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RPA vs BPM: Choosing the Best For Enterprise Business in 2024

Team Kissflow

Updated on 4 Apr 2024 4 min read

Navigating the path to successful digital transformation is a marathon, not a sprint, for most organizations. This journey, while rewarding, can often be long and complex. However, certain pivotal technologies can be harnessed to accelerate this process.

Business Process Management (BPM) technologies have been a stalwart in digital transformation strategies for numerous years. With companies perpetually on the hunt for cutting-edge technologies to optimize their business processes, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has emerged as a popular front-runner in the realm of automation technology. The question remains, though: how does it differ from BPM?

RPA and BPM, while distinct in their functionalities, are far from being mutually exclusive. They complement each other brilliantly, providing a robust framework that can aid in implementing a seamless, organization-wide digital transformation. For CIOs and BTPs, recognizing and utilizing the synergy between RPA and BPM can be a powerful tool in orchestrating a successful digital transformation strategy.

What Is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

"Any company that uses labor on a large scale for general knowledge process work, where people are performing high-volume, highly transactional process functions, will boost their capabilities and save money and time with robotic process automation software."

Source: The Institute for Robotic Process Automation

RPA helps automate monotonous, routine, and time-consuming tasks and, in turn, allows your team to focus on more important and complex business tasks. It is application agnostic and is based on low-level events or triggers like keyboard or mouse use and web page scraping.

However, RPA is more of a surface-level fix and doesn’t aim to optimize processes. Instead, its goal is to try to make processes work faster by replacing manual human efforts.

What Is Business Process Management (BPM)

BPM focuses on streamlining and reengineering underlying business processes to drive higher efficiency. It can improve business processes by analyzing how they work in different scenarios, making improvements to them, monitoring the modified processes, and continually optimizing them.

It’s important to note that BPM is neither a task management tool nor a project management tool. Like RPA, it focuses on optimizing ongoing and repetitive processes that follow a predictable pattern.

Though, the two technologies have many stark differences.

RPA Vs BPM - The Difference :

Technology Configures bots to complete monotonous and time-consuming tasks in order to save time and allow employees to focus on more complex and high-priority tasks. Identifies and streamlines business process to remove bottlenecks and obtain shorter cycles
Primary Focus Minimizing the number of manual, repetitive, and rule-based tasks that don’t need any complex decision making Re-engineering and modifying business process to improve enterprise-wide efficiency and productivity
Deployment effort Low efforts required as RPA tools can seamlessly work across your organization’s existing applications and processes Comparatively high efforts as BPM involves reshaping business processes in your organization
Business impact Returns are quick and immediate. Though RPA implementations may not always address the underlying inefficiencies in your business processes Offers high and long-term returns as implementing BPM leads to higher efficiency, cost reduction, agility, productivity, and compliance


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How Are BPM and RPA Used?

RPA is mostly used by organizations when they have a large amount of data living across legacy systems. When processes with a lot of data are automated, you are instantly able to see direct business impact on cost savings, efficiency, and risks. Though, RPA can still only be used for routine tasks that do not involve any complex reasoning or decision making.

As compared to RPA, BPM is used to automate complete end-to-end processes. It can do that by:

  • Identifying all the administrative duties required for the process
  • Outlining the complete workflows
  • Analyzing areas where the workflows can be optimized
  • Modifying workflows to make them more effective

As compared to RPA, which can only automate one process at a time, BPM can help streamline complete workflows and multiple processes to reduce chances of manual errors and improve overall efficiency.

RPA vs BPM - How to Choose the Right One?

Getting a clear understanding of both RPA and BPM can definitely help you decide the right technology for your automation project.

You should choose RPA when you need to automate processes that are not going to frequently change and wouldn’t require any integration. BPM should be used for processes that are majorly executed by humans or require third-party integration.

When deployed together, RPA and BPM can help you build a powerful platform that can support digital transformation throughout your organization. For instance, when you are using BPM to automate an entire business process, you can use RPA for one or two steps of the process that are rule-based.

But, if you could only pick one over the other, then BPM would be an obvious choice since it is a much more powerful technology that can guide your organization towards successful digital transformation.

How Damamax crushed chaos with BPM technology

Damamax, a telecommunications provider established in 2008, faced challenges with its IT infrastructure. Their system struggled to support complex workflows, and the team was overwhelmed with requests for workflow enhancements. The existing tools were complicated, and the system lagged significantly.

Damamax discovered Kissflow, a cloud-based Business Process Management (BPM) platform, in their quest for a solution. It was an immediate fit, offering easy-to-use features that boosted productivity and provided control over their processes. The COO found value in the productivity enhancement and the insightful reports generated by the platform.

Kissflow's customizable forms and centralized data repository provided Damamax with a clear view of its operations, enabling it to identify areas for improvement. This led to significant benefits, including saving the IT team from burnout, eliminating manual processes, and saving time, effort, and money.

Damamax has since expanded its workflow automation to include purchase requests, sales leads, and HR functions like leave requests, with many functions now being 100% automated. They continue to seek ways to improve productivity across their organization using Kissflow.

Kissflow is a cloud-based low-code/ no-code platform that can streamline business process management for your enterprise with minimal to no coding. An intuitive visual designer and drag-and-drop form builder ensures designing and automating workflows is a breeze. Kissflow allows business users to create new workflows or automate existing processes in just a few clicks while also giving your IT team control over who has access to what data.

Kissflow offers a unique approach to BPM with a visual editor. Get started today to experience it personally.

⋙ Check out why these 6 BPM Software are at the top of the competition!