A weigh-up of task automation tools



Task automation tools are improving operations in businesses across the globe. But not every tool is suited to every business.

With so many solutions on the market, we’ve compiled a quick list of pros and cons for some of the main task automation tools you might be looking up.


Zapier: the pros and cons

Pros:

  • Great for basic point-to-point integrations
  • Easy for even beginners to use and set up your ‘Zaps’
  • A library of useful templates
  • Integrates into a ton of products and services
  • Transparent on price and pretty affordable
  • Quick to get up and running
  • Overall, solid for simple automation and data pushes

Cons:

  • Not really suited for more complex conditional workflows
  • More reliant on pre-set triggers and actions
  • Not designed for push-pull syncing
  • Doesn’t process historical or legacy data
  • Primary support is via email and help docs
  • Can shut off or update “Zaps” at any time, without notice
  • Web-based only

Blue Prism: the pros and cons

Pros:

  • Works on a user interface level (not via back-end integrations)
  • A recognised frontrunner in RPA
  • Huge amount of processes available to customers
  • Powerful range of features that exceed those of most task automation tools
  • Digestible, visual representations of process flows
  • Secure when it comes to handling sensitive data like credentials
  • Capable of handling both easy and vastly complex processes

Cons:

  • Charges “per robot”, which can see costs escalate
  • Lack of transparency on pricing
  • High complexity, can be difficult for non-technical users to get to grips with
  • Time-consuming to configure, code and deploy
  • Product training is often required, but expensive to buy
  • Not suitable for small businesses

Power Automate: the pros and cons

Pros:

  • Delivered by Microsoft as part of its excellent Power Platform
  • The optimum way to connect all your Microsoft products and plug-ins
  • As with Zapier, comes with a library of useful templates
  • Easy onboarding and quick to get started
  • Offers a clear price breakdown including available add-ons
  • Has prebuilt connectors for more than 275 apps and services that support API automation
  • A low-code environment accessible to non-technical users
  • Ideal for small and specific tasks, particularly across the Microsoft suite

Cons:

  • Some ‘connectors’ are put behind premiums
  • Limitations on monthly ‘runs’
  • Flows are user-centric (don’t assume you can create flows for everyone in your O365 tenant)
  • Tends to lag against more complex workflows
  • Third-party add-on connectivity is less smooth than Microsoft add-ons
  • Still in its early stages as an RPA tool (previously a BPA platform called “Microsoft Flow”)
  • Not as scalable as rival RPA vendors
  • More of an “automator” in terms of personal, simple flows than an end-to-end workflow tool (unless you pay for the top-level licences)

ThinkAutomation: the pros and cons

Pros:

  • Extremely cost-effective with transparent pricing
  • Set subscription price covers you for unlimited data processing and unlimited workflows
  • Offers company-wide automation from a single workstation
  • Great for building a completely custom automation solution around your needs
  • Can handle endless conditionals and ‘if’ blocks for every eventuality
  • A self-hosted solution with all data and credentials stored on your own servers
  • Yours to control once downloaded, so no risk of unexpected feature shutdowns
  • Can sync data between apps in both directions as needed
  • Will process years of existing data once purchased
  • Allows custom scripts for data syncing with any app, any way
  • Comes with support via telephone, live chat and email

Cons:

  • Not a SaaS solution – product is self-hosted
  • Everything you do inside ThinkAutomation will be custom, so you’ll need to learn how to use it
  • Time-consuming to set up due to open-ended nature and scale of available options
  • Uses integrations rather than operating on the interface level
  • Not suited for non-technical users to configure
  • Only runs on Windows OS

Plus too many more task automation tools to mention

UiPath. Nintex. Automation Anywhere.

You’ll find a host of additional task automation tools on the market, each with their own pros and cons. Our advice is always to trial the software before committing to a decision, so you can see how it suits your specific needs. Ultimately, a trial will tell you more than reading lists of pros and cons.


With that in mind…

If ThinkAutomation has caught your interest, you can launch your free 30-day trial here and now. Happy exploring!


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