Digital success and business success are irrevocably linked in the modern world – and the ability to fully capitalize on critical technology like UiPath Robotic Process Automation (RPA) helps differentiate the winners from those who get left behind. But without the right expertise, it’s no secret that most RPA programs struggle to address automation problems with solutions that scale buy-in and benefits across an enterprise.
Holistic RPA matters. Company-wide automation achieves 40% greater efficiency and productivity improvements than piecemeal approaches.
Yet while 70% of enterprises have at least piloted automation – and most executives believe it’s possible to automate at least a quarter of their company’s tasks within the next five years – less than 20% have managed to scale the technology across multiple parts of their business, according to a 2022 McKinsey Global Survey.
The pandemic proved that no other digital transformation delivers the same quick benefits as RPA done right: optimizing costs and resiliency while empowering your workforce to work faster and smarter. ROI is measured in months instead of years, with no pricey overhaul of legacy systems required.
But scaling RPA isn’t easy. It requires a comprehensive, step-by-step assessment that examines every labor-intensive process in your organization, identifying and prioritizing the best opportunities to keep your journey moving forward.
Deloitte’s 2022 Global Outsourcing Survey states that a whopping 93% of enterprises are turning to third-party RPA partners, recognizing the need for skills, advice, and resources they don’t possess to overcome automation problems with solutions that unlock the full potential of their investment company-wide.
5 common automation problems that can derail your journey
So, why is RPA scaling so hard to get right?
1. Lack of strategic planning.
An effective Proof of Concept (POC) can be dazzling, and enterprises often start automating for the sake of automating. But RPA journeys based on a vague idea of wanting more robots are doomed for failure.
Whether the goal is cost savings, quality control, real-time reporting to achieve one version of the truth, or another driver, aligning leadership behind a strategic vision at the start keeps your program from imploding because it tried to accomplish too much, automated processes that didn’t make sense, or focused on isolated areas.
2. Building on bad processes.
Most businesses underestimate the complexity of their processes. Unfortunately, unresolved process exceptions cause bots to break – and frustrated users to revert to manual work.
Applying automation to a process without fixing its underlying flaws is another common mistake, simply making an inefficient process run faster.
Hiring an RPA team that combines business expertise with technical capabilities is critical to tackling this automation problem with solutions that maximize the value of your program. The biggest ROI stems from innovating and improving how work is done, not just reducing FTEs.
3. Automating the wrong processes.
Too often, automation’s potential is wasted on the wrong processes. For instance, activities that are too infrequent or changeable or require too much human intervention will deliver disappointing results.
Or, a process may be suited for automation but certain steps are not.
Executives ranked understanding automation opportunities as the toughest part of their journey, McKinsey found. As a result, programs lose support because teams don’t know where to start or they waste time and effort automating poor choices.
4. Hard-to-find RPA resources.
Insufficient resources rank as the second-biggest reason for not automating, up from fourth in 2020, McKinsey reports.
The newness of RPA technology combined with a severe labor shortage makes it difficult for companies to staff scarce and costly RPA talent in-house. It’s also hard to justify the cost of building an RPA Center of Excellence (CoE) for organizations starting a POC or without a large automation pipeline.
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5. Weak support.
Robots aren’t a “set it and forget it” investment – they inevitably require tweaking to adjust to unexpected process exceptions. Without dedicated, proactive support, Forrester reports that 45% of companies suffer bot breakages weekly or more often.
But many organizations address this automation problem with the wrong solution: assuming their developers will maintain their bots without considering bandwidth or skillsets. So, broken bots languish before they are fixed, and organizational trust in the technology dissipates.
The best solution to automation problems: a quality RPA partner
Some 65% of RPA initiatives stall at 10 or fewer processes. But while that statistic may feel daunting, here’s the takeaway: failing to scale RPA reflects a poor process – not an insurmountable technology.
Partnering with a quality RPA provider delivers the talent, experience, and expertise to jumpstart an automation journey that’s stuck in the mud – from identifying the best process candidates to implementation to ongoing management and expansion.
Experienced providers are experts at drawing an automation roadmap to maximize business outcomes. They have best-in-class reporting tools to measure results, and they keep up with ever-evolving technologies and strategies to ensure you derive the biggest benefits.
They also provide strong governance that ensures RPA deployment happens on time and budget, obstacles are effectively handled, and future system and application changes are managed.
Here are 4 important ways the right partner can help you tackle automation problems with solutions that maximize the value of your RPA investment:
1. Current-state assessments with business leaders.
Understanding where you are in your automation journey is vital to laying the best path forward. Quality partners come to the table with a proven methodology for thoroughly assessing your current state, working with business leaders to identify inefficiencies across operations, marketing, supply chain, and other departments to drive automation benefits company-wide.
They engage with stakeholders across your organization to help discover, articulate, and improve processes that are ripe for automation – turning skeptics into advocates by ensuring they feel the benefits of RPA. UiPath partners also use AI-infused automation tools like Process Mining and Task Capture to identify the most valuable places to insert RPA and optimize process improvements.
2. Building an automation roadmap.
Once automation opportunities are assessed, exceptional partners deliver a strategic roadmap – prioritizing deployment based on benefit, ease of implementation, and your business goals.
Ideally, your journey should start with a showcase success – those quick wins designed to draw enthusiasm and support throughout the organization. As tangible benefits increase, your partner should also help you define criteria for evaluating and prioritizing future requests.
3. Scaling automation with an experienced CoE.
Quality partners rely on a structured process design and development framework to drive the greatest ROI throughout your journey. Enterprises that hire nearshore partners also beat the talent crunch by accessing a deep pool of skilled resources in the same time zone, enabling better collaboration and an agile development model.
But building automation isn’t enough – operational buy-in rests on ensuring robots perform reliably. UiPath partners also can deploy Test Suite, increasing trust with automated testing that ensures the quality of every robot before it goes live.
4. Proactive support.
Long-term automation value stems from a responsive support structure. Leveraging a trusted partner is a smart way to ensure continuous operation of bots – safeguarding your investment and optimizing ROI without the headache of hiring and retaining expensive in-house resources for inconsistent work.
Take the next steps in your automation journey
Unlocking the full benefits of automation requires real transformation, reimagining how work is done and strategically shaping the best path forward with the right solutions to automation problems. A quality RPA partner delivers the support you need to take the next steps in your journey – determining and deploying the right opportunities to move your automation investment out of silos and into the heart of business initiatives across your enterprise.
Ready to maximize business performance company-wide with RPA? Schedule a consultation with a UiPath Gold Partner today! You can also read our RPA case studies for success stories.