Businesses across the world are rapidly embracing RPA or Robotic Process Automation to modernize their operations and digitalize the process to make them less human-dependent and more machine-driven.
Gartner predicts that within the next two years, 72% of organizations will adopt RPA.
RPA helps organizations optimize their human resources and focus on activities that need human intervention – such as innovation, while computer or software bots take care of mundane, repetitive tasks.
Implementing Robotic Process Automation is on the agenda of any enterprise that wants to make their operations scalable, reduce human headcount, save costs, effectively manage risk, and maintain compliance.
The implementation, however, is not necessarily straightforward. Met with several challenges, the hurdles in RPA implementation can not only delay the implementation processes but also defy the purpose of RPA adoption in the first place.
According to an EY study, 30 to 50% of initial RPA projects fail.
Let’s discuss the top challenges of RPA implementation that companies typically encounter:
Unrealistic expectations and unclear business use case
RPA is promising, there’s no denying that. But it is important to understand that RPA cannot magically improve your revenue, optimize your processes, and have a large impact on the employee or customer experience immediately after implementation. It is important to understand the business use case that you want to implement RPA for and know in advance what to expect from it. Having practical expectations and a very precise use case that you want RPA to solve can be incremental in determining the success or the failure of the RPA implementation.
Siloed implementation without looking at a bigger picture
Once you have the business use case clear and realistic expectations set, you can focus on appropriating structural changes that are necessary to support the RPA strategy. Agility is critical, and organizations that stick to conventional silos can be threatening to RPA implementation. The very base of RPA is sequential activities driven by communication and collaboration. Teams that operate in silos can cross paths with other elements and are not necessarily connected with the corporate RPA plan.
Resistance from the team
RPA implementation largely depends on the team in charge of the implementation as well as the entire workforce who has been involved in automation the processes. With job insecurity lingering on every employee’s mind, there’s the notion of automation/robotic processes snatching away the jobs which makes acceptance of RPA very limited. The resistance of your team can come in the way of your RPA implementation. Educate your team about the RPA implementation, reassure them about how robotic automation can help in optimizing their jobs and help them perform better with more focus on innovation. It is also crucial to assign roles and responsibilities within the implementation team to avoid mismanagement.
As discussed, the support from the team, a cultural change to accept RPA, and well-structured teams are critical to deal with the process analysis issues arising during the RPA implementation. The teams need to have a backup plan in place, which is tried and tested to work in case anything goes wrong.
Finding the right RPA developers
The success of RPA implementation largely depends on the skills of your team. But finding the right talent can be challenging. Your RPA implementation team should have up-to-date knowledge about the processes that are being automated, should possess in-depth technical expertise, and should be able to guide you on the overall business impact of the implementation. Remember, it is not only about technology implementation.
Expensive to develop and maintain
RPA adoption is encouraged owing to the improvement in the overall processes. But, in the absence of a robust strategy, it can be expensive. From redesigning the processes, hiring the right team for development and maintenance, training the team members, the RPA implementation is not cheap. Choosing the wrong use case, incorrect technology or incompetent team can result into added costs.
Budget concerns, team resistance, inadequate training, or lack of planning – there are several reasons for the poor adoption of RPA. Choosing overlapping or incorrect processes for automation, lack of direction from the leadership team, and lack of having substantial data to fuel automation can also result in poor adoption of RPA.
RPA implementation can be a game-changer for organizations, provided it is done right. Once you are aware of the possible challenges you may encounter, it is easy to mitigate those with the help of the right RPA implementation partner and make your RPA strategy a successful endeavor.