Challenges of Implementing Robotic Process Automation
By far, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is one of the biggest gifts of technology to the organizations, thriving to perform well. It empowers an organization to automate repetitive tasks, thereby increasing efficiency to compete with companies of every size. Hence, organizations are proactively adopting RPA tools to enhance the speed of operation. Despite of the benefit of RPA, the process of its implementation involves challenges. Challenges can occur in many forms such as:
Determining what to automate
The most difficult part is, to choose the specific area where automation is required to improve the operational efficiency. From a broader perspective, automation is desirable in many areas of a business but, not all processes can be automated. Thus, automation will be more profitable in few processes of a company and it is a challenge to locate those processes. Thus, a personalized RPA tool can enhance the functionality of a particular area.
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The processes that can be easily automated can be the best choice however, there are certain pre-requisites that cannot be overlooked before investing in automation. The process in a business where RPA can be implemented has to follow few rules. The process needs to be repetitive, voluminous and should not depend on human intervention. Often it becomes cumbersome to locate a process that comply with all the above-mentioned points.
Challenges faced from business perspective
Again, companies which has long, and complex process needs to be cautious, as not to skip any critical step in a process. Any gap in the system can hamper the RPA process and block the whole automation. Thus, for an RPA to become successful, the product owner should prepare documentation with accuracy while the RPA developer need to focus on crucial data for automation.
The probable technical challenges
While implementing RPA, technical problems can arise. Infact, not all RPA tools are compatible with remote desktop environments, which can cause technical errors. The RPA developer must possess relevant knowledge and experience without which, the implementation process will not work.
Based on the volume of data and the complexity associated with it, the implementation of the RPA tool happens. Data can be both structured as well as unstructured, now, it is challenging to choose the appropriate tool to handle the relevant data.
Risk of creating silos
Every business process has its own operational procedure to integrate data structure. In case of usage of well-known business tools such as, SAP or Salesforce, RPA developers are expected to separately configure data, to ensure compatibility with the system. Again, at times, just because the data is configured in another system, it becomes challenging to automate the required process.
Another technical challenge that can occur while implementing RPA is, if the scanned document is of low quality, the OCR technology will not be able to process the data in correct format. However, usage of document capture tools, can fix the issue to some extent.
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Upgrading tools can also become challenging at times thus, regression testing along with checking compatibility with latest version is essential before updating. This will ensure stability and reliability.
Encounter organizational challenges
Before considering implementation of RPA, security permissions are necessary which takes considerable time making the process lengthy and cumbersome.
Resistance from employees
Mostly companies lack good rapport between its leaders and the junior employees. It is a prerequisite to implement RPA, because leaders need to orient employees with the concept of RPA before implementing it. This will help employees realize the benefit of RPA to minimize repetitive task and improve efficiency.
Change is never easy, Infact, no use case can set a path for change. Thus, a unique obstacle will surely cross path while RPA is embraced. As someone rightly said once, “You must embrace change before change erases you.” Hence, it is absolutely necessary to overcome challenges in order to implement RPA for an effective and efficient process.
- Kathakali Basu