IT professionals may or may not believe that robotic process automation (RPA) is a threat to their long-term livelihoods, but they\u2019re not crazy about what it might do to their near-term workloads.\n[ Related: IT pros don\u2019t fear rise of the robots ]\nDerek Toone, managing director at outsourcing consultancy Alsbridge, reports seeing push-back from IT groups based not on a fear of job loss, but rather on the belief that RPA represents an additional, burdensome project that will stretch resources, create extra work and disrupt the enterprise.\n\u201cWe\u2019ve seen this concern raised in RPA implementations on which we\u2019re advising,\u201d Toone says. \u201cRoadblocks have been raised in a variety of areas, including enterprise architecture constraints, IT security concerns and a perceived need to overhaul IT change management procedures.\nHowever, such objections are off-base, according to Toone. \u201cThe impacts to an IT team are minimal when automating business processes,\u201d he says. In order to implement such automation, IT must first set up virtual services on which the robots will run and then provision robot access to test and develop environments. Then, IT must provision logical access for the robots, following the same policies and procedures that would apply to human users.\nOnce the RPA solution is up and running, IT collaborates with the RPA team on disaster recovery and business continuity procedures as needed, and provides visibility into any changes in IT systems that may require the RPA team to retrain the robots. Bandwidth, storage and compute capacity requirements are typically unaffected, and existing change management protocols are still applicable. \u201cNone of these activities require a significant level of IT resources,\u201d says Toone.\nFUD and robotic process automation\nIt\u2019s typical fear, uncertainty and doubt behind these workload worries\u2014and that\u2019s something that IT leaders can alleviate. \u201cEducation on RPA that is very specific to the tools under consideration \u2014 what they are and what they aren\u2019t \u2014 will go a long way,\u201d says Toone. \u201cThe RPA tools on the market are not one-size-fits-all and nomenclature varies between different companies.\u00a0Once an understanding and comfort level with the solution being considered is achieved, most IT teams can see the promise they hold and are enthusiastic to help their businesses achieve it.\u201d\nIT workers, like other professions, may be impacted further down the line once RPA is used to successfully automate IT-related processes and tasks. \u201cBasically, any rules-based process that is repetitive and involves structured digital data lends itself to being cost-effectively automated,\u201d Toone says. \u201cAs a result, RPA will redefine a lot of roles and require new skills and training. For IT, there will be a lot of focus on managing the interfaces between automated functions and human activity.\u201d\u00a0\nRPA can actually represent an opportunity for IT departments to further raise their profiles, says Toone, by helping the business identify the enterprise tasks suited for automation, develop interfaces across systems and applications to integrate and expand automation, and by demonstrating leadership to users by embracing automation tools.