3 minute read 15 May 2016
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Get ready for robots: Why planning for success makes the difference

Software Robotics, or RPA promises to transform the cost, efficiency and quality of executing many of the processes that businesses rely on people to perform.

That’s the good news but RPA is not without its challenges. We have delivered RPA projects across 20 countries and are often called upon to help companies when their first attempt failed. While RPA can transform the economics and service level of current manual operations, we have seen as many as 30 to 50% of initial RPA projects fail. This isn’t a reflection of the technology; there are many successful deployments. But there are some common mistakes that will often prevent an organization from delivering on the promise of RPA.

As one of the largest RPA consultancies delivering programs globally to financial services organisations, EY is often called in to get RPA programs back on track. This is the first in a series of papers based on our practical experience and the lessons we have learned. In this paper, we examine the common issues that we see clients facing as they move forward with robotics projects. Subsequent papers will define robotics and explore its potential, how best to structure RPA programs and advanced robotics.

Given the promise of RPA, where do companies go wrong? 

Any technology that can reduce the costs of existing manual operations by 25% to 40% or more without changing existing systems, yet improve service and generate return on investment ( ROI ) in less than a year, can truly be described as transformational and disruptive.

Getting RPA projects right is difficult. We have identified the top 10 issues that companies always need to address to deliver on the promise of RPA. Learn more about these here.

One further thought

In order to best gain buy-in to RPA by senior stakeholders, we recommend that an RPA portfolio balances cost reduction with other value drivers such as service improvement, transformative services, improved regulatory response and growth.

While delivering cost-savings is great, “headline-grabbing” service improvements or showing entirely new and innovative digital services or products makes the senior stakeholders even more interested in making RPA happen. We hope this paper has helped you with the main areas to consider when you are starting a project. Our next few papers will focus on how to organize and restructure for success.