Automation in Action: A Guide to Rule-Based Automated Tasks for IT Professionals

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Automation in Action: A Guide to Rule-Based Automated Tasks for IT Professionals

Although Rule-Based Automation (RBA) started in the 1950s, it has laid the groundwork for generative AI, industrial automation, and machine learning. RBA holds immense potential and continues to add value to current technical infrastructures.  

Do you want to gain a deeper insight into how it works and how to implement rule-based automated tasks? Let’s get started. 

 

What Is Rule-Based Automation? 

RBA enables programmers to predefine rules that trigger responses as events occur if the conditions in those rules are met. The decisions made on these predefined if/then statements allow users to automate business processes. Such automation reduces human input for recurring or similar tasks by incorporating logic into the structure.  

Rule-based automation is common in healthcare, banking, and security. RBA is used over knowledgebase and machine learning or in places where accuracy, speed, predictability, and flexibility are key requirements. 

 

Where Is RBA Today? 

Since its inception, RBA has evolved dramatically and has been utilized in every facet of life. This includes IoT devices, phone screen settings, social media, banking applications, eCommerce, and business operations.  

RBA is becoming more relevant today as companies look for ways to jump on the automation and intelligence bandwagon. On the other hand, there is no surprise since RBA solutions are one of the quickest ways to optimize workflows and redistribute business resources efficiently.  

Related Article: Adapting to Automation: Thriving in the Changing IT Landscape 

 

What Makes RBA Useful?

Automation engineering sounds daunting if you are new at it, but it is as simple as low-fidelity code. You can create your own systems with proper planning, tools, and logical understanding. You can experiment with micro-tasks or start with one logic at a time.  

If you want to advance your career in tech, it would be best to learn more skills and expand your expertise. Here are some examples of how RBA can improve processes: 

 

1. Resource Optimization 

One major benefit of RBA is boosting operational efficiency. IT professionals can use it to reduce manual effort and human error, improving completion time. By automating menial tasks, professionals can spend their time on more strategic work. 

Automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks can improve company agility. Adopting RBA effectively can improve innovation and company growth.  

Related Article: Tech Industry Highlights: Mergers, Acquisitions, and Major Players of 2023 

 

2. Reliability Through Speed and Accuracy 

Whether your RBA has hundreds or thousands of rules, it will be much faster than other AI forms. This is caused by rules forming a filter that moves the variables without requiring external input or engineering. RBA is not connected to big data, is not actively trying to improve itself automatically, and does not rely on external sources of information, making it more robust and reliable.  

RBA is based on core values fed into it during its programming. By relying on core logic, RBA is much more responsive and accurate, reducing errors, discrepancies, and compliance violations.  

Related Article: Cybersecurity Challenges in the Age of Generative AI and Cloud: Insights from Wipro’s 2023 Report 

 

3. Flexibility 

While RBA does not necessarily learn from external factors, it’s still moldable. The rules can be iterated, scaled up or down, and adjusted according to the user’s specific and changing needs. 

By having a clear understanding of RBA, you can improve its existing solutions and make it more robust and effective. Aside from that, you can combine it with RPA (Robotic Process Automation) to enhance its capacities, should the need for advanced machine learning capabilities arise.1 

 

Applying Rule-Based Automation 

Building RBA in your technical infrastructure streamlines tasks, enhances efficiency, and reduces manual workload—and there are different approaches to making this happen. RBA is usually applied where the requirements are simple enough to be reduced to logical statements with a limited number of outcomes. 

If a person likes a video from the ABC genre on a video streaming service, they receive more content recommendations from the same genre. This is one of the most prominent examples of automation.  

 

Rule-Based Automation in Action 

The system incorporates the rules and principles to make logical decisions, which triggers an action. For example, an email from a sender with a weak domain authority is first detected and then triggered to move to the spam folder.  

This works for virtually any logical sequence that requires little to no human interpretation. For example, you may use RBA to set up workflows in a marketing automation system but not for creating the messaging in the campaigns. It can only be used for functions that can be broken down into simple true/false or if/then logic. Here are examples of how RBA is used: 

  • Spam detection 
  • Data validation 
  • Incident management 
  • Application security setup 
  • Customer support automation 
  • Mapping journeys in marketing automation 

 

Implementing Rule-Based Automation 

RBA can enable automation in computer tasks, build automation AI for day-to-day tasks, or be as nuanced as robotic process automation (RPA). You can automate anything by following the implementation steps below: 

 

Step 1: Identify The Rules 

It starts with defining the process you aim to automate. Understand your needs and outline the decisions that you want to automate. 

 

Step 2: Define The Logic 

Identify the if/then statements triggering the intended decision. These rules can be based on time, events in the workflow, data values, or other logical conditions. 

 

Step 3: Select Your Automation Software 

This requires selecting an appropriate framework. You can choose a scripting language like Python or an out-of-the-box tool like Microsoft Power Automate. 

Alternatively, programmers utilize no-code solutions to set up conditional logic and rules. This is a scalable approach but requires vigilance when setting it up to avoid computing errors. 

 

Step 4: Design The Workflow 

The defined rules and logic serve as building blocks for the workflow. As long as they are coherent, the workflow becomes easier to map. 

 

Step 5: Implement The Logic 

Use the selected tool to write the code to implement the logic. Do this using scripts and APIs, configuring the rule engine, or leveraging any built-in features of your selected automation platform. 

 

Step 6: Test The Solution 

Once the steps above are in place, start testing. Test it in different scenarios and conditions to ensure the solution operates intelligently when deployed. 

The goal is to understand whether the setup will thrive or fail in the real world. Cover all bases with unit testing, integration testing, and end-to-end testing. 

 

Step 7: Deploying Your Solution 

Deployment requires you to integrate the automation solution into the intended environment. Integrate the script or tool into the existing workflows or the infrastructure. 

 

Step 8: Document 

Maintaining the solution becomes easier in the future if you document it from the get-go. Documentation will help you scale, iterate, and amend the automation as needed, making it ideal for continuous digital transformation. 

 

FIND EMPLOYMENT IN TECH WITH STRATEGIC SYSTEMS 

If you have an unwavering commitment to growth, innovation, and success, Strategic Systems is here to help. We have a network of sharp, like-minded IT professionals and companies that need technical services. 

Join our list of talented programmers and IT professionals reshaping the world we see through automation with the help of Strategic Systems.  

If you’re looking for a staffing firm, then you’ve come to the right place. Visit our listings page today and find job opportunities suited for you! 

 

References 

  1. Antwiadjei, Lisa. “Evolution of Business Organizations: An Analysis of RPA.” Eduzone, 7 Oct. 2021, https://eduzonejournal.com/index.php/eiprmj/article/view/410. 

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