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This report discusses the evolution of robotic process automation, explaining the role it can play along side traditional business process management solutions.


  • Robotic process automation is entering a new phase of maturity. It has moved beyond the days of basic “screen-scraping and scripting” to automate repetitive tasks for a solution that can work alongside existing EAI and BPM deployments to automate more complex processes and activities.

Features and Benefits

  • Understand the evolution of robotic process automation.
  • Understand the role that robotic process automation can play alongside existing BPM and EAI solutions.

Key questions answered

  • What is RPA?
  • How has robotic process automation evolved?
  • What should enterprises look for in a robotic process automation solution?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages

Recommendations for enterprises

  • Consider robotic process automation as a lower-cost, less disruptive way to rapidly automate processes
  • Start with mundane or repetitive processes but then look further
  • Don’t limit RPA to the IT function, take it to the business
  • Remember that “process automation” always implies “business change”
  • When choosing a technology provider think about architecture and governance

Recommendations for vendors

  • BPO or BPS vendors that haven’t invested in RPA should do so, promptly
  • Services organizations should focus on domains where they can add value
  • For many services organizations, partnering will be better than developing your own RPA platform
  • RPA offers services organizations and enterprises a cost-effective way to automate many business processes
  • Robotic process automation has its roots in the automation of routine processes
  • RPA technology is evolving to take on more complex processes
  • Not all RPA products are the same
  • To claim “enterprise” status RPA products need to offer enterprise-grade services
  • Integrating various process automation innovations
  • Tackling more fuzzy processes
  • RPA offers service providers a way to offer outcomes rather than simple labor arbitrage
  • The evolution of business process services
  • Enterprises should see RPA as complement to rather than a clash with existing approaches to EAI and BPM
  • RPA is already being adopted by end-user organizations
  • RPA can be deployed alongside BPMS and EAI solutions
  • Change management, architecture, governance, and intelligent process management will be increasingly important
  • Change management becomes essential as more complex processes are taken on
  • Architecture is important for scalability, security, reliability, and agility
  • Governance should be about enabling change not delaying it
  • Intelligent process management is the next frontier for RPA


  • Further reading
  • Author

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