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Can Business Process Management and Robotic Process Automation go hand in hand?

By Megana Natarajan - December 04, 2020 4 Mins Read

Can Business Process Management and Robotic Process Automation go hand in hand

Enterprises have used Business Process Management (BPM) since the start, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a relatively new technology; with proper collaboration, these technologies can make a powerful duo to solve common technology challenges

CIOs say that technically both RPA and BPM are related to process as noted in their acronyms. At the core, both techs exist for the same requirement- to boost the operation of businesses. The process is quite different, however. With proper analysis, both of them can be made to work together, very profitably.

Enterprise leaders say that there are tools that can integrate RPA software and BPM software from the technology standpoint.

Understanding the difference between the two

CIOs clarify that in IT terms, BPM is more of a practice and less of an application or tool. In true terms, BPM is the consistent effort to analyze, document, analyze, and improve processes in the bigger context of an enterprise’s operations. The software tools are a result of people-based practices, rather than the other way around.

RPA is, however, software in every sense of the word’s meaning. It refers to the software bots that can automate specified computer-relevant tasks. Businesses across all industries are concerned with simplifying processes; in the current situation, they wish to automate them as well.

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As early collaborations, CIOs have tried combining the two and deploying use cases like insurance claims handling, order processing, HR onboarding, etc.

Can RPA enhance BPM?

CIOs believe that RPA as a tool can be used to enhance and extend the essential purpose of BPM. These two solutions can help contribute to digital transformation when implemented together.

BPM can be used for improving processes and RPA for automating them. Alone, each of these tools will be incapable of accomplishing the other’s role. Enterprise leaders point out that automation of a broken or an inefficient process with BPM will help fix the process and enable it to run more frequently and faster.

Enterprises prefer BPM to develop dependable workflows that can digitally connect siloed data, systems, and people. RPA would work within the workflows to execute targeted rules-based automation processes.

RPA and BPM help connecting modern and legacy systems

CIOs acknowledge that enterprises have traditionally used BPM to transform the end to end business workflows and interconnect them to people in an enterprise. They use the underlying systems to provide streamlined, efficient, and optimized operations.

This process is how CIOs generally go about digital transformation. However, it doesn’t mean that they can drop legacy systems overnight. Seamless collaboration cannot be achieved overnight or without sufficient analysis and testing.

BPM continues to rely on a complicated and legacy-burdened base system that executes important business functions. The majority of such functions require human operation and intervention. RPA helps reduce the effort, errors, and time by integrating such complex systems, automation of repetitive and manual processes. They mainly focus on tasks relevant to data transfer, extraction, and processing.

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BPA is useful in handling exceptions in the RPA rules

CIOs acknowledge that a major setback with RPA is that it doesn’t do edge or exception cases. It follows a strict set of rules. In an exceptional situation, the bot stops functioning. BPM can help in such scenarios and develop measures on how exceptions can be seamlessly handled.

BPM can be used when RPA tasks are unaware of scenarios requiring manual intervention or exceptions. It behaves as a safety net for handling all exceptions and ensures the uninterrupted running of operations. BPM is also useful in letting CIOs know where the exceptions and changes exist. Any undocumented tweak will result in the complete application or solution failing.


Megana Natarajan

Megana Natarajan is a Global News Correspondent with OnDOt Media. She has experience in content creation and has previously created content for agriculture, travel, fashion, energy and markets. She has 3.9 years’ experience as a SAP consultant and is an Engineering graduate.

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