Administer and govern a low-code intelligent automation platform whitepaper: Enterprise deployment for RPA and more in Power Automate
Earlier this year, we launched HEAT (Holistic Enterprise Automation Techniques) and shared our insights from customers developing robust automation solutions on Power Automate. And last week, we published a blog post on Building an Automation Center of Excellence with Microsoft Power Platform that is based on an Automation CoE blueprint and includes an upcoming Automation CoE Starter Kit (limited preview).
Today, we are pleased to announce a whitepaper about deploying an automation program in your organization. This guidance has been designed for the Automation CoE (Center of Excellence) or IT admin looking to enable and govern the rollout of Power Automate for RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and other hyperautomation scenarios. This whitepaper outlines key considerations for planning, deploying, and managing an Automation Center of Excellence (CoE) for hyperautomation scenarios in Power Automate.
Following are some of the key benefits of the whitepaper:
- Best practices for Automation CoEs for enterprise deployments
- End-to-end automation lifecycle
- Easy to follow checklist model pointing to external deep-dive content
- Based on industry’s best practices (HEAT)
Get your copy of the whitepaper today (https://aka.ms/autocoeadminwhitepaper)
Highlights from the whitepaper
HEAT (Holistic Enterprise Automation Techniques)
The architecture represented below shows the various components and services covered in the whitepaper.
The start of any successful automation project is to ensure that key stakeholders understand the automation capabilities of the platform. In this stage, users new to Power Automate can learn about the automation capabilities in Power Automate.
Discover & Plan
This section begins with guidance on discovering existing processes within your organization that may be well suited for RPA. Next, this section helps you plan your RPA environment including provisioning compute, network, accounts, and security. Finally, this section discusses the licensing and capacity considerations for the common services that will make up your RPA solution.
The figure shows a conceptual diagram of various stakeholders in an Automation CoE program together with what they’re focusing on.
The figure below shows a typical environment strategy for RPA deployments. An RPA solution environment comprises Power Automate environments, Azure resources (resource groups, VMs, storage, Azure Key Vault etc.).
This section begins with a discussion of establishing a consistent set of organization-level policies for your RPA solutions. Next, this section describes the considerations for building high-throughput and scalable RPA solutions. This section also includes a discussion on common components such logging, credential management, and testing. Finally, this section talks about reusing and sharing the RPA solutions you build.
Build & Test
This section dives deeper on planning, building each of the components that attribute to RPA solution, managing on-premises connectivity using direct connectivity, securing sensitive information, custom logging capabilities, and more considerations for building a robust RPA solution. Finally, this section talks about the various aspects of testing the solution.
The figure below shows a typical automation development lifecycle.
Deploy & Manage
This section begins with planning the lifecycle of an RPA solution and deploying it safely to production. This section also talks about administering the deployment process using various tools and using the robust analytics framework to monitor the operational aspects of the solution. Finally, it discusses building reports out of the monitoring data to address any operational challenges proactively and reactively.
The figure below shows a typical ALM process which includes Microsoft Power Platform solutions and Azure resources.
The figure below shows a typical monitoring solution which can be used by makers as well as CoEs to monitor their automations.
Secure & Govern
This section begins with a discussion on establishing a baseline security posture for your organization. It addresses extending the framework around different layers of security: identity management, endpoint, network, infrastructure application and data. This section also discusses building a vast and robust framework to enable proactive and reactive monitoring across your organization with respect to your RPA solutions.
The figure shows different security layers to apply for RPA. This builds on the Zero Trust security model by Microsoft which offers defense in depth layering security. The architecture depicted below elaborates on a model that offers 6 layers of security – Identity, Endpoints, Data, Applications Infrastructure and Network
Low code development is the core of RPA automation and promotes involvement of citizen developers. Citizen developers have a key role either in the success of automation platform by either developing or migrating the business process or to work with the technical team as business process experts.
Automation CoEs can help organizations scale by establishing guard rails and establishing patterns for driving consistency and ROI. The figure below outlines some of the benefits an organization can realize by following HEAT methodology.
Real-world implementation example
The following diagram depicts an example of an architecture that combines Power Automate RPA and Azure resources.
This whitepaper was a result of the great collaboration and hard work of a lot of people, inside and outside of Microsoft. In particular, we would like to thank the AIS (Applied Information Sciences) team — Anitha Natarajan, Jonathan Eckman, Lav Gupta, Brent Wodicka, Vishwas Lele — for their great partnership. As an Azure Services Integrator working with the platform since 2009, and a leading partner in Power Platform, their real-world expertise helped us make this whitepaper more actionable for our readers.
Call to action
Get your copy of the whitepaper today (https://aka.ms/autocoeadminwhitepaper)!
- Automation CoE Blueprint https://aka.ms/autocoeblueprint
- Automation CoE Strategy https://aka.ms/autocoestrategy
- HEAT https://aka.ms/rpapnp
- HEAT video series https://aka.ms/rpapnpvideo
- Automation Admin & Governance Whitepaper https://aka.ms/autocoeadminwhitepaper
- Manage Power Automate for Desktop on Windows https://aka.ms/padonwindowspnp
- Hyperautomation SAP Playbook (https://aka.ms/MicrosoftRPAPlaybookForSAPGUI) & video series (https://aka.ms/AutomateItSAPSeries)
- Automate It video series: https://aka.ms/AutomateIt
- RPA in a Day training: https://aka.ms/RPAinaDayPackage