Robotic Processing Automation (RPA) has started to have a significant impact across different industries as a way to enhance daily operations. In fact, according to a study conducted by Deloitte, 2020 will be a ‘breakout year’ for intelligent automation as it is expected to reach $1 billion with a compound annual growth of 41%. Soon enough, more organizations will take on RPA solutions to remain competitive in their respective fields.

While RPA brings forth so many benefits when properly enforced in business operations, its integration is not a one-step process. Apart from knowing the functions of automation in the business, it’s also important to identify the challenges that may come with it to be prepared. Monstar Lab Philippines managing director Allan Tan breaks down the three biggest challenges in RPA implementation.

1. Familiarity with policy and systems of enterprises

While RPA can lead to a more efficient business operation, improper implementation can only do the enterprise more harm than good.  “It is important to look into their own policy and system to know what RPA tools are applicable to integrate into their process. Familiarity with their industry is also important to know how they can utilize RPA,” Tan says.

Tan also points out how implementing RPA should follow security restrictions. Because such a system deals with confidential data, it’s imperative for an organization to define its structure when it comes to ownership of the automation initiative. Usually, the IT team in organizations takes charge of the proper implementation of the bot systems. However, the responsibility does not solely lie on one team nor on one person. In fact, success lies with the consistent involvement between the integration of the IT team and the business function.

2. Accessibility and expertise with RPA tools

“At this age, it is not enough to know about RPA. What’s more important is to know how to automate. This issue also envelops choosing a good RPA provider and openness of the human workforce to learn about RPA and work with robots,” Tan says.

Without proper knowledge in RPA, organizations may face several technical issues that may result in a dissatisfactory outcome of bot implementation. Outsourced RPA setup should be reviewed carefully for any conflict of interest in terms of timelines, billable hours, and programming timeframe. Concurrently, businesses need to assure that they are working with someone who has expert knowledge in RPA to assure that they are making the most out of their migration to automation.

Additionally, keep in mind that automation is not a cookie-cutter solution, instead, there should be an intervention with an RPA expert to identify the correct RPA system fitting the needs of the business. For example, no code solution utilizes self-learning bots and cuts down coding time. Hence, implementation timelines could be cut short. On the other hand, regular RPA solutions would need more leeway in order for the program to be coded properly.

Lastly, it’s also crucial for organizations to integrate RPA systems with their workforce slowly but surely. Make sure that everyone involved in the processes is on board and receives proper training on how to utilize RPA on day-to-day operations. A better understanding of RPA systems leads to a smoother transition from manual to automated work. Consequently, success results in a more efficient delivery of service within the business and to consumers.

[Here’s a comprehensive guideline on Choosing a Good RPA Platform.]

3. Sustainability

Once RPA is integrated into the organization, the challenge of scalability comes into play. This issue goes especially to large companies as they have several different operations that roll out simultaneously and are codependent among each other. Managing automated systems may require starting and stopping some bots depending on business necessities including managing the maintenance process, and ensuring the error rate is acceptable.

Another challenge to face is up keeping. Since RPA should be utilized as a lasting solution, the system must be continuously worked and maintained following the changes in business policies and regulators. While bots are usually programmed to follow best practices, programming them for maintenance should be relatively easy. Despite this, maintenance should never be treated as a joke and should be one of the top priorities to assure smooth operation.

[See related article: Guide To Sustainable RPA Implementation ]
Ultimately, the key to a successful RPA implementation is proper education and preparation. Luckily there is a plethora of information available when needed. At the same time, there are expert groups that are more than willing to assist enterprises in automating their business processes.

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