-play RPA specialists include UiPath, Automation Anywhere and Blue Prism, and Ward-Dutton explained that these companies could not directly compete with ServiceNow.

“When you look at these pretty well capitalized specialists, they put RPA at the heart of what they do. They say using bots is a great way to do automation and their bots are really smart and that we can use it for all kinds of things – not just the kind of screen scraping that most people think of, but also AI and simple workflow,” he said. may not cover all users’ RPA needs, “it’s fine,” according to Ward-Dutton.

“If you’ve ever bought into the ServiceNow proposition, RPA is really just one thing that plugs into the backend. It makes perfect sense.

“It’s not really just the end-user companies that are doing it now. It’s a lot more mainstream organizations that are a bit more conservative. These people don’t want to work with ten specialists, they want to work with one or two companies it can help them solve a whole host of problems,” he said.

The San Diego version of ServiceNow is expected to launch any day – the company has promised availability “in late Q1 2022”. Unlike other SaaS carriers, ServiceNow gives each customer a dedicated instance and upgrades are optional…until they aren’t, once older versions leave support. ®

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