A 2012 report from HfS Research contained some pretty incredible facts surrounding robotic process automation, specifically in terms of leveraging RPA as a more cost-effective alternative to outsourcing. In fact, the executive summary read as follows: “While an onshore FTE costing $80k can be replaced by an offshore FTE for $30k, a robot… can perform the same function for $15k or less.”
What company in the world wouldn’t jump on a chance to save that kind of money? Yet, despite these incredibly impressive numbers, there are still a surprising number of organizations that simply have not yet jumped on the bandwagon. Why? Well, there are a number of reasons. Let’s take a look at two of the biggest hurdles.
It’s not a priority at an executive level.
Another, more recent study conducted by HfS revealed that amongst executives in both North America and Europe, very few in either group listed robotic process automation as something critically important to invest in – only a mere 11% in North America and 7% in Europe. A larger number, 78% of European executives, did view RPA as somewhat important, but for 45% of C-suite execs in North America, RPA wasn’t even identified as something worth investing in. In other words, the decision makers are still not fully on-board.
Outsourcing is still winning out.
Regardless of the fact that extensive research has proven that robotic process automation is a much wiser investment than outsourcing and off-shoring, the latter is still the preferred option of the majority of enterprises. It is believed that the reason behind this is largely due to habit. It’s what these organizations know and are comfortable with. There is always a perceived risk when something new and unfamiliar is explored.
How can these objectives be overcome once and for all?
There’s no magical solution to attaining more widespread adoption of robotic process automation, but there are certain things that can be done to improve the chances and speed the process. Ultimately, it may come down to additional proof, that is, a number of substantiated, high-profile cases in which RPA adoption resulted in greater benefits than other available options.
For instance, as executive-level professionals begin to see how RPA negates the need to seek out cost-effective labor (i.e. outsourcing) and eliminates the problems associated with things like sick time and seasonal fluctuations. Robotic process automation provides organizations the scalability and control to adjust to any situation. Best of all, it’s cheaper than other options, so it truly is a win-win.
As case studies and other reports continue to roll out substantiating these facts, RPA will become more attractive and adoption will begin to spread more significantly across the globe.
Of course, if you’re reading this article, you already recognize, to some degree, how powerful, effective and affordable RPA can be.