Sustainable automation is elusive, but it doesn’t have to be.

by Hari Menon, Chief Strategy Officer | Posted on Monday May 17, 2021

Globally, the automation industry has seen a sharp uptick in the last few years. Between 2018 and 2019, it grew by a whopping 63.1%1, making it the fastest-growing category in enterprise software! If that wasn’t enough, Gartner expects RPA to be a $7 billion market by 20222. So, the (literally) billion-dollar question that needs to be asked is this: What percentage of this investment will achieve sustainable automation and the competitive advantage it produces?

Sustainable automation in beginner vs. mature organizations: what leaders do differently

Companies frequently rush into implementation, motivated by quick wins – but this is not a sustainable automation strategy. While initial investments might be driven by cost savings (which in itself can be valuable), a mature enterprise, or automation “leader,” will take a mid- to longer-term view, with a different set of objectives and priorities. For example, just 1% of automation leaders prioritize cost savings, compared to 8% of beginners. 

In our experience, companies that answer key questions around extensibility, cost-efficient maintenance, visibility without black-boxing, and sustainable investments will be on the right track towards using automation as a driver of business transformation – making automation the gift that keeps on giving. So, how sustainable is automation when design and implementation tick all of these essential boxes?

Making efficiency and scale intersect for a sustainable roadmap

It all begins with re-envisioning the automation lifecycle for economic maintenance, going beyond the simple design-build-deploy structure. We find a more holistic, 7-step approach to attaining sustainable automation, covering exhaustive testing, post-deployment monitoring, management of new opportunities, and culture realignment.

Companies must also ensure with clear accountability and ownership to support business transformation. Nearly half of automation leaders (46%) have a dedicated team/committee tasked with identifying and approving automation projects. For beginners, this number is an underwhelming 7%. Aligning automations to newly conceived processes calls for centralized governance, so you might want to consider a dedicated center of excellence (COE) to manage planned and ongoing automations. 

Finally, you need a three-pronged strategy to reap the benefits of sustainable automation:

  1. Plan early – Start off on the right foot. Take the projected gains from automation to plan long-term and super long-term, sustainable automation deployments, building a continuous cycle of returns and investments.
  1. Implement efficiently – Leverage an app-based approach for implementation. An automation platform powered by HyperApps will give you better visibility into your IT footprint, business processes, and the needs of various stakeholders, without any “black-boxing”. It also makes the implementation more democratic by applying a good information layer to ease comprehension, testing, and validation, by technical and business users alike. 
  1. Re-direct into growth- Position your automations as the bedrock for business innovation. Regularly testing new automation ideas using HyperApps, in line with your evolving business model and new processes, will help maintain the benefits of sustainable automation.

Gartner suggests that automation could save you around 25,000 hours of work annually3, and that’s just in finance. Sustainable automation isn’t just possible – it is an actioned reality for our many customers out there. To know more about’s pathway to sustainable automation using HyperApps, with a detailed 7-step life cycle, download the e-book here.

Download E-book

Gartner, Market Share Analysis: Robotic Process Automation, Worldwide, 2018

Unlock the potential of AI-powered transformation. Talk to one of our experts today.

Topics: automationBusiness TransformationRobotic Process AutomationRPAsustainable automation