- Confronting RPA expectations, 38% of executives say projects fail because they are too complex, according to a survey of 400 senior directors, managing directors, owners and C-level execs from ABBYY. Three in 10 projects fail because the intended automation processes are not understood or there's not enough understanding of the underlying automation tools.
- In a scenario where cost is not an issue, almost 40% of leaders say they envision RPA playing a role in improving customer experience. For 35% of executives, RPA will help with back office administrative tasks and financial planning.
- RPA projects are present at one-third of companies, while another 31% plan to execute on RPA projects within the next 12 months.
The current economic landscape puts businesses in a predicament: they need to hit similar revenue goals, under tighter conditions and with less staff.
Though layoffs in IT are usually the last recourse for cash-constrained CIOs, more general staff cutbacks are a likely outcome of a pandemic-induced recession. The IT unemployment rate in April was 4.3%, while the national unemployment rate rose to 14.7%, according to a CompTIA analysis.
The economic contraction will push businesses to rely on automation to keep operations running efficiently, according to John-David Lovelock, distinguished research VP at Gartner.
"The way in which we do business has to become more automated, with less people involved with doing it," Lovelock said, in an interview with CIO Dive.
The technology that powers automation will also see a big boost amid all the disruption. As cloud becomes more critical to business processes, the levels of cloud spending the firm had previously forecasted for 2023 and 2024 will now be hit as early as 2022.
But automation for automation's sake means sinking resources into making inefficient processes run faster. To achieve an efficient RPA implementation, a company's strategic goals need to shape how and where the technology comes into play.
Failures in automation can be sidestepped by working on internal communications, leveraging employee experiences to shape adoption.
Among leaders with working RPA projects, six in 10 say that a strong understanding of the processes being automated helped their projects thrive. Just over half of executives credit advanced implementation planning with helping RPA move forward, while 45% say the simplicity of workflows helped.
For RPA implementations aimed at the back-office, identifying repetitive tasks is key to an efficient deployment.