Horses for Sources: 7 deadly misnomers and RPA

  • October 3, 2018
  • Scott

Horses for Sources is a great read for those of us in enterprise tech.  A recent article in particular takes aim at RPA vendors, likely because of the lofty fundraising going on at equally lofty valuations! Not to mention the hype around RPA has been maxing out at 10.

The Author takes time to note that the three leaders have modest but growing revenues (based on HFS estimates), paired with multi-billion dollar valuations:

“AA’s annual revenues this past year are ~$100m, Blue Prism’s ~$55m and UiPath’s ~$65m (HFS estimates).”

So, after dispensing with his concerns about valuation, the authors move on to the misnomers.  I’ll reference a few of them here but please refer to the original article for great visual aids and further explanation:

“RPA directly replaces people. This is incorrect, its all about augmenting processes and improving the quality of the workforce”

I think the key theme of the article is that the authors use argument, survey data, and visuals to argue that RPA does not defy the laws of gravity and physics. Motivated business lines are required to drive it, and capable IT hands to support it. Adoption looks more like normal enterprise tech adoption curves.

The authors even posit that the lingua franca will shift from RPA to Intelligent Automation.  I concur – we’re already seeing in our own conversations with clients a shift in the conversation toward intelligent automation, and an interest in how we can layer machine learning and context onto RPA to get more value.

The authors – and I – remain bullish about RPA – but for the incremental, evolutionary, and important iterative improvement to our businesses that it represents, rather than for the hype cycle.  We have seen particular cases with incredible ROI, and we’ve seen cases with modest ROI, but so far we have seen a lot of value creation with our clients around intelligent automation!

[Editor’s note: If you’re looking at RPA, and want to make sure you get the most out of it, engage our team – the process mindset and context that we’ll bring to the table make RPA a sure bet for us to bring value to your business, just contact us here. ]

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