Enterprise Guide to Robotic Process Automation

RPA is a fast-growing category of software, driven by global enterprise digital transformation efforts. Is it ready for prime time? This guide covers the benefits, best practices and use cases today.

James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer

April 26, 2022

5 Min Read
robotic arm in a warehouse checking inventory
rapisan sawangphon via Alamy Stock

Judging by the interest in the concept, it looks like IT people, and even many businesspeople, have figured out the first lesson in dealing with robotic process automation: There are no robots, no androids, not even one little R2D2.

RPA is about letting computers, software and, often, voice technology take over the routine, repetitive and boring business tasks that humans don't really want to do. In doing so, the computer doesn't complain but does work 24x365 without needing days off. Those processes are the workflows and rules that human business leaders define.

In turns out that many business users might not even know when RPA is at work when their vacation request, invoice or expense report gets approved. RPA has been proving itself in a growing number of enterprises, most notably in finance, inventory, payroll, and human resources departments. RPA is one example of how enterprises can leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning.

This Enterprise Guide to RPA updates an earlier guide posted two years ago. In reading the listed InformationWeek articles, you not only will learn about what RPA is but how it may help your organization be more efficient. RPA can help business processes run more efficiently and maybe faster. Done right, it also frees up busy professionals to focus on key business challenges and innovative work.

Check out this collection of articles, and more from InformationWeek on other topics such as IT management, careers, big data, DevOps, and cloud.

The State of RPA

AI, Automation Predictions for 2022: More Big Changes Ahead

After two years of rapid change, what's next for enterprises? Forrester Research offers their top 5 predictions for AI and also for automation in 2022. New offerings in the RPA space actually may hinder RPA adoption for a while.

Automation Strategies Are Shaping Up

A combination of older and newer technologies is making a difference in IT workload management. Here are six areas of IT automation that are delivering results today, including the use of robotic process automation (RPA) to make IT itself more efficient.

RPA Deals Heat Up Amid Faster Digital Transformation Pushes

Automation is a key component in successful digital transformations today, and several big tech vendors are adding these capabilities by acquiring RPA vendors. Tibco and Blue Prism are joining forces, for instance.

Robotic Process Automation Gains Momentum

Robotic process automation software is growing fast in enterprises. Here's why it can be an attractive option for businesses racing into digital transformation.

Robotic Process Automation: Is It Ready for Big Business?

At first glance, the robotic process automation (RPA) market has hit the big time. Enterprises in a range of industries are embracing RPA, and analyst firms agree that the market is thriving. However, whether the technology is actually ready for big business requires a closer look.

Benefits/Why RPA

How RPA Can Help Your Enterprise Save Money

Robotic process automation promises to streamline an array of routine business tasks. It has emerged to become a highly attractive, low-cost IT initiative. Here's what you need to know about this transformational technology.

Automating and Educating Business Processes with RPA, AI and ML

How are these technologies connected, what are the implementation challenges, and how are companies using them? Let's start with RPA, which is about automating repetitive tasks, so staff doesn’t have to do them.

Robotic Process Automation: 4 Key Considerations

Project sponsors and managers of automation initiatives should carefully consider building these elements into their projects from the outset.

Voice Assistants Bring AI to the Workplace

More enterprise organizations are experimenting with AI-based voice assistants to boost internal efficiencies, but it will be a while before they realize the ROI they seek.

Keys to RPA Success

How to Choose Which RPA/Intelligent Automation Platform Is Right for You

An Omdia report empowers enterprises to make informed RPA & Intelligent Automation purchase decisions as they seek greater operating efficiency, agility, and resiliency while achieving better business outcomes.

3 Steps for Deploying Robotic Process Automation

RPA helps drive productivity and secure competitive advantages by maximizing resources already on hand. Here’s how to effectively deploy it in your business, starting with being careful which business processes are automated.

How to Get Automation Right

Enterprises are automating more tasks and processes thanks to AI and machine learning, but they're getting different results because some didn't think it through first.

Who Should Own RPA?

Who should own RPA shouldn't be an either/or proposition. Business and IT leaders, as well as process owners, should work together within the context of an enterprise automation strategy.

Dos and Don'ts: Robotic Process Automation

RPA is the fastest growing category of software today, driven by enterprise digital transformation efforts. Here's how to make the most of it.

How Do Companies Maximize the Impact of AI & Automation?

By the end of next year, nearly half of all global businesses are expected to use robotic process automation (RPA), software “bots” that work side-by-side with humans and automate the repetitive work we do.

RPA Use Cases

Virginia Targets Agency Modernizations with RPA

The Virginia IT Agency embarked on a modernization strategy. A new RPA program has helped the Commonwealth weather some of the many challenges posed by the pandemic, and it is intended to help position as a business enabler.

3 Technologies That Can Ease the M&A Process

Internal integration following a merger or acquisition can result in a range of complexities, but there are technologies that can improve this process. RPA is one that can help new employees adapt to an environment of different processes.

Chatbots Should Be Your Most Reliable 'Employee'

Chatbots have become a tool of choice for several industries. Whether it’s a financial services company or bank, a retailer, or a healthcare provider -- the technology has enabled organizations of all sizes to converse with customers 24-7, understand their requests, and respond directly to their questions.

See All Enterprise Guides

About the Author(s)

James M. Connolly

Contributing Editor and Writer

Jim Connolly is a versatile and experienced freelance technology journalist who has reported on IT trends for more than three decades. He was previously editorial director of InformationWeek and Network Computing, where he oversaw the day-to-day planning and editing on the sites. He has written about enterprise computing, data analytics, the PC revolution, the evolution of the Internet, networking, IT management, and the ongoing shift to cloud-based services and mobility. He has covered breaking industry news and has led teams focused on product reviews and technology trends. He has concentrated on serving the information needs of IT decision-makers in large organizations and has worked with those managers to help them learn from their peers and share their experiences in implementing leading-edge technologies through such publications as Computerworld. Jim also has helped to launch a technology-focused startup, as one of the founding editors at TechTarget, and has served as editor of an established news organization focused on technology startups at MassHighTech.

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