Business and IT Glossary  > Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Robotic process automation (RPA) is software that augments or replaces human or software intervention for the control of rule-based business processes that are executed by machines. This may range from control of an individual industrial robot to the coordinated control of semiautonomous machines working together on a business process.

Note that RPA does not require that the system learn from experience, although integration of RPA and machine learning technologies is becoming more common.

The demand for productivity and rapid automation has created the emergence of the robotic process automation (RPA) market. In the early stages of digital transformation, bots will be eliminating routine work. Over time, RPA will generate smarter and smarter single-purpose bots, intelligent agents, and cogs. RPA will also blur the line with artificial intelligence (AI), which is likely to create and contribute to general-purpose agents.

Most RPA vendors are developing architectures, execution partnerships, and control mechanisms for managing groups of bots that focus on basic processes.