There are two sides to the conversation around enterprise process automation. On the one hand, there is incredible hype surrounding Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence-enabled intelligent automation, with investments expected to cross $12.6 billion by 2023. On the other hand, between 30% and 50% of technology projects fail — not due to flaws in the solution, but due to poor management.
If you have been struggling to unlock the expected value from your investments, or if you have been hesitating to embark on that ambitious automation project, but remain convinced that business process automation holds potential for your enterprise, chances are that you might be impacted by these pitfalls or influenced by these prevalent myths.
Myth 1: Automation is too expensive
Companies believe that a “big bang approach” to automation is the best, involving a sizeable capex.
Pitfall: Business leaders rip apart and rebuild processes from scratch using automation scripts, which are non-modular and cannot be reused.
Fact: You don’t need to automate the entire enterprise — or even an entire line of business — at once. A micro-services approach that breaks down process monoliths into manageable and automation-ready parts helps to achieve quick wins and keep costs predictable.
Myth 2: Automation is too risky
Companies suspect that automating business processes will add fresh risk vectors — e.g., APIs and data connectors.
Pitfall: Departments or sectors handling sensitive data are not expected to gain from automation efficiency, and only tasks that add lesser business value (therefore, lesser ROI-friendly) are automated.
Fact: Adopting the right compliance standards and regular audits make business process automation as secure as any other digital transformation project. Specifically, businesses must ensure ISO27001 for industry regulations and SOC2 to fulfill customer expectations, and not keep automation restricted to low-value tasks.
Myth 3: Automation is too large-scale
Business process automation is perceived to be suitable for large enterprises only.
Pitfall: Small and mid-sized businesses stay with manual processes as they believe process automation will take too long to unlock benefits, or that the costs outweigh the gains.
Fact: There is a direct correlation between the success of small and mid-sized businesses and their automation maturity, McKinsey has found. As long as they have low to medium variability tasks that occur frequently, organizations of all sizes can gain from automating business processes.
As you can see, these myths and pitfalls can hold back the true potential of business process automation, even if there is organizational readiness and the requisite digital maturity. In our new eBook titled How to implement intelligent automation for scale and unlock its true potential, we discuss these issues in more detail, and outline recommendations for getting started with enterprise automation and also for keeping the automation engines running without friction for the long term.