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Business Process Management or Robotic Process Automation

BPM or RPA

Business Process Management Series Part 2: Business Process Management or Robotic Process Automation

In this second part of our Business Process Management (BPM) series, we will compare BPM against Robotic Process Automation. For a slew of businesses and organizations, big and small, overseeing and implementing a streamlined digital transformation can’t be done overnight. In fact, it is a long and grueling undertaking. However, there are some very innovative and cutting-edge technologies a business can incorporate to accelerate the whole process.

BPM software, short for Business Process Management software, has become a critical augmentation of integrating dynamic digital transformation over the past decade. On the other hand, companies have also been using Robotic Process Automation (RPM) to expedite and enhance their core business processes.

RPA is a newer technology that gained significant popularity in the corporate stratosphere. But how is RPA any different from BPM? While both software have their own unique capabilities, it is important to understand they complement one another. They can help you adopt a more comprehensive, organization-wide digital transformation with streamlined effectiveness.

Robotic Process Automation – What is it RPA?

As per Forbes Council Member Ashish Deshpande, one of the primary functionalities of an RPA is to completely automate repetitive, time-intensive and monotonous business routines and process. It can help you take your mind off these processes while focusing on the bigger picture, and work on more complex tasks. RPA is designed to be application agnostic and is founded on minimal events such as using the mouse or the keyboard or scraping a web page.

However, Robotic Process Automation focuses only on fixing surface level issues. By design, it will not optimize key business processes. What it essentially does is provide you with the room to expedite your process by mitigating manual human intervention or effort.

Business Process Management – What is BPM?

According to business tech writer Elizabeth Quirk, the core functionality of a BPM software is enhance and reengineer your main business processes to implement effective efficiency. It does this through streamlining your process by evaluating how they function in different business scenarios, applying different enhancements on them, tracking and monitoring process that are modified, and consistently optimizing those processes.

Keep in mind that BPM software must not be confused for business task management software or project management tool.

The Differences between RPA and BPM

  • Technological

While RPA enhances manual and repetitive routine tasks by configuring bots, BPM helps streamline critical business processes, removing any downtime and bottlenecks within those tasks.

  • Main Functionalities

RPA removes the need to waste time on rule-based business activities that do not require critical business decisions. BPM modifies your processes to enhance company-wide operational productivity.

  • Deployment Effort

RPA tools are designed to seamlessly function throughout the whole of your company integrating with existing process and business applications. BPM has high efforts that involve re-modifying and reshaping critical and underlying organizational processes.

  • Impact on Business

The effect of RPA is immediate and thorough; however, its functionality does not impact your business processes. A BPM offers long-term advantages. Its implementation results in increased business efficiency, cost reductions, business agility, and compliance.

Using RPA and BPM

Robotic Process Automation is mainly implemented by businesses when they need to streamline a vast chunk of data throughout different legacy systems. When all data processes are automated, you will have a bird’s eye view on the impact of various factors like cost savings, risks, and efficiencies on your business.

Compared to RPA, a BPM software is mainly used to automate overall business end-to-end processes. It essentially achieves this via:

  • Analyzing and determining every administrative duty that is needed for the process
  • Identifying complete process workflows
  • Analyzing and evaluate areas in business where process workflows can be modified
  • Streamlining process for increased efficiency

Selecting the Best Option for Your Business

Now that you have a better understanding of the purpose and differences of RPA and BPM, the next step is to understand when you should use which software. RPA software is a better option when you need to automate business processes that you have determined will remain unchanged for a long period of time, thus not requiring any integration.

According to freelance journalist Erika Murphy, a BPM should be used for critical processes that are entirely implemented or executed via third-party interventions or by humans. However, there is a third very good option you can explore, and that is to use a combination of RPA and BPM software.

When implemented together, both process management tools can provide you with an increasingly robust and powerful platform to drive faster yet seamless digital transformation throughout your entire company. For example, when executing BPM to modify an entire business process, you can effectively use RPA to automate processes that are non-critical, or rule based.

Bottom Line

If you want to pick one, then the clear winner here is BPM. And the reason is quite apparent. BPM software is integrated and has far more comprehensive and powerful features and technology that can help bring about a streamlined yet seamless business transformation throughout your organization.

Fatima Mansoor is a writer at Aepiphanni, a Business Consultancy that provides Management Consulting, Managed, and Implementation Services to business leaders and entrepreneurs seeking to improve or expand operations. She specializes in business & entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and health & fitness. Her focus is on creating compelling web content for small and medium businesses form diverse industries. She mostly writes for entrepreneurs and marketing agencies across the US, Australia and UK.

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