Since early 2020, robotic process automation (RPA) has become an increasingly attractive option for companies seeking to accelerate their digital transformation strategies to meet the demands of operating in a pandemic world with surging virtual interactions and transactions.
There’s little doubt that RPA can deliver if done right. Even before the pandemic hit, Deloitte’s third annual RPA survey found that more than half of those surveyed were already using RPA in their operations.
Beyond the big-ticket benefits of greater productivity, better accuracy and fewer costs, RPA can make it easier for companies to meet compliance obligations, increase security, improve customer experiences and gather better data for decision making.
It’s also non-disruptive technology that acts as a layer on top of a company’s current applications, working behind the scenes to help staff complete tasks.
However, in the rush to invest and implement RPA, companies must be aware of the risks associated with selecting and maintaining solutions that are a poor fit and could potentially erode efficiency gains and increase their financial burden.
Companies seeking to introduce RPA currently have two options – develop an in-house program or work with an established external partner that provides RPA-as-a-Service.
The self-hosted approach may seem, on paper, to be more appealing because it allows companies to apply their in-house knowledge of processes and use in-house talent.
Yet the reality of this approach is that staff become embroiled in a time-consuming procurement and delivery process.
It’s one that involves choosing from a menu of separately licensed bot modules; determining whether those bots will be attended or unattended; how many are needed; their likely run-time; and the number of users.
Then there’s implementing onsite hosting infrastructure; installing applications; negotiating which processes to automate; testing, training and iterating — all while trying to maintain BAU responsibilities.
The requisite RPA support, maintenance and upgrades then devolve to often-overburdened IT teams.
Along with the considerable lag in time-to-value (TTV) and potential erosion of efficiency gains, the long-term cost of ownership is often grossly underestimated.
The alternative option is to partner with an RPA service provider that does the heavy lifting without being distracted by the many obstacles or time trade-offs that often impede an in-house team.
The outsourced model is one that is gaining greater favour with global businesses. A study published by Grand View research in April 2021, showed that service solutions had a 61% share of the entire US-based RPA market in 2021.
Outsourcing to a service provider allows your company to reap the benefits of RPA while dispensing with all the complications that otherwise would come with development and maintenance.
You also gain greater flexibility and control over the roll out because you can pilot one process and see the ROI before you commit to addressing other business processes.
It’s a sure-fire way of reducing risk, locking in productivity gains and realising your ROI sooner plus it gives you all the benefits of an RPA program without the hassle of getting there.
“Our aim is, and has always been to enable our clients to realise all the benefits of business automation without the investment of getting there alone. RPA-as-a-Service is the perfect embodiment of this, allowing them to get up and running sooner so they can focus on what sets them apart.”Ken Hickey – Head of Business Process Solutions, Canon Business Services
See how Canon New Zealand Sales and Support Operations used RPA-as-a-Service to reduce the time taken on manual tasks by up to 80%.
Using a service provider to deploy, link or maintain RPA cloud operability frees you from installation, maintenance, administration, and upgrades, and ensures continuity of service, quick response times and a 24/7 supported environment.
Hosting RPA in the cloud also makes it scalable. That means you can use what they need now, but expand or contract depending on future needs. This option is frequently more cost efficient than buying high-capacity software licences that don’t get used to their full extent.
With knowledgeable, experienced and expert guidance, an RPA service provider can take care of everything required to deliver integrated, intelligent automation across an entire business ecosystem.
This means any complex task from identifying RPA prospects and building tailored bots, to monitoring and maintaining them. By adopting this outsourced model, you can avoid financial outlays on new hires or on training programs for staff that could also slow BAU productivity.
“Converga has enabled us to automate a complicated 45-minute manual task, saving time and hassle.”Matt Devin, CFO, Allied Credit Australia
Engaging RPA-as-a-Service eliminates any need for you to stand up your own costly division of specialists. Instead, you can tap into a provider’s centre of excellence that includes business analysts, solution architects, developers, infrastructure engineers, and service support staff who are all highly skilled and experienced in RPA delivery across a variety of sectors, domains, platforms and tools.
Outsourcing RPA on a subscription basis means a provider hosts the environment, provides the software and all the support services, ensuring your business continuity and security of data.
Unlike an in-house RPA solution where copious time must be spent assessing the infrastructure needed to run RPA across an enterprise and then building that infrastructure, RPA-as-a-Service lets you deploy existing automation software from the cloud. Activation and configuration literally takes just a few clicks and the time to produce customised, high-quality and high-productivity bots can be reduced from months to weeks.
Watch how Converga’s RPA-as-a-Service model can get you up and running 88% faster than a typical RPA implementation ensuring you reap the gains of RPA much sooner than doing it yourself.
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