(By Ken Soh)
My take on the future of RPA (robotic process automation) – while commercial RPA vendors go cloud-native, become more centralised and make their software suite even more compelling, I value going in the opposite direction instead.
As the world becomes more savvy with programming, and values the benefits of decentralised IT systems, I would think that the future values a RPA software that is designed not to take the centre-stage but as a supporting tool in users’ toolbox of many tools, and one that is designed to work in a decentralised manner without the internet.
Commercial RPA software always has to take the centre-stage by offering different capabilities built into one coherent software suite. That is the basic premise for their business model and for charging prices reflecting the level of efforts that goes into making that possible.
Commercial RPA software also has to keep their customers’ management happy by offering centralised and cloud-native architectures, so that it is easy to have visibility and control of their RPA initiatives.
However, the ideal form of automation is when it is not visible. Individual employees running their own automation workflows and reporting back to their management through existing reporting structure of their work done.