How Blockchain Brings Power to RPA

9 December 2019 in Technology



How Blockchain Brings Power to RPA

Blockchain and AI cause enterprises to transform their business models

There are certain technologies that have the power to transform the world of business. These include blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and the Internet of Things (IoT). They are causing enterprises to innovate and transform their existing models and may determine their success in the new economy. This also depends on the strategies used to integrate the technologies into business processes and whether it is done with a view of the whole operation or individual tasks and processes.

Business process automation is enabled by RPA and has gone from simple tasks, such as opening email attachments, to more judgment-based ones that involve visual perception and problem-solving. The RPA vendor, Blue Prism, refers to its products as ‘connected-RPA’ due to its focus on intelligence augmentation. Gartner predicts a 57% rise in the use of RPA in 2019 and by the end of 2022, 80% of large organizations have deployed RPA. 

Blockchain uses a peer to peer consensus mechanism to validate and store value and exchange transactions on a distributed network. Starting out as the infrastructure for bitcoin, it has become a technology for disintermediation with various applications.

The Internation Data Corporation projects blockchain spending to be $11.7 billion by 2022. 

Internation Data Corporation (IDC)

RPA and Blockchain enable human creativity

RPA and blockchain both began in the finance sector and have since spread to retail, insurance, health care, and government. They are best used to take on repetitive tasks, thereby allowing human talent to be used for an activity that involves creativity, design, judgment, or strategy. 

RPA can be used for process automation, and the use-cases are increasing – in the front office, data management, IT operations, and other areas. Blockchain is commonly used for records management, asset tracking, and transaction management, while it has also been applied to provenance management, claims processing, and payment processing.

In the current age, customers are coming to expect digitally transformed processes and solutions that seamlessly interact with the user, immediate access to limitless data, and trusted transactions. This can be achieved by combining blockchain with RPA. 

Connected RPA can interact with end-users, data capture, and IT systems in real-time, and humans will need to recognize processes for automation. Blockchain will then need to offer a shared ledger and distributed infrastructure for transactions between different parties, for trusted value exchange. 

RPA can enable information to be exchanged between blockchain and IT systems and help to monitor transaction processing. Blockchain can provide secure environments to validate transactions, so RPA and blockchain together can automate an end-to-end digital process.  

Working together, blockchain and RPA have already been used for fully automated and trusted data processing in a range of industries. They have also made possible regulatory and compliance management.

Remaining challenges for Blockchain

Remaining challenges for blockchain include interoperability, scalability, and standardization, while for RPA, many businesses are still not finding the best approaches to enable scaling and transformation.  To be successfully applied, digital transformation needs consideration of the requirements, business goals, and success metrics applied through strong governance. RPA and blockchain can enable a better business model and lead to digital transformation, but integration and holistic planning are required.