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What Organizations are doing about RPA – Strategic Direction and Challenges

Wondering why Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is relevant? According to Gartner, Inc. RPA software spending is predicted to reach up to $2.4 billion by 2022. A smart and cost effective solution to automating tasks, RPA has been on the rise for a while and is only growing. What are organizations doing about it? Continue reading to get an answer.

While organizations face challenges with RPA at the start, once implemented successfully, the ROI is “ten fold”. RPA has helped many organizations to automate most of their repetitive manual tasks and processes they had in store. Gartner, Inc. estimates that by 2022, 85% of large organizations will have deployed some form of RPA.

What are the Key RPA Limitations?

RPA also comes with its own set of limitations, some of which are discussed below:

  • A major disadvantage of RPA is its inability to read non-electronic data with unstructured inputs, thereby requiring companies to use it in conjunction with other solutions
  • RPA is a new technology that most employees might not be comfortable with, so it adds confusion for the employees at the start
  • RPA requires a certain centralized infrastructure, and RPA cannot be applied if that isn’t present, requiring you to undergo a lot of infrastructural change to apply RPA

The Top 6 Challenges of RPA

Implementation of new technology such as RPA comes with its associated challenges discussed below:

  1. Employee resistance –employees usually do not welcome change, and RPA is a new change that requires the employees to be trained in it. This might result in employees resisting the implementation of this new technology altogether if not managed correctly
  2. Choosing the wrong RPA – most companies don’t have the guidance available to help them choose to correct RPA, and go on to select a solution that doesn’t suit their organizational needs without complete understanding of the technology
  3. Responsibilities are mismanaged –when deployed, RPA has to be a designated person responsible for each element of the automated process. Otherwise, the responsibilities will be mismanaged
  4. Lack of a skilled team – RPA requires that you have resources with the necessary technical skill and business process experience
  5. Expensive solution –while RPA returns an impressive ROI in the long run, it comes at an additional cost at the start which may be a challenge for organizations to meet
  6. Change Management Plan – RPA requires regular maintenance and monitoring especially prior to implementation. Changes to systems and processes need to consider your RPA environment to ensure the solution will continue to work and be effective

What solutions should Organizations be looking for to establish RPA?

To help with establishing RPA, there are multiple steps that organizations should consider when acquiring solutions according to Gartner, Inc. These considerations are listed below:

  • Formalise an automation map – list down pros and cons of RPA, see what processes are suitable for it, are there cheaper alternatives present to automate the processes
  • Focus on short term results also – revenue generation is an obvious goal of RPA, but don’t ignore possibilities for short-term results, such as increased customer satisfaction, better quality and standardisation
  • Involve IT early on –no technology can be introduced without IT, so it’s important that they understand how and why RPA is the answer to the company’s problems
  • Create a team of both IT and business RPA members –process leaders might not have the technical knowledge needed, which is why working with IT members for the process is important
  • Build employee skills –RPA requires training for most employees, so build those skills by seeking external help to run RPA
  • Clarify what RPA is for your company –there should be a clear philosophy behind this deployment for employees to follow behind

Things to consider for solutions

The above steps come with different alternatives that can provide solutions. We have listed below a few options for your consideration:

  • RPA – Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
    OCR is a technology used by RPA to convert images into text which can be converted into usable data. For example a robot would read an email to process a PDF statement file. Instead of manually keying in the data, OCR technology identifies and extracts the relevant pieces of text which would then be automatically entered into the target application by the robot
  • Artificial Intelligence
    By linking RPA with other software in the vendor’s product suite, it can solve more problems. This linking is made possible through artificial intelligence. One tool won’t solve all automation issues which is why different tools including machine learning, deep learning and NLP are all things to consider as solutions.
  • Custom Software
    There will remain the need to fix unique gaps left with problems despite deploying RPA. For this purpose, there are customer software to deal specifically with those unique gaps and to help in integrating all the pieces together into a well-oiled system
  • BPM – Business Process Management
    Before the advent of RPA, business process management changed the design of the business greatly, which is why it’s something to take into consideration. BPM is where to look when finding lists of tasks already automated, where bottlenecks exist and have been solved, and all tasks needing solving

Some of the most common used RPA tools?

Are you thinking of implementing RPA? Let us help you out by pointing out two of the most famous and commonly used RPA tools.

  • UIPath
    Launched back in 2005, UIPath is built for both business and IT and is now a leading RPA vendor that provides a complete software suite for organizations and their business automation process. The company has won many awards also, including the “Everest Group PEAK Matrix”, Q1 2018. UIPath includes a free community edition for developers, individuals and the UIPath academy
  • Automation Anywhere
    Automation Anywhere founded in 2003 is another leader in RPA. The solution automates webmasters tasks like website maintenance, website testing, data extraction & transfer, website promotions & communications

How can you be successful adopting RPA as a business solution?

To finish it off, it all boils down to how you can successfully adopt RPA as a business solution. Remember important factors such as how IT needs to be involved, the process leader, and the IT department need to form their own team for this process.

Your entire success could depend primarily on your testing, so don’t take it for granted. Keep these points in mind, and you’ll be on your way to success in no time!

Whether you are considering moving to a RPA, or currently experiencing some challenges with RPA, Testpoint can assist you.

Contact Testpoint for a free comprehensive RPA assessment to kick start your requirements.

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