Open Source RPA – The new face of innovation and the next evolutionary step in RPA | IA – Part 6 of 6

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Open Source RPA – The new face of innovation and the next evolutionary step in RPA | IA – Part 6 of 6

The sign of a maturing market can often be judged by the amount of innovation happening within an industry or sector and Open Source RPA is no different. Open Source RPA is more than a footnote on the executive packs of the largest RPA vendors in the market. It is a growing alternative to ‘so called’ main stream RPA and needs to be on the consideration set of your organisation if you have, or are considering, RPA. The next 12 months will be an exciting.

In Part 1 we introduced Open Source RPA. In Part 2 we looked a variety of Open Source RPA platform providers. In Part 3 we looked at TagUI, RPA for Python, Robin and OpenBots. Part 4 examined at RoboCorp, Robot Framework and SikuliX. Part 5 talked about Winium, Automagica, Biami, AutoIT and AutoHotKey. Today we conclude.

When should organisations consider Open Source

So when should organisations consider Open Source software? The answer is:

  • when they want to try a product before committing to a vendor based licence model
  • when you don’t want to commit to a commercial vendor and want a viable alternative
  • it is time to renew licenses for proprietary software
  • when they want a cost effective / free alternative to a main stream product
  • there is pressure to lower IT spending or small IT budget is available
  • there are mature open source products readily available that meet an organisations requirements with no or little modifications.
  • when they want an improved flow of ideas from large, innovative, highly engaged development community
  • Ability to take control of an open platform that they can develop

Many users prefer open source software to proprietary software for important, long-term projects. Because programmers publicly the source code for open source software, users relying on that software for critical tasks can be sure their tools won’t disappear or fall into disrepair if their original creators stop working on them.

As with any software platform there are reasons to be cautious when considering Open Source RPA including;

  • Difficulty in maintaining platform code quality if everyone owns it.
  • Security – revealing code can show hackers vulnerabilities they can exploit i.e. not as in C, in of itself but the platform code.
  • Accessing skilled labour may be difficult.
  • Temptation to gloss over licence rules and requirements leaving you exposed to litigation.
  • Underestimating the cost of Open Source RPA – it is not ‘free’.
  • Not cloud ready.
  • Risk of orphan software if the code is not maintained.
  • Incompatible with particular hardware.

None of these challenges or risks are particularly unique to Open Source RPA and in fact they are equally application to so called main stream RPA. The key to any successful automation program is in carefully selecting the platform your business uses for its unique circumstances.

In conclusion, Open Source RPA is a serious business. Many users prefer open source software to proprietary software for important, long-term projects. There is increasing potential for firms to leverage Open Source RPA. With $0 or low cost bots, organisations can concentrate on the long tail of smaller benefit mundane processes that offer limited business value but persist as the frustration of employees lives everywhere.

Kieran Gilmurray

About the authors: Digital Transformation expert. Kieran is recognised as an intelligent automation, data analytics and robotic process automation industry leader. He writes and talks extensively about better ways for businesses to use digital and intelligent automation technologies to drive business performance. Follow Kieran on LinkedIn at, join hom monthly on LinkedIn live or connect on Twitter

Tolani Jaiye-Tikolo

Tolani is a Senior RPA Developer with professional experience in delivering 30+ automated processes in financial services. She is an avid reader and follower of the RPA, Intelligent Automation (IA) and AI spaces. She produces contents on RPA, IA and AI to educate and enlighten people via multiple channels, including Quora and LinkedIn. Recently, she launched the Linkedin #RPAJargonBuster, a curated news mini-feed on the RPA, IA and AI. Follow her on Linkedin – Follow her on Twitter – Follow her on Quora –

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