The RPA Wars – Tech Still Needs Work

There are a lot of great things to be said about Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Still, RPA is not perfect – not even close. Here are some capabilities that we’d love to see come to market. Please note, this is an excerpt from the eBook, “The RPA Wars: The Early Years.”

Enhanced OCR (Optical Character Recognition)  

A common use case of RPA is the scanning and recording of documents. Unfortunately, accuracy from current OCR technologies range in the 98-99% range, and, frankly, that’s not good enough. Given an average of one mistake per every sixteen lines of text, there’s a high likelihood of incorrect data being introduced into the system; one that’s been designed to reduce errors.  

Search & Categorization 

The RPA movement, at present, is developing bots at a staggering pace, building larger libraries by the moment. On the one hand, this is perfect, as the whole industry is being built line by line by developers, often inside UiPath or Automation Anywhere. 

On the flip side, however, this will require improved categorization capabilities. UiPath, for example, offers many official packages to give developers additional functionality and activities as they create bots. But finding the right package for a given use case can sometimes be difficult. Moreover, documentation for packages is often lacking, so using a new package often requires developers to figure out how to use it independently. 

When evaluating an RPA tool, speed is always a consideration. Finding the right resources quickly is one of the components that inform speed. 

Branching Code & Resolving Merge Conflicts

Because many bots are iterations of other previously built bots, the ability to have multiple developers working in parallel allows for better coordination and collaboration. For large organizations with multiple developers, the ability to brand code could be a game-changer. 

More and Better UX/UI 

As we’ve seen, the market had a lackluster response to A2019. But as the vertical evolves, expect other changes in how bots are built. Today, for instance, HTTP request activity is seamlessly integrated into UiPath UI. Conversely, reading a response from an API seems like it could be easier. If the developer doesn’t understand JSON it can be pretty difficult to find what’s needed from a more complex return.

Technology changes at the speed of code. Ten years ago, Robotic Process Automation was a term only known by a select few. Today, it’s a colossal industry, with companies in all verticals seeking the benefits of bot-driven solutions that are faster and more accurate than manual entry. Add in the additional benefits of scalability and heightened compliance, and it’s easy to see why.

While demand has attracted a portfolio of new players, two of the most innovative companies in the space are Automation Anywhere and UiPath. Today, these established market leaders boast powerful platforms and robust user bases. Yet, it wasn’t always that way. And that’s the story we tell in the full eBook, “The RPA Wars: The Early Years.”