Enterprises find robotic process automation (RPA) effective but difficult to deploy and maintain, a new study said.
About 67% of respondents said RPA applications were more effective than they anticipated, and nearly as many respondents thought bots are bringing in a higher return on investment than they initially expected, according to the survey conducted by Massachusetts-based software company Pegasystems.
About 50% of respondents said bots are challenging solutions to deploy, and RPAs also reportedly made IT operations more complex.
Pegasystems polled 509 decision-makers from businesses currently using RPA or robotic desktop automation applications.
Respondent companies spanned the insurance, healthcare, manufacturing, communications, media and financial services sectors across the UK, US, France, Germany, Australia and the Netherlands.
Deployment of the solutions was a key concern. The report found it generally takes 18 months to push bots into the production stage. On average, only 39% of the bots are deployed on schedule, the survey found.
Maintenance ranked as the second pain point. Respondents said they ended up allocating more time in getting bots up and running than they had initially expected.
About 41% of respondents said that the time and resources allocated to manage bots were more than they anticipated.
Almost 87% of respondents said they had experienced some level of bot failure.
Respondents said deploying bots helped them reduce business costs and improved employee experience. About 51% of respondents said bots were enabling people to work more efficiently and effectively.
“We believe robotic automation serves as a bridge to digital transformation – not as the end game. That’s because bots are only band-aids that temporarily mask the bad processes still lurking underneath. By combining RPA in the short run and digital process automation (DPA) in the long run, organisations can drive seamless automation from end-to-end and truly future proof their enterprise,” said Don Schuerman, chief technology officer, Pegasystems.
Recent studies on automation
In June, a report by Gartner found RPA has become the fastest-growing segment in the global enterprise software market.
That same month, a study by RPA software firm UiPath and Economist Intelligence Unit found that 86% of respondents in India were satisfied with the benefits of automating business processes.