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Robotic Process Automation

: Hofmann, Peter; Samp, Caroline; Urbach, Nils


Electronic markets : EM 30 (2020), No.1, pp.99-106
ISSN: 1019-6781 (Print)
ISSN: 1422-8890 (Online)
Journal Article
Fraunhofer FIT ()
Robotic Process Automation; Business Process Automation; Software Robots; IS Ecosystems; Back-Office; RPA

Within digital transformation, which is continuously progressing, robotic process automation (RPA) is drawing much corporate attention. While RPA is a popular topic in the corporate world, the academic research lacks a theoretical and synoptic analysis of RPA. Conducting a literature review and tool analysis, we propose in a holistic and structured way four traits that characterize RPA, providing orientation as well as a focus for further research. Software robots automate processes originally performed by human work. Thus, software robots follow a choreography of technological modules and control flow operators while operating within IT ecosystems and using established applications. Ease-of-use and adaptability allow companies to conceive and implement software robots through (agile) projects. Organizational and IT strategy, governance structures, and management systems therefore must address both the direct effects of software robots automating processes and their indirect impacts on firms.