How RPAaaS Benefits Your Organization
RPAaaS Helps SMBs and Enterprises Scale Their Automations
The revolutionary power of RPA technology has been proven itself repeatedly across several industries, including healthcare, government, and retail. But the success of RPA is often associated with large, high-revenue enterprises with thousands of employees, while the adoption of RPA for small and medium businesses has fallen behind.
Organizations of all sizes can benefit from RPA and have done so. Small and medium businesses have succeeded with small-scale automation at the process level. However, the cost of entry has prevented SMBs from implementing RPA across their entire organization as larger corporations have done.
In 2022, opting out of RPA is not an option, even for small businesses. So what are the barriers to entry for SMBs, and what is the solution?
Barriers to Entry
Cost of entry is the main obstacle preventing most organizations from moving forward with RPA. It’s important to note that “cost of entry” does not only include licensing costs (which are usually nominal) but also other, less measurable costs associated with implementation, infrastructure, employee time, and maintenance.
Expenses that are not measurable pose higher risks for small and midsize businesses. An SMB may need partial time from 5-6 different people to implement a solution. This time and effort are hard to measure. There are also costs associated with taking employees’ time away from the job they were hired to do. In contrast, larger enterprises have the resources to hire a dedicated team. Similarly, it is difficult to predict the amount of time saved after implementation to make up for time sacrificed upfront.
Overall, SMBs cannot take on these programs at scale due to cost. That being said, even large enterprises struggle with scaling their technology. According to a study by Deloitte, only 15% can scale their current solutions. So, even though enterprises can overcome barriers to entry, they will likely reach another roadblock soon after.
If RPA is a must-have, what is key to breaking these barriers down and finding success? One solution, RPAaaS, has recently taken center stage. RPAaas, when executed correctly, can clear the path for most organizations that are hesitant to take on RPA and the organizations that are currently struggling to scale.
The Solution: RPAaaS
RPA as a Service (RPAaaS), sometimes referred to as pay-as-you-go automation, is a third-party vendor that provides RPA technology on a subscription basis. Organizations that opt for RPAaaS will:
From the licensing standpoint, a third party can manage to license to only pay for what you use and avoid unused licenses.
Reduce Short-Term Costs
Many organizations in sectors such as retail, manufacturing, and healthcare are using RPAaaS to eliminate costs associated with traditional RPA. These expenses include licensing agreements and hiring IT professionals to implement bots. RPAaaS makes these business processes more streamlined, saving your organization money.
The scalability of RPAaaS goes hand-in-hand with its overall cost reduction capability. RPA as a Service lessens the risk of over-investment in traditional RPA because immediately upon adopting it, RPAaaS provides access to the infrastructure and knowledge needed to scale RPA programs to fit your company’s size and needs. Without RPAaaS, companies will need to invest separately in that knowledge and infrastructure, which can take time and resources that not all growing companies have.
What Barriers Remain? Challenges of RPAaaS
The reality is that as soon as an organization entrusts RPA as a service, they are opening up their data to a third party. This is a concern in industries like healthcare, where Protecting PII is the highest priority.
It is thought that implementing an RPA solution using an in-house team would eliminate this potential concern, but this may not always be the case. For example, if solutions are built in-house without these safeguards, data can be exposed due to “shoulder surfing.” RPA service providers take the highest precaution to ensure your data is protected.
The good news is that RPA solutions can be designed to mask protected data, and third parties can create solutions without having access to this information. It is possible to make the case that this may be even more secure than traditional development.
The other potential risk is the protection of data in transit. The great thing about RPA is that solutions inherit all of your existing security protocols and IT best practices for data transfer. We can further decrease this risk by leveraging homomorphic encryption. Homomorphic encryption enables organizations not to allow data manipulation without prior entry of an encrypted key.
Cloud computing has become more widely used in today’s increasingly small business world. However, it is far from being universally adopted for RPA Solutions. Concerns around using the cloud are similar to those mentioned above for Data Privacy, so organizations still prefer on-premise solutions. Additionally, most major RPA vendors did not have a thoroughly vetted cloud-based solution for their automation solutions until recently. Due to the novelty of these solutions, there is some hesitance around moving to these solutions.
It is essential to recognize that RPA is an automation solution that sits on top of your existing technology stack to ease these fears. It is non-invasive and does not modify any of your existing infrastructures. There have also been advances in cloud security that further protect your data when and if it has to be moved between environments.
Switching to the cloud can also save money by reducing the need to set up infrastructure in virtual machines to run robots and servers to run orchestrators. Infrastructure represents a considerable cost to an organization, and as mentioned earlier, it can be a barrier to scaling. One other thing to call out is that IT departments may not be familiar with cloud solutions with their premise setup. This causes hesitancy and maybe another barrier to migration to the cloud.
One misnomer that needs to be addressed is that RPAaaS does not necessarily have to be provided from the cloud. Even if the infrastructure is on-premise, the other activities associated with RPAaaS, such as continuous process mining, continuous process delivery, and continuous process testing and support, can still be utilized to deliver significant value to an organization.
Now more than ever, organizations are forced to do more with less. Spending a significant amount of your budget on a service provider can be a heavy lift. The perception is why not use our team to do this, especially if RPA is as easy as possible. As mentioned above, most of your employees have day jobs, so it is hard for them to squeeze in this work, and as such, the full benefits of RPA may not be realized. RPAaaS should be seen as an investment, not an expense.
Organizations need to take a value-based approach to invest in a solution to do this. A simple way to do this is to engage with a partner who will curate your enterprise automation journey. This journey provides a blueprint for your organization over the next few years to ensure the downstream benefits of quickly implementing an RPA solution significantly outweigh the costs.
Managing RPA is difficult when you don’t have a dedicated person, and it is expensive when you do have a dedicated team but don’t have enough processes to support it. Novatio helps close that gap by providing managed services for process mining, implementation, and support via a consumption-based RPAaas model.
With increasing requirements to do more with less and remain lean with costs, RPAaaS makes perfect sense. It is essential to look at RPA as an investment. Equally important is utilizing blueprints to capitalize on your investment. Contact us to find out how we can help you start your automation journey!