As businesses continually rely on automation to improve efficiency and productivity, many organizations are considering upgrading their UiPath solutions and migrating them to the cloud. This can provide several benefits, including increased scalability, improved security, and easier access for remote teams.
At Tquila, we’ve been involved in numerous projects related to on-premise, cloud, upgrades, and everything in between. Each project is unique and requires a tailored approach, but there are some common themes occurring in the industry.
Here, we’ll dive into the latest UiPath trends and how they fit together:
One of the key trends is the increasing popularity of upgrading both UiPath Studio and UiPath Orchestrator. While UiPath recommends upgrading both to the same version, we’re seeing that many customers are opting to upgrade Orchestrator to the latest version (especially if they’re using the cloud version, which updates automatically), but sticking with a version-1 approach to Studio. This is because the latest version of Studio can sometimes have teething problems that are resolved in the subsequent version.
Upgrading both Studio and Orchestrator simultaneously is our recommended approach:
- Some new must-have features are only available on newer versions, such as Modern Activities in Studio.
- There are constant improvements to the user experience, debugging, and issue resolution, such as automatic resolution of dependency issues.
- Any software bugs from previous versions are generally resolved in the latest version
- Newer UiPath products may only be compatible with the latest versions of Studio.
Upgrading Orchestrator can be challenging, especially for organizations with a fleet of machines and a complex security environment; in these cases, it’s often best to work with a partner like Tquila to manage the upgrade smoothly.
Upgrading Studio, on the other hand, is a relatively painless process if the versions remain close. UiPath does a good job of managing missing dependencies and highlighting discrepancies, making it easy to figure out what’s wrong and thus what needs addressing during the upgrade process.
It is important to note that an upgrade is different to a migration. We often perform both at the same time. We might, for example, install a development environment for a client, upgrade their on-premise Studio, and simultaneously migrate their Orchestrator to the cloud. This setup has extensive benefits as the management and maintenance of on-premises Orchestrator can be costly and complex, making it difficult to maintain a strong in-house team or knowledge base.
Recently, we migrated Premier Foods, a large UK-based food manufacturer, to the UiPath Cloud in which they saw benefits appear almost immediately, “We have experienced no downtime with our legacy environment and were able to run both in parallel, smoothly moving processes across in a controlled and timely manner” says Steve Bean, Automation Team Lead, at Premier Foods.
“We have experienced no downtime with our legacy environment and were able to run both in parallel, smoothly moving processes across in a controlled and timely manner.Steve Bean, Automation Team Lead, Premier Foods
Tquila were quick to help us with any issues that occurred, and I am extremely confident that this migration will enable us to scale better in the future”
We’ve seen clients benefit from starting out by hosting their UiPath development and testing environments in the cloud, and then subsequently migrating their traditional UiPath products to the cloud also. This allows them to take advantage of the scalability and security benefits of the cloud, while also allowing for seamless collaboration and access for remote teams.
“There were some significant cost savings to be made from this move and it also enabled us to have better control over our robots in our own environment whilst gaining the benefits of working with Orchestrator in the Cloud,” Bean added “Previously we also had a hybrid system of an On-Prem Orchestrator and the Cloud based offering to enable us to use Document Understanding. The migration has removed this complexity as everything is now contained together in one place.”
Another trend we’re seeing is the increasing use of cloud robots. These are robots that are deployed and run in UiPath’s own cloud environment, rather than on local machines hosted within the business. This approach has yielded several commercial benefits such as reduced infrastructure cost, improved scalability, and increased mobility. Additionally, cloud robots can be managed and monitored remotely, making it easier to manage large fleets of robots.
UiPath Cloud ships with automatic upgrades and new features are added frequently. License management is simple and all comes under one key which can be easily updated. Another benefit is that it allows customers to add new products like Document Understanding, Test Suite, Process and Task Mining with the flick of a switch.
In addition to Cloud Orchestrator hosting, there are also now a number of options for hosting the robots themselves on UiPath Automation Cloud™. UiPath made this change without significant fanfare, but is potentially game changing for small to mid-sized enterprises that are not familiar, or comfortable, with creating and hosting virtual machines.
These new cloud robots come in two forms:
- Automated Cloud Robots (ACRs) – The form most similar to traditional on-premise robots are UiPath Automated Cloud Robots (ACRs). They are effectively virtual machines that run in UiPath Cloud. They can be connected to a client environment and customer applications can be installed on them, including applications that require a VPN connection to operate.
- Serverless Robots – These may be a slight misnomer as they do still run on a server… The key difference, however, is that these robots do not need to have applications installed to operate. They instead run silently in the background on UiPath’s private tendency (aka somewhere in the ether). These robots are available on a per-use basis, although there is a minimum spend each month. These robots are, however, limited in capability; they are only able to run processes that do not require a user interface (UI) or, conversely, processes that run natively and in totality within a web browser interface.
If a company does not migrate or upgrade their UiPath solution, they may experience various issues to their automation program, such as outdated security protocols, lack of new features, technical debt, and compliance issues. The longer the problem is left, the harder it becomes to address as newer versions of UiPath may not be backward-compatible with older versions, making the migration process more difficult, with the potential to lose the progress made to date.
Undergoing a migration is no small feat. During the process, you will want to negate any potential issues with data loss, downtime, or even failure of the automation process. That’s why we recommend working with a partner to ensure delivery.
UiPath Trends on the rise
One additional potential future trend is the use of Robots as a Service (RaaS). This would involve organizations outsourcing the management and maintenance of their automation processes to a third-party provider who would handle the deployment and monitoring of robots in the cloud.
A lot of these new features will continue to evolve, and there are always improvements that can be made, but the move away from private cloud (or on-premise) environments to the UiPath cloud both for orchestration and hosting of robots is an exciting prospect. At Tquila we are looking forward to seeing what the future holds with regards the running of on-demand robots with minimal IT requirements and maximum scaling potential, particularly with reference to the ongoing development of robotic managed services offers in the market.
Intrigued? Let’s chat
Our team of experts and advisors are working on projects involving these latest UiPath trends, themes and practices on the platform. If you’re interested in learning more about them, or how they can benefit your business, get in touch with us today!