Robotic Process Automation (RPA) works for basic, repetitive tasks automation. Still, it has significant tactical and strategical limitations that make its usage less effective and cause even more mess in organizations.
Contrary to its name, RPA is not actually designed for “process” automation at all. The key is the term robotic, as RPA is designed for highly-repetitive manual activities. These micro-workflows are designed to simulate human operations at a computer screen; they’re task-focused far more than they are process-focused. They definitely eliminate manual activity, but their ability to automate anything other than basic decision-making is out of scope.
RPA is suitable for separate task automation, but it fails when it comes to the processes. Processes often include several steps, some of which could not be automated; they consist of several layers of related subtasks, delegations, approvals, reports; they could require many different departments to be involved.
… when you’re thinking about how something should be done, then you’re likely thinking about automating tasks; when you’re thinking about what or whether something should be done and who/what is required to accomplish it, then you’re likely thinking about process.