By Chuy & Torston:
Work with the Bots, not work FOR the Bots
Since Robotic Process Automation (RPA) first emerged in service delivery operations, it continues to make strong advances and is rapidly expanding! Bots are clearly making their marks! However, Bots do get sick and they can get sick often! In reality, many an RPA developer team is finding themselves spending more time managing and supporting Bots in production rather than truly developing new Bots. It eventually leads to low satisfaction from the relevant stakeholders. Like a contingency plan required for most enterprise technologies, RPA maintenance needs to be in place to deal with sick Bots and this is where RPA Managed Service (MS) comes into play. However, a challenge surfaces where businesses lack the internal resources to maintain their digital workforce. With RPA scaling up, businesses are revealing more and more reasons for engaging Managed Service Providers (MSP) for RPA projects.
This article shares with you the key concepts of RPA Managed Services to help you maximize the value of your organizations RPA programs:
- Benefits of engaging an RPA Managed Service Provider
- Difference between RPA Managed Service vs. Other Enterprise Technology Managed Services
- What should an effective RPA Managed Service Deliver
Benefits of Engaging an RPA Managed Service Provider
1. Risk Reduction
Your RPA MSP will take the risk associated with RPA Bots breakdown. A qualified MSP team with superior technical and process expertise will eliminate compliance or regulatory risks.
2. Fixed Costs
Constant break-fix cycles that require Bots to be pulled out of production leads to soaring maintenance costs stopping them from delivering on expected ROI. Having RPA MS outsourced allows you to predict the costs spent in maintenance and support. Allocating internal resources or reshuffling resources between Bot development and support could be painful while a third-party MSP gives you a fix charge on a monthly basis. It makes budgeting and planning much easier to manage.
3. Best Practices
Engaging an RPA MSP gives you the opportunities to tap into industry best practices. A qualified MSP will not just fix issues in a timely manner but also offer industry knowledge on cutting-edge updates and solutions for constant improvement. On the contrast, keeping RPA MS in house has not only proven to be more difficult but also hinders team development. Constant break-fix cycles can easily discourage the team and produce a negative vibe.
4. Strategic Focus
Bot maintenance is a less strategic component of your RPA journey. Ultimately these break-fix cycles can limit team’s capability to develop and deliver new automation projects and can lead your whole automation program to stagnate. Engaging an MSP means your RPA team can spend less hours on low value time-consuming activities but more time on strategic development, delivering broader business objectives that RPA was meant to drive, such as cost reduction, process improvement, technology expansion, process mining, RPA capability enhancement, and automation scaling at an enterprise level.
With all benefits listed above engaging a Managed Service Provider is by no means a nirvana solution. It will not fix all your RPA problems. However, it does bring less risks, reduced cost, better productivity, less distractions and more strategic focus to your organization.
The difference between RPA Managed Service vs. Other Technology Managed Service
Ultimately it is the difference between technologies that matters. RPA is known as a low-code to no-code technology. RPA development cycle is by far the most agile among the similar types of automation projects. For instance, an end-to-end RPA implementation should not take more than 4-6 weeks, from process assessment to documentation, to deployment and production. The rapid rollout provides a simple Managed Service requirement to maintain it, unlike traditional Managed Services for large Enterprise Systems such as Oracle and SAP, where a large team is needed to maintain the applications and database. This is due to the fact the number of points of failure are so significant that a framework for managed services is essential, which can be bureaucratic and extensive. However, with proper documentation for processes and procedures for RPA, all that is essentially required is a practical approach to manage Bots in production, which significantly reduces the costs on the layers of supervisory team and infrastructure.
What should an effective RPA Managed Service Provider deliver?
From reactive to proactive
Too often RPA maintenance and support is reactionary: Maintenance happens when a Bot has produced an error, and automation teams scramble to minimize downtime. An effective RPA MPS should aim to transition from reactive RPA management to a proactive strategy by identifying root causes to prevent Bots failing in the future.
Identify automation opportunities
Having real time information on Bots performance means team can better track idol capacity of some licenses, which gives a more holistic view on how efficient or inefficient automation is driving value for your organization. An effective MSP should also take a deep dive into processes and identify automation opportunities.
By monitoring Bots performance live, an effective RPA MPS can deliver insights on trends by using historical data such as Bots processing time. Powered by additional automation technologies such as Business Intelligence and Advanced Analytics these identified trends can enable RPA MPS to provide the right solutions to scale the most efficient automation initiatives, and extend automation capabilities beyond RPA to Hyperautomation.
Reduced risks on integration within your existing IT organization
An effective RPA MS requires a robust governance system to examine the RPA maintenance from end to end, identifying automation opportunities by analysing Bots performance reports, the number of errors, the number of turndown times and so on. All need to be properly documented to provide sufficient training and operational support for future RPA scaling.
There are risks associated with using existing procedure and processes made for large enterprise systems, rather than adopting the existing procedure and processes to fit for RPA technologies. These two technologies are different and the drivers are different. Therefore, the maintenance programs need to be treated differently. We also recommend to engage an RPA MSP with strong end-to-end process expertise and industry best practices to map the gap and operationalize your existing Enterprise Level MS for the RPA technologies.
Gartner predicts that by 2024 most organizations will be able to lower their operational costs by as much as 30 per cent by both redesigning their processes and implementing automation technologies. Even with such a high growth rate predicted there is plenty of evidence across industries which suggests enterprises are struggling with RPA management. Having an effective RPA Managed Service in place is essential to ensure your digital workforce is working for you and not the other way around.