Robotic process automation is one of the biggest advances benefiting businesses today. The ability to shift a large number of tasks to technology as well as scale up or down instantly based on need is helping companies of every size become more efficient and subsequently more competitive. The problem is, when you choose to have this handled anywhere other than in-house, things don’t always go as smoothly as anticipated. If you’re thinking of outsourcing RPA for your firm, here are 4 common challenges other companies have faced so you can prepare for them ahead of time.
Time-frames and Red Tape
Inevitably, if you are going to rely on an external resource for your robotic process automation, there will be plenty of contracts, legalities and other red tape to deal with. There is also a longer time frame for getting up and running because the process almost always involves competitive bidding, provider evaluations, negotiations and then the actual implementation.
In-house robotic process automation, on the other hand, does not come with nearly as many burdens. Additionally, because it is built upon a much deeper knowledge of the business in question and can be tested and improved over time, the results are typically much more favorable.
Because outsourced RPA requires providers to offer a robust, enterprise-level global solution that can scale to support the highest capacities, the robotic software technologies these providers rely on may be somewhat limited. This isn’t to imply that the offering is a one-size-fits-all approach, but rather that there aren’t nearly as many options to choose from as there are emerging technologies.
Handling robotic process automation internally provides a greater degree of flexibility and the luxury of choosing from a wider pool of platforms based more on what your business needs are and which product has the best features for meeting those needs.
Roles, Responsibilities and Job Security
When an organization chooses to outsource RPA, the resulting shift in the roles and responsibilities of existing IT personnel can be quite disruptive. Many day to day tasks will no longer be handled in-house, and without adequate work to go around, downsizing will likely be a necessity. This can lead to an overall dip in morale across the entire organization, which is never good for business.
Conducting robotic process automation in-house, on the other hand, creates a completely different dynamic in the workforce. While efficiency levels will go up, operating costs will drop dramatically. Those employees who were once responsible for the tasks that are now automated will still be valuable to the company, it’s just that their roles will evolve. Furthermore, they will be freed up to take on more challenging work while the costs associated with keeping everyone on board remain constant or may even come down.
Since outsourced automation means that human processes and activities will be reduced, the benefits to the business will naturally be more outcome-based rather than focusing on full-time equivalent (FTE). As a result, the delivery model will need to be closely reliant on customer business processes. This can complicate the internal governance process because any unanticipated changes could potentially impact automated workflows.
Because of this, workflow governance and compliance structures must be designed to incorporate complete transparency of any and all business process changes. Without an adequate plan in place ahead of time, a potential disruption could cause significant problems for the business as a whole. These challenges are mitigated when robotic process automation is handled in-house.