RPA is in Use – But is it Scaling?

  • October 24, 2018
  • Scott

A recent Deloitte report (reported here by Artificial Lawyer) has some encouraging details about RPA:

A new report by Big Four firm, Deloitte, has found growing support and use of RPA – or the unfortunately named ‘Robotic Process Automation’ – with 67% of large corporates implementing such software internally. […]

The report found that:

  • 81% of business leaders now support the use of robotics in the workplace, up from 72% in 2017.
  • 67% of organisations have begun implementing a strategy for RPA, up from 49% in 2017.
  • 95% of organisations that have implemented RPA say the technology has improved productivity.

Moreover, 93% say that RPA has improved compliance, 81% that it has reduced cost, 77% that it has provided better information…

So far that sounds incredibly encouraging, but there’s a catch:  “just 4% of organisations are now operating more than 50 RPA applications across the business, a negligible increase from 3% in 2017”

It turns out, that like the adoption of any software that can significantly impact business results, it needs expertise to scale.  The organizations that we observe who are achieving scale with RPA are absolutely enabling the width of their organizations – but they are also investing in a core expertise to find and implement impactful solutions.  That investment requires more process context and the willingness to press for that context.

If the folks implementing RPA aren’t asking questions about context, process, and change management, then they aren’t unlocking all the value that RPA can bring – and we’re leaving money on the table as well as jeopardizing funding for expanding the program.

An advantage that firms with real process expertise have is that we’ve seen this movie before with process technologies – if you don’t tackle meaningful problems and pursue the context, pilot projects tend toward either a cherry picked project or something that doesn’t matter to the business, and don’t prove out what you need to scale.

I love that our RPA team has resolved to dig in to the context of the automation solutions we build – and make sure we’re creating the best value we can for our clients.


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