BPM vs RPA: Difference and Comparison

When talking about digital transformation strategies, Business Process Management or BPM technologies have been an essential and integral part. But to advance business processes, companies have adopted the RPA or Robotic Process Automation technology, which can take care of more complex business tasks with the greatest efficiency.

Key Takeaways

  1. Business Process Management (BPM) optimizes end-to-end business processes, while Robotic Process Automation (RPA) automates repetitive tasks within those processes.
  2. BPM relies on human decision-making and collaboration to improve workflows, whereas RPA uses software robots to execute tasks without human intervention.
  3. RPA can be quickly implemented with minimal disruption to existing systems, while BPM may require significant changes to business processes and employee roles.


The difference between BPM and RPA is that BPM provides a holistic approach to the optimization and automation of business processes, whereas RPA only deals with repetitive tasks which are not changed frequently. RPA plays a good role at the beginning of a process. It is a part of the BPM approach.


BPM is a process to make businesses more efficient digitally. It is more than just an automated workflow. Disciplinary operation management can perform functions like automation, control, execution, and optimization with great efficiency. It is useful in building model business rules at a business level.

RPA is a technology or software that can create software robots in no time known as “bots,” which can mimic human activities such as logging into IT systems or even copy-pasting enormous amounts of data. These bots are used to reduce or replace human efforts to complete business tasks. RPA is mainly an automation tool.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonBPMRPA
Full form

BPM stands for Business Process Management.RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation.

BPM is mainly a discipline in operations management which is helpful in business organizations via processes like automation, control, execution, and optimization.RPA is basically a software technology that is best for performing repetitive tasks and tasks that humans previously performed.
Business Aim

The main business aim of BPM is to reengineer underlying processes and drive the central tools.The main business goal of RPA is to reduce cost and headcount through the usage of software robots.
Time and Impact

It is a complex and multi-month implementation. BPM has extensive testing and business impacts.It is a quick process that is done in very little time.

BPM is a method that takes high effort in implementing.RPA is the technology that requires low effort in implementing compared to BPM.
Duration and cost

BPM is a long-term process that requires higher cost-efficiency.RPA is a quick and immediate process that also reduces the cost.

What is BPM?

There has been a lot of conflict over the definition of BPM or Business Process Management.

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BPM or Business Process Management can be defined as a discipline involving modelling, automation, execution, control, measurement, and optimization of business activity flows.

BPM can include various methods to improve a company’s business management. The processes are either structured and repeatable or unstructured and variable.

BPM is a process management that is much different from program management.

BPM considers processes to be an important part of an organization that needs to be understood, managed and improved to meet the client’s or the customer’s needs.
In short, BPM is a practice or a discipline that needs constant monitoring. While trying to evaluate a specific process, the BPM practitioner must practice keeping into consideration the metrics of the entire system.

A BPM is either an activity or a set of activities that can help achieve the business objectives when followed properly. It is not a technology.

Tasks of BPM:-

· Fulfil a product order.

· Updating of the associated accounts.

· Updation of the relevant databases

· To onboard a new employee.

business process management

What is RPA?

RPA, or Robotic Process Automation, is a type of business process automation technology that is based on software robots, also known as bots.

RPA tools are technically similar to Graphical User Interface tools, which are also capable of automating interactions with the GUI and are done by repeating a set of demonstrations or instructions.

Unlike BPM, RPA is a technology. RPA is used to automate our everyday practices, which were once practised manually. It uses this technology to boost the efficiency of various organizations.

It automates all the monotonous and tedious tasks which take a lot of time to perform manually. Although for an RPA to work properly, it must be a voluminous task based on a particular rule.

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The process should have specific inputs and outputs and be repetitive with certain time intervals and triggers.

The productivity potential and rate of RPA are quite high, which has gained so much popularity in today’s world, but it can never replace BPM.

Tasks of RPA:-

· Supply chain management.

· Updation of employee information.

· Automation of HR tasks.

· Onboarding and offboarding.

Main Differences Between BPM and RPA

  1. BPM stands for Business Process Management, while RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation.
  2. BPM is mainly a discipline in operations management which is useful in Business organizations through processes like automation, control, execution, and optimization, whereas RPA is software technology that is used to perform repetitive tasks or manual tasks which were performed by humans earlier.
  3. BPM is a methodology, while RPA is a technology.
  4. BPM takes a higher effort to implement compared to RPA.
  5. The main business aim of BPM is to re-engineer and modify business processes that are used to increase efficiency and productivity, whereas RPA aims at reducing the amount of manual and repetitive tasks.
  6. BPM methodology is a much more complex and time-consuming process, while RPA is a less complex technology.
Difference Between BPM and RPA
  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-30429-4_19
  2. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-29821-0_8

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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8 thoughts on “BPM vs RPA: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The detailed explanation of BPM and RPA has shed light on the significance of both technologies. This comprehensive view is valuable for businesses aiming for digital transformation.

  2. The comparison table provides an excellent overview of the key differences between BPM and RPA in terms of implementation and business impact.

  3. BPM and RPA are intelligent technologies, and companies can greatly benefit from implementing them for process optimization and automation.

  4. RPA seems to be a great solution for repetitive tasks but BPM has a more comprehensive approach to optimize the business processes.

  5. Understanding the difference between BPM and RPA is crucial for businesses. Each technology has its unique advantages that can be utilized in various scenarios.

  6. Thanks for the detailed explanation. I would like to understand more about how to apply these concepts in practice.

  7. BPM helps the companies to reach their potential and enhances the processes. It requires more significant changes than RPA, but both can be of great business help.

  8. BPM and RPA have their distinct roles in business transformation and automation. It’s important to assess the specific needs of a company to determine the most suitable approach.


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