If you are looking for ways to automate your business processes, you might have come across two terms: RPA and BPA. What are they, and how are they different? In this blog post, we will explain what RPA and BPA are, their benefits and limitations, and when to use each of them, or maybe together.
RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation. It is a technology that uses software robots, or bots, to automate repetitive, rule-based tasks that do not require complex decision-making. RPA bots can mimic human actions like clicking, typing, copying, pasting, and scraping data from various applications and systems.
Business Process Automation (BPA) is the use of software to automate repeatable, multistep business transactions. BPA solutions are usually complex, connected to multiple enterprise information technology (IT) systems, and tailored specifically to the needs of an organization. BPA can help streamline workflows, operate more efficiently, and free time and resources for core work.
RPA and BPA are both automation technologies that aim to reduce human involvement in repetitive tasks but they have different scopes and capabilities. RPA can automate individual, discrete tasks, such as reading a document, entering data, or copying information between systems. On the other hand, BPA can orchestrate workflows across different tasks and departments and often uses advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence or machine learning to enable decision-making and optimization.
One way to understand the difference between RPA and BPA is to think of RPA as the actors on a movie set, and BPA as the director who coordinates them. RPA can perform specific actions according to predefined rules, but BPA can oversee the whole process and ensure the desired outcomes are achieved. RPA is usually easier to implement and less costly than BPA, but BPA can deliver more value and efficiency by transforming the entire business process.
RPA is not a silver bullet for automation. It has some limitations that you need to be aware of. There are some examples of the limitations of RPA below:
Even though we wrote this as a limitation, it can also be a preferable option depending on the situation, as RPA has a no-low code, easy-to-use option.
Check this video to see why VooDoo RPA Customers choose to implement RPA. İlker Baştürk, Application Architect of ATP, and his team use RPA with third-party websites because their time is too valuable to create a new code or “edit” their existing systems. Instead, they upload screenshots of a new interface of the 3rd party website, and the RPA bot takes care of the rest as usual.
That is why companies are starting to use IRPA, Intelligent RPA, which combines RPA with other technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Computer Vision (CV).
Intelligent RPA can help you automate tasks that involve unstructured data, such as images, documents, emails, and voice. It can also help you handle exceptions and complex scenarios requiring some reasoning or understanding.
This is why it is important to plan ahead or hire a RPA Business Analyst to do this planning for you.
Due to its nature of automating the business systemically, instead of automating task by task like RPA, BPA also has some limitations that you need to consider. For example:
RPA and BPA are not mutually exclusive. They can be used together for better results than using either alone. Here are some guidelines on when to use RPA or BPA:
When to use RPA and BPA depend on the nature and scope of the business processes that need to be automated. RPA is suitable for simple, structured, and predictable tasks, such as data entry, invoice processing, or email sending. BPA is suitable for complex, dynamic, and collaborative tasks, such as customer service, order management, or project management.
RPA and BPA can also be used together to create a hybrid automation solution that leverages both technologies’ strengths. For example, RPA can handle low-level and routine tasks within a workflow, while BPA can orchestrate high-level and strategic tasks across multiple systems and departments. This way, businesses can achieve a higher level of automation and optimization for their processes.