Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology is software that emulates a human executing a (digital) business process. A simple example of this could be a “robot” replacing a human carrying out a high-volume, repeatable task such as invoicing.
This week Gartner reported that RPA technology is now the fastest growing segment in enterprise software globally. It’s expected to reach $1.3B this year alone. As digital transformation continues to drive RPA take up, the lure of potential benefits are plentiful from reduced operating costs, improved compliance and auditability, improved productivity and greater ROI from legacy systems. Add to this that the McKinsey Global Institute forecasts “30 percent of tasks in a majority of occupations can be automated” and we start scaling our RPA plans in our minds.
The reality is, achieving these benefits is fraught with difficulty. In fact, according to EY, as many as 30 to 50% of initial RPA projects fail. Like every other approach to technology, RPA should not be used as your silver bullet to solving all of your process woes. Some considerations should be;
- Do not automate poor processes. Automation alone will not fix broken, inefficient processes.
- Ensure you have clearly defined processes from which to automate. Ask for (and review) current documented processes.
- Selection of processes to automate is crucial. How will you decide what process to automate?
- Automation is not a “one-off”. RPA requires ongoing investment of time and resources. How much funding will I need to sustain it?
- For businesses who have acquired a target organisation and yet to undertake integration, will you be automating duplicated processes?
- For businesses planning a large acquisition, will implementing RPA now make integration more complex due to it’s rigidity?
- How will RPA and it’s investment impact IT Infrastructure modernisation plans?
- How will RPA impact any outsourced business processes?
- Will you run a pilot?
- Have we embarked on any non-technology initiatives to lean out our business processes?
- Is RPA as an end-to-end change program of strategic importance?
Give your RPA initiative the best possible chance of success by ensuring upfront analysis and planning is appropriately undertaken and that your program is set-up with clear accountability, well-defined outcomes and with a focus on delivering business value.
Contact Intuity, a technology independent organisation, for a non-bias assessment of benefits.
By Hope Parnell, Partner Strategy Execution, Intuity Consulting
0456 760 567