Talking about automation vs. orchestration, some people use these terms interchangeably, while others are very determine saying that there is the difference between process automation and process orchestration.
In one article, its author explains the mentioned difference as follows:
Automation is concerned with a single task – launching a web server, configuring a web server, stopping a service. Orchestration, however, is concerned with automating, if you will, the execution of a workflow – of a process
Actually, many discussions on process automation vs. process orchestration can be found, but my point is that in all of them – at least, in those one that I have had an opportunity to read or hear – the word ‘automating’ makes an integral part of all definitions of process automation and process orchestration.
I am not saying that it shouldn’t be so; however, why can’t we observe process automation and process orchestration beyond the ‘computing’ zone?!
If we step out from the ‘computing’ zone and broader our perspective, I wonder what the definition of process orchestration would be in that case? Would we then talk about process automation versus process orchestration, comparing them? Or, we would simply put them into different contexts, for we don’t need to automate a set of processes, in which case process automation is not taking place; however should we expect these processes to produce a targeted outcome we need to plan and manage their orchestration well.
Consequently, from this broader perspective, process orchestration would precede process automation meaning that – in this scenario- we wouldn’t think of comparing these approaches (one versus another). Instead, maybe a new definition of process orchestration would be brought to the table.
Just my thoughts…