Since its first introduction in the 1990s, RPA has come a long way. From merely screen scraping to workflow automation, RPA has steadily gained ground due to its impressive recording and scripting capabilities. With advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), it is exciting to see the future of robotic process automation.

5 Predictions on the Future of Robotic Process Automation 

Before, RPA was only available to large corporations who can invest in the technology to cut costs. That is why most of them brought in virtual robots to handle repetitive functions and thus cut costs. Now, RPA has gained even greater popularity and is widely accepted. RPA is expected to improve further, as suggested by these predictions:

1. No-Code RPA

As more and more organizations adopt RPA processing, soon they will clamor for no-code RPA. At present, most automation processes carried out through RPA are done through programming, which can be costly. That is why smaller companies cannot afford RPA.

In some cases, programming relies heavily on third-party service providers, which adds further to the costs. Those familiar with coding realize how painstaking the process is. As such, many venture capitalists are striving to fund projects that aim to make RPA systems that require low to no coding.

With Twilio and Airtable making massive progress in this space, no-code RPA can spell the future of robotic process automation.

2. Automated RPA Process Modeling

Before RPA developers can even begin programming, they first need to understand the process they need to code. The problem is, most companies cannot provide accessible process information that RPA developers can use. Process catalogs are often outdated. As such, most developers have to do manual cross-checks of logs and run pilots, which can be a tedious and time-consuming process. 

To address the issue, RPA companies are hoping to match user process videos with system logs obtained through process mining. A system then analyzes the video and logs to generate insights and extract process flows. While process mining is not exclusively used for RPA, it does provide useful insights for the technology’s further development.

3. RPA Integration

The future of robotic process automation means seeing the technology integrated into several tools. Why? The widespread use of RPA will let organizations realize that automation tools are not standalone systems. They are best used along with other tools to maximize benefits. While there is much to gain from using RPA alone, it does help expand the capabilities of other devices.

In essence, users can consider RPA as an all-in-one tool. Like a handyman’s tool, they can do many things aided by RPA, such as run codes for queries and do calculations. In a sense, RPA can make other tools work better. Soon, we can expect to see an RPA system that allows employees to become more robust.

4. AI and RPA

Another promising outcome of the future of robotic process automation is the development of self-learning capabilities. As the industry inches forward to RPA 2.0, the technology will be more than just rule-based. It can start possessing AI functionality. An example would be integrating ML, natural language processing (NLP), or computer vision to make cognitive RPA systems work better. The degree of this change depends on an organization’s requirements. And those who can make use of data-driven AI can gain a competitive advantage against their peers.

5. Open-Source RPA

As more and more organizations embrace RPA, it will no longer be surprising to see a move to call for cheaper and more transparent systems. Before, the RPA marketplace used to be dominated by a handful of vendors. With no-code RPA systems, it is possible to see much cheaper RPA solutions that are likely to use open-source software.

The growth of RPA in recent years is a positive move toward improving processes within organizations. The future of robotic process automation should allow more companies to benefit from the technology.