Why the days of licensed commercial RPA software are numbered!

In many ways, RPA technology is an evolution of QA Automation Technologies. At a higher level, RPA software manages Automation scripts using a client agent and an orchestrator. The use cases for RPA Automation are almost endless, however, most of these use cases are tactical in nature. The reason for that is the brittle nature of most UI-based automations. Although the Automations can be developed quickly with quick ROI, they can break if the underlying UI of the Application changes. The way you manage the brittleness is the way IT has always done change management; through proper governance processes for RPA projects to avoid creating any unmanageable technical debt.

Besides the operational challenges of RPA, the biggest challenge for scaling Enterprise RPA programs is the “Pay per Bot” pricing model promoted by almost all major Commercial Software Vendors. Given the fact RPA does not store any data or process transactional workflows in entirety, the current per bot pricing models are not sustainable. At OpenBots, we firmly believe that the future of RPA Technology is based on Open Source and SaaS based business models. In other words, the basic capabilities of RPA software such as Bot Building and on-premise bot management needs to be Open Source. This allows for Enterprises to build Automations and embed them as APIs where needed and scale infinitely.
The Open Source vendors like OpenBots can sustain themselves and monetize by focusing on providing Enterprise Support and Warranty options as well as other value add SaaS tools including Cloud usage based RPA Orchestration and other Automation management tools. Another way to look at it is to look at your Enterprise API management program. You don’t have to pay for internally consumed APIs once you build them (there is no pay per API cost as compared to pay per bot cost in RPA), however, there is a need for Enterprises to manage those APIs. Vendors such as Mulesoft and Apigee provide the tools for managing those APIs.
The future of most Enterprise software is SaaS and Open Source, not commercial licenses.