The verdict is in: "Robots are beginning to rise." Those were the words spoken by Gartner Fellow Daryl Plummer when he listed this year's top 10 strategic predictions for 2016 and beyond. For IT and BPO service providers that are ready to take the plunge, this validates their decision to leverage robotic process automation (RPA) in their service portfolios to improve retention and win new business.
If your organization is moving forward with RPA, then you already know that now comes the burdensome part: evaluating and choosing the right RPA tools to meet your particular needs, or those of your customers', while ensuring ROI. To help you make a more informed decision, we have identified the essential evaluation criteria for selecting an end-to-end RPA solution in this helpful guide:
Ease and Speed of Implementation
One of the main attractions of RPA is in its promise to make our lives easier and more efficient. Many enterprise clients turn to BPOs for an RPA solution because the development time for business process automation that they received from their IT department was too long, too messy, and too costly. So first and foremost you want a solution that can be up and running smoothly and rapidly, with minimal disturbances to other technologies and organizational resources.
To this end, you need to consider the following elements:
- Establishment of infrastructure: Does the architecture lend itself to quick and reliable deployment? Does it enable easy change management? Does quickly can it respond to business request?
- Creation of processes: How long will it take to develop the automation scenarios? What is the estimated length of time to initial deployment considering processes that you are looking to automate?
A good rule of thumb: Looks for solutions that have an intuitive and user-friendly authoring environment (studio) that allow for quick and easy creation of automation processes. This will enable you to create a unique offering for your customers which is not limited by the technology of the automate application or the skills of your scripts developers.
- Training: How much training will your workforce need now and over time? How stable is the solution and how much maintenance will be required?
A good rule of thumb: Looks for solutions that require no integration with target applications and can run business processes across multiple applications. This will both maximize your automation platform and require less training so you can execute new projects in no time.
Ease of Operation
Another claim to fame is RPA's promise to provide organizations the ability to effectively adapt to operational demands and business needs on a whim. Consequently, deciding factors in selecting an RPA vendor should include how quickly and easily the solution can respond to business requirements, changes, exceptions or increasing operations.
Here are the important factors to consider:
- Scalability: Does the solution have the capability to rapidly scale up when demand calls for increased output?
A good rule of thumb: Take a close look at the scheduling and execution capabilities of the software robots. Some robots can execute a variety of processes, and in special cases, such as with Leo robots, a single robot can execute unlimited processes. This enables you to serve more customers, faster and with fewer resources.
- Flexibility: How flexible is the solution to address the changing realities of IT and business needs (changes in application, processes, procedures, regulatory requirements, etc.)?
A good rule of thumb: Look at solutions that can work on any type of application (desktop, web, legacy), requires no integration, and can execute business processes over multiple systems.
- Core technology capabilities: What components are built-in (IMR, OCR, etc.)? How is maintenance, distribution, and updating handled?
A good rule of thumb: Look for multi-faceted solutions that will enable you to increase your offer and provide your customers with a wider range of automation solutions and cover more automation processes. For example, using the Leo 2-in-1 platform, once you have offloaded rules-based tasks to your virtual workforce, you then can leverage the same Leo platform to deliver desktop automation to your existing human workforce.
We hope this guide provides you with a starting point from which to choose the best RPA solution to include in your service portfolio. Ultimately, the decision as to which robotic process automation product is right for your organization will also depend on specific circumstances that are unique to your business needs. If you have any criteria to add to the guide or questions, please let us know in the comments below.