Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is growing fast. In fact, it's the fastest growing segment of the global enterprise software market. In my experience, any time there is this level of hype regarding a new technology, many rush to jump in. RPA vendors (and consultants) do a great job of touting the benefits of RPA. If done right the benefits can be very real, but 30-50% of initial RPA implementations fail. So you have a 50-50 shot.
RPA has been around long enough that we now know why implementations are likely to be unsuccessful. Here are the top 5 reasons your RPA implementation will probably fail:
1. You chose a process to automate with insufficient business benefit
Choosing the wrong process for your initial RPA implementation is definitely the largest trap. Get this wrong and your organization will be left with a bad taste that will be difficult to overcome. It can go wrong by selecting a use case that is relatively easy to implement (which is a great factor for an initial bot) but that doesn't provide the perceived value (business benefit). Sometimes identified processes seem like they will save business users a lot of time, but it turns out they just don't take that much human time to execute.
2. You chose a process to automate that was too technically complex
Choosing a high-value starter use case with potential of great return (again - a great factor for an initial bot) but not understanding the underlying complexity to automate - this is a recipe for RPA failure. In this case, RPA implementations take way too long, blowing away projected timelines (and sometimes never completing). In one survey of over 400 responders, 63% said their expectations of time to implement were not met. Read more about finding the quick wins.
3. Not having the right skills
Even if you choose the right use cases and your first or first couple bots go well, you may not have the skills to drive it forward in the long term. Maybe you hired RPA consultants to get you going or you had the help of an RPA vendor.
But it's expensive to keep consultants around and at some point, you're going to need to take it over. RPA implementations are not rocket science, but you do require a series of skills to keep your program going. These include: Business Analysts, Enterprise Architects / RPA Architects, RPA Developers, RPA Testers, Infrastructure folks, RPA Support Engineers, RPA DevOps. Not all of these skills are 100% FTE, but are critical for RPA success.
4. Non-existent or ineffective RPA Center of Excellence (CoE)
Many recommend the creation of a RPA Center of Excellence (CoE) to help with the continuous generation of bot ideas, the measurement of RPA success, and the centralized expertise to oversee, manage, and govern RPA in the organization. In order to scale RPA effectively, this is a great idea. But it's not uncommon for CoEs (not just RPA ones) to fail. Not only do they need to be perceived as effective by the organization, but they require budget, skills, organizational commitment - something many companies do not have or cannot sustain.
5. Didn't reach ROI expectations
Ultimately, the downfall of RPA will be that the promised ROI never materialized. This is typically a culmination of the first 4 reasons above, poorly selected automation candidates, a lack of skills, and a non-existent or ineffective governing body to propagate RPA and make it successful.
The good news is that Optezo is making it easy to be successful with RPA. Whether you are embarking on a new implementation or you have tried already and it didn't go so well, it's time to check out Optezo. With our RPA-as-a-Service approach, you don't have to worry about selecting the wrong use case. We have a catalog of over 300 ready-for-RPA-success use cases that we will work with you to select from. You don't have to worry about having the right skills. Our team of experts have all the skills necessary to lead you through the entire implementation and beyond, including support and business and operational monitoring. And no need to build your own CoE. We will administer and run a RPA CoE for you - it's ready to go, no need to build it up from scratch.
Start realizing the ROI today with Optezo's RPA starter bundles.