The History of Robotic Process Automation

robotic process automation

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has become a buzzword in the business world over the last decade. However, the history of RPA dates back to the 19th century when the first machines were invente to automate manual tasks. In this article, we’ll explore the history of RPA and how it has evolved over time.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a rapidly evolving technology that has transformed the way businesses operate in recent years. But where did RPA originate from, and what is its history? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the evolution of RPA, its roots, and how it has developed into the sophisticated automation technology we know today.

history RPA

The origins of RPA can be trace back to the early 2000s when companies began to look for ways to automate repetitive business processes. The first generation of automation tools were known as screen-scraping tools. Which were use to extract data from legacy systems that lacked APIs. These tools worked by reading data from the screen and entering it into another system. Which was a time-consuming and error-prone process.

In the mid-2000s, a new generation of automation tools emerge that were designe to automate more complex processes. These tools were known as Business Process Automation (BPA) tools. And they were used to automate entire business processes from end-to-end. BPA tools were more sophisticated than screen-scraping tools. But they still required a significant amount of programming to set up and maintain.

In the late 2000s, a new type of automation technology emerged that combined the ease of use of screen-scraping tools with the power of BPA tools. This technology was known as Robotic Process Automation (RPA). And it was designe to automate repetitive, rule-base tasks by mimicking the actions of human users. The first generation of RPA tools were relatively simple and were use primarily for data entry and extraction tasks.

Early Forms of Automation

The concept of automation can be trace back to the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century when machines were invente to replace manual labor. However, it wasn’t until the early 1900s that the first forms of automation started to emerge. The assembly line was one of the earliest forms of automation, which was pioneere by Henry Ford in 1913. This allowed for the mass production of cars, which led to a significant increase in productivity.

robotic process automation

In the 1950s and 1960s, computers began to emerge, and businesses started to adopt automation technologies to streamline their processes. Robotic process automation solutions (RPA) is a software technology that makes it easy to build, deploy, and manage software robots that emulate humans actions interacting with digital systems and software.

Screen Scraping software was the first technology that created a bridge between newer systems and incompatible legacy systems.  Recently, it has been used to extract data from the web on the presentation layer. Despite the advantages of using screen scraping in comparison to manual labor, this technology is limited by its compatibility with existing systems. Therefore, businesses have sought more adaptable and versatile technologies.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has resulted from the use of multiple technologies to solve business problems. It started by using legacy technologies like screen scraping combined with the automation workflow software.

The Emergence of RPA

The concept of RPA emerged in the early 2000s when businesses started to realize the potential of using software robots to automate repetitive tasks. The term “Robotic Process Automation” was coine in 2012 by Blue Prism, a UK-base software company that specializes in RPA.

The first RPA software was develope in the late 1990s by a company call Jacada. The software was designe to automate tasks such as data entry, order processing, and customer service. However, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that RPA started to gain traction.


One of the earliest adopters of RPA was the banking industry. Banks were looking for ways to automate their back-office operations, which were highly manual and time-consuming. RPA provided a way to automate these tasks without the need for complex IT infrastructure or significant investments in software development.

The Evolution of RPA

Since the early 2000s, RPA has evolved significantly. Today, RPA software is more sophisticated and capable of handling more complex tasks than ever before. In addition, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) has enabled RPA software to learn from previous tasks and adapt to new situations. The proper implementation of a software system is the key to success. Adaptive Growth’s experience implementing software spans 30+ years and over 600 successful implementations. And that success depended on having described and defined user requirements and their expectations within a work flow properly. How many times have you heard during a software implementation, especially an ERP system, a comment like, “that’s not the way we do our work”?

The adoption of RPA has also increased significantly. According to Gartner, the RPA market is expecte to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 19.5% from 2021 to 2028. This growth is being driven by the need for businesses to improve their efficiency, reduce costs, and improve their customer experience.

The Future of RPA

The future of RPA looks bright, with many businesses investing in RPA technologies to automate their processes. In addition, the emergence of cognitive RPA, which combines RPA with AI and ML, is expecte to revolutionize the way businesses operate.

Cognitive RPA has the potential to automate even more complex tasks, such as decision-making and problem-solving. This will enable businesses to achieve greater levels of efficiency and productivity, while also improving their customer experience.


The history of RPA dates back to the early 1900s, when the first forms of automation emerged. However, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that RPA started to gain traction. Since then, RPA has evolve significantly, and the adoption. RPA is expecte to continue to grow in the coming years.

The future of RPA looks promising, with the emergence of cognitive. RPA and the increasing adoption of RPA technologies by businesses. As businesses continue to look for ways to improve their efficiency and productivity, RPA will undoubtedly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top