RPA, BPM and AI: What’s the Difference?

Learn how these hot technologies are taking the business world by storm and transforming business processes.


RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is a software that is designed to handle a wide variety of high-volume, rule-based, time-consuming business processes, by imitating human actions on the graphic user interface of different systems and applications in an error-free and reliable way

All you need to know about RPA benefits and transforming impact on businesses

RPA and BPM 

RPA and BPM are both focused on process optimization, yet they have some fundamental differences: 

  • RPA is focused on specific robotic programming to optimize a process with high volume of repeated task, while BPM is a discipline of using various technologies to improve the process. 
  • Therefore, RPA is more tactical (focusing on completing a pre-configured task/action), while BPM is strategic (build a strategy to tackle problem areas in a process flow).
  • RPA is easily integrated into the existing IT system without making major changes, while BPM might replace the whole system with new technologies.
  • RPA’s results can be seen in a short time, typically weeks, while BPM needs longer time to make fundamental imrovements. 

RPA and BPM comparison infographic – designed by akaBot

RPA and AI

RPA and AI usually go hand-in-hand to create a fully automated process flow, tackling more complicated process that require cognitive intelligence i.e understand and convert natural language into speech/text.

  • RPA takes care of the action, while AI comes up with the logic behind it. 
  • RPA can only work with structured data (data “easily searchable in relational databases”), while AI is more versatile in taking care of unstructured data (data with “no pre-defined format or organization”) as well
  • Since RPA follows pre-designed rules, it cannot make decision or judgment on its own. AI imitates human thinking, hence can learn new patterns and make cognitive decisions.

RPA and AI comparison infographic – designed by akaBot

How do RPA, BPM and AI work together?

RPA, BPM and AI are all equally important for each business operation. When RPA, BPM and AI work together, their synnergy can bring about boosted performance, and make business processes easier, more accurate and more efficient than ever.

Gartner has coined the term ‘Hyperautomation’, to indicate the combination of automation technologies, as one of the top-ten technology trends of 2021. Hyperautomation is the key for organizations and businesses optimize their operations, be prepared for future crisis, such as one caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 


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