As a whole, it’s understood that the robotic process automation (RPA) market is poised to explode over the next few years. Figures from Grand View Research peg the market to be worth $8.75 billion by 2024, led by interest in enhanced accuracy, compliance, cost-savings, and scalability. It’s estimated that the tools afforded by RPA are 65% less expensive than full-time employees, providing a cost-saving alternative from outsourcing.
Depending on who you speak to, RPA is a beneficial add to the enterprise. According to a survey by Enterprise Irregulars, 58% of 136 surveyed enterprises indicated satisfaction in their RPA initiatives. However, the real data lies within individual industries. Consider some of the information they found:
- Cost savings satisfaction was highest with marketing and IT departments while lower with customer service and finance. For the former, satisfaction comes from being able to extend legacy solutions and automate manual tasks. In the latter, dissatisfaction is caused by over-investment, resulting in an extreme reduction of workforce.
- Business satisfaction was highest with procurement and IT service desks, while lower business value was realized with customer service and finance accounting. When IT processes and the acquisition of business items could be automated, enterprises found higher business value. In similarity, finance and customer service still found less value.
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In analyzing these numbers, Enterprise Irregulars discovered that many organizations were using RPA for cost-elimination, which wasn’t necessarily the best plan of action. Greater satisfaction was instead found in process improvements. How does this speak to approaching RPA?
- Think Long Term: While it’s easy to think that technology is the cure-all, the reality with RPA lies within process improvement. Employee reduction is something to think about on the long term, but tweaking processes to optimize the business in the short term should take center stage.
- Customer Obsession Still Happens with RPA: The customer is still king, even if they are talking to a robot. Enterprise Irregulars discovered continued interest in chatbots and virtual agent solutions and considering how automation still has a way to go here, there is a lot of room for innovation.
With these considerations in mind, it’ll be interesting to see where the RPA market heads in the coming quarters.
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