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Is RPA a dead end?

Katie Alberti, Log in to subscribe to the Blog

The automation market is abuzz with different terms geared to resonate with today’s businesses. From low code to robotic process automation (RPA) to intelligent automation, the lines are blurring as to what each of these terms truly mean as well as the value companies can yield from them.

This is particularly true with RPA. Vendors tout a broad range of benefits companies can achieve using this technology. But what is the true value of RPA? How can it help companies digitally transform?

That was the subject Pega explored in a recent webinar with Forrester, RPA: Path to Transformation or Dead-End? We sat down with Principal Analyst Bernhard Schaffrik, who covers automation technologies and innovation management at Forrester, to unpack where RPA fits within the intelligent automation landscape, and how businesses can achieve success with the tool.

The crux of the conversation was level setting. How do we go about defining all these terms circling the market about automation?

Here’s what our webinar speakers say:

  • When it comes to lingo, intelligent automation is the broadest concept. It encompasses all the technologies you can think of – from RPA to digital process automation (DPA), process mining and discovery, AI, and more.

  • RPA should be used as a tactical bridge. RPA was made to automate user activities on desktop computers. While it’s not limited to that, it should be seen as a tactical bridge – a Band-Aid – that is justified in some areas for tasks and simple processes that are tedious and manual but must be done. In the long run, though, there may be more appropriate automation technologies available to solve your needs as part of your digital transformation.

  • Expand beyond RPA to DPA and other approaches. The key is thinking about RPA as one tool in your intelligent automation toolkit. Use it in the short-term to automate user activities. But in the long run, consider expanding to approaches like DPA because it touches upon processes from a completely different technological angle – it will unite your back- and front-end systems for a better and more streamlined process.

When you take the time to unpack these terms, it becomes clear that RPA has its place within the field of intelligent automation; however, it isn’t the leading technology to drive true transformation.


The Total Economic Impact™ Of Pegasystems Hybrid RPA Approach

Understand the costs, risks, and benefits of a hybrid RPA approach.

Intelligent automation means you’re on a digital journey. You may use RPA as a bridge to accomplish short-term goals, but that’s not all you should consider. Your path toward transformation should involve the appropriate tools that not only connect systems but infuse intelligence and revitalize processes from the ground up. That may involve AI, task mining, chatbots, work orchestration, and more. Take into consideration of all the technologies intelligent automation offers.

And how should this all be achieved? Through a low-code platform, of course. Low code has introduced a major shift in our approach to building applications, allowing companies to move beyond automating only the legacy. More and more companies today are leveraging the power of low code to bring intelligent automation capabilities to life. Transform your mission-critical processes at the speed business demands while also meeting IT’s needs for security, architecture, testing, and maintenance.

So, is RPA a path toward transformation? Yes, it can be.

Consider RPA one tool in your intelligent automation toolkit that can be used to achieve specific tactical outcomes. But remember, it’s just one tool. You have a variety to choose from when it comes to truly transforming the way work gets done.

Learn more:


Topic: Robotic Process Automation Topic: Workflow Automation

About the Author

As a Senior Product Marketing Manager for intelligent automation at Pega, Katie Alberti helps clients understand how the right low-code platform enables businesses to intelligently automate end-to-end processes.

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