Robotic Process Automation Necessitates Deep Change to Achieve Promised ROI

Like most businesses today, your company is probably looking at the possible cost and productivity improvements achievable through digital technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and analytics. If so, it’s important to understand that digital transformation is a journey of very deep and broad, company-wide change. Through our Pinnacle Model™ research on digital journeys, we at Everest Group assessed the impact on enterprises implementing RPA. Our study finds that, compared to other enterprises, Pinnacle Enterprises™ (companies that achieve superior business outcomes in digital journeys) achieve 4X the ROI compared to other enterprises implementing RPA, higher improvement in operational metrics and higher impact in strategic areas. What makes the difference in RPA outcomes for Pinnacle Enterprises?

Examples of processes automated using RPA tools include any kind of form processing, accounts payable, change of circumstance notifications, IT ID deletions and database management. RPA is a relatively simple digital technology, and the understanding of how to use it has been around for 30-40 years. It has enjoyed a lot of vendor hype over the past five years and has caught on with enterprises partly because of the impression that the technology is relatively easy to implement and time to impact is thus short. However, like every digital technology, RPA requires a digital journey involving a cascading effect of enterprise-wide change.

RPA involves more change than just substituting technology for people. It focuses on process design. Hence, achieving RPA’s anticipated ROI in business, operational and cost impacts demands a deeper level of change in an organization than is apparent at first. Companies that don’t go through the necessary level of change only reap a small portion of the value that a digital technology promises.

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