RPA vs BPM: What’s the Difference?

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Written By Haisam Abdel Malak

About: Haissam is a digital software product manager with 15 years of expertise in developing enterprise content management solutions. His core capabilities encompass digital transformation, document management, records management, business process automation, and collaboration.

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The differences between BPM vs RPA have long been a source of controversy for organizations seeking to automate business processes in order to increase overall business operations efficiencies.

BPM is concerned with simplifying and reengineering core business processes in order to increase efficiency. RPA, on the other hand, is a technology that deals with smaller, repetitive activities conducted by bots as part of a business process.

While BPM and RPA complement one other and help with the seamless implementation of enterprise-wide digital transformation, they are different in their own right.

Organizations all across the world are feeling the urge to digitize operations, and they envision a future in which regular tasks are totally automated.

Digital transformation is not an overnight process; it is a long road filled with hurdles, but with today’s modern technology, it is feasible to accelerate and complete the journey.

BPM solutions have long been an important part of many organizations’ digital transformation strategies. They have been used to digitalize operations with the goal of achieving the most efficient manner of conducting business while lowering costs and increasing productivity.

As technology advances, new approaches are offered to assist in automating repetitive everyday tasks that occupy a significant amount of time from your employees and doing so in a much faster and more precise manner.

As businesses seek innovative technologies to improve their business operations, robotic process automation (RPA tools) has grown in favor of the most recent automation technology.

In this article, we explain the difference between BPM and RPA (BPM vs RPA) and how both may contribute to a wider digital process automation strategy. In addition to a table summarizing the differences between BPM vs RPA for your future reference.

What is RPA?

rpa details

RPA is the use of software robots, which are computer programs with sophisticated capabilities like as artificial intelligence and machine learning, to automate manual and repetitive human processes based on business rules.

Employees can utilize these technologies to record themselves performing these manual and time-consuming tasks on a variety of digital platforms. Later, automated bots can emulate the observed behavior by talking with programs in the same way that an individual does, but more effectively and consistently.

Common examples and use cases are automation of data entry, data extraction, and invoice processing.

Employees will be able to benefit from RPA by focusing on more critical everyday operations by automating manual and routine processes with robotic process automation tools. This would result in significant increases in efficiency, morale, and skill set enhancement.

I strongly advise you to read the article linked below for further details.

What is Robotic Process Automation – RPA? The Complete Guide (theecmconsultant.com)

What is BPM?

bpm details

As per BPM.comBusiness Process Management (BPM) is a discipline involving any combination of modeling, automation, execution, control, measurement, and optimization of business activity flows, in support of enterprise goals, spanning systems, employees, customers and partners within and beyond the enterprise boundaries.

Organizations use it to establish, manage, and optimize business processes. It entails assessing each process independently while also considering its role throughout the enterprise. at this stage, it is critical to understand the differences between BPM and workflow.

Time is lost, deadlines are missed, customers are dissatisfied, and so on when processes are inefficient and unoptimized. According to IDC study, inefficient processes may cost businesses up to 20-30% of their annual revenue.

A key component is the regular fine-tuning of processes with the objective of optimizing as much as possible. This might be as easy as deleting a step in a process or totally rebuilding it from beginning to end.

I strongly advise you to read the articles linked below for further details.

BPM Lifecycle: 5 Stages to Business Process Excellence (theecmconsultant.com)

BPMS: Do You Really Need It? This Will Help You Decide! (theecmconsultant.com)

6 Differences Between BPM vs RPA

bpm vs rpa

Each business has a set of activities, events, and decisions that move work from beginning to end via business processes.

As compared to RPA, BPM is a comprehensive strategy for optimizing and automating business processes from start to finish. RPA, on the other hand, is a technology that deals with smaller, repetitive activities conducted by bots as part of a business process.

RPA is a specialized feature that falls under the umbrella of automation technologies. Macros and screen recorders are on one end of the spectrum, and business process management solutions are on the other.

Many people assume that RPA, like advanced BPM software, automates tasks from start to finish, which is not the case.

RPA brings a comprehensive set of tools to bear. It includes the workflow and decision engine features of a BPM tool, but it also has a comprehensive set of integration tools that allow you to integrate not just with APIs and the data layer, but also with any application through the user interface.

Because these activities are often performed at the beginning of a process, RPA can play a big role in automating them. While RPA can be used in conjunction with BPM, it will not replace it.

As compared to RPA, BPM is concerned with simplifying and reengineering core business processes in order to increase efficiency. It may enhance business processes by assessing how they perform in various circumstances, making modifications, monitoring the improved processes, and constantly improving them.

Businesses of all sizes have always been concerned with improving processes; now, they’re also concerned with automating procedures. As a result, the interaction between BPM and RPA is developing.

With BPM and RPA combined in your automation strategy, you can tackle various difficulties.

In summary, RPA and BPM are not mutually exclusive. Although both are interested in process improvement, their areas of impact differ, and each scenario will necessitate a higher presence of one or the other. Indeed, in most cases, implementing BPM and RPA combined the optimal approach.

BPM vs RPA Table

1- TechnologyBPM detects bottlenecks in business processes and streamlines them to achieve shorter cycle times.RPA is used to create bots that can do time-consuming and low-complexity repetitive jobs.
2- ObjectivesProvides a stable basis for processes that structure how a business runsAutomate repetitious activities that are typically performed by humans
3- Human InteractionHuman tasks have been integrated into automated processes.Reduce or eliminate the need for human involvement in automated processes.
4- FunctionWork on the structural levelInteracts with high-level visuals and user interfaces
5- ROIBPM is a long-term approach that leads to increased efficiency, cost savings, agility, productivity, and compliance over a longer period of time.Benefits can be achieved quickly
6- ImplementationImplementation takes longer, but it has the potential to revolutionize the entire business and result in increased efficiencyRPA implementation does not necessitate significant effort since solutions may function smoothly across the organization’s existing technical ecosystem
BPM vs RPA table comparison

BPM and RPA Combined

BPM and RPA combined within enterprises will allow managing end-to-end process automation in their digital transformation activities. BPM and RPA are different but they complement each other.

BPM is in charge of process orchestration, customer interactions, exception management, and complicated human decision-making.

RPA is in charge of repetitive operations that may be completely assigned to a digital workforce of software robots. A digital workforce of robots that execute jobs with pinpoint accuracy and enable organizations to grow.

1 thought on “RPA vs BPM: What’s the Difference?”

  1. The combination of both methods offers companies a perfect opportunity for end-to-end automation and the holistic optimization of all business processes that make a significant contribution to the digital transformation of companies and consolidate or strengthen the company’s market position in the face of tough competition.


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