Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) continues to grow. In fact, research suggests that the RPA market will reach nearly $2 billion in revenue in 2021 alone. That is almost a 20 percent growth over 2020!
As the demand for RPA continues to grow, so does the number of RPA consultants in the market. The following are four qualities that all business leaders should take into consideration when searching for a partner to guide your RPA initiatives.
1) Process Mapping and Design Capability
Every builder knows the adage of measure twice, cut once. That guiding principle is equally relevant for businesses seeking to implement RPA. It’s critical that before you automate a task or process, you make sure you have a thorough understanding of how it works and that you also have a plan for any employees that might be impacted.
Too many RPA consultants have the technical expertise but are lacking in process optimization and documentation skills. They set up automations without first understanding how the process affects the business and its long-term goals. The result is that they end up working to automate a broken process, sinking resources, and ultimately delaying the benefits of RPA. In contrast, an effective RPA partner will rework processes with automation in mind, being sure to document everything to serve as a vital resource both immediately and in the future.
2) Collaborative Approach
A successful implementation of RPA requires steady collaboration between business process owners and the technical team developing the automation. It is possible for an RPA development team to simply fulfill the specifications given to them, but it’s highly likely that the resulting automation won’t last long-term as it runs into edge cases or new situations for which it was not designed.
By working with a collaborative partner that will first understand your processes, ask insightful questions, and determine the desired business outcomes, you can be confident that the solution will work over the long haul.
3) Technical Sophistication
Your RPA consultant should have deep expertise in, and positive relationships with, industry-leading technology partners. If your business’s needs lie in building out unattended automations, for example, you want a partner that understands the limitations of the applicable RPA platform and can, if necessary, extend its capabilities with custom software code. If your needs are more complex, and you need to automate the processing of highly unstructured data, then you will want a partner with expertise in complementary technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning. These are technology solutions you’ll be relying on for years, so they need to be built on a solid foundation, and your chosen partner should have the expertise to deliver.
4) Ongoing Support
At its core, Robotic Process Automation is a rules-based computer program. This means that if a new step is added to, or if one is removed from, an automated process, there’s potential for it to stop working in part or in whole. This is why ongoing support is so critical; your automations will likely require some tweaking to adapt to process changes over time.
It’s important to understand that your RPA journey doesn’t end at the implementation stage. Your RPA consultant should have a long, reliable history and be able to provide ongoing maintenance so that you don’t have to worry about the automation failing in the months or years ahead.
Your RPA Consultant Is the Key to Success
Your chosen partner can make or break your RPA initiative. It’s so important to select the right partner with the proper expertise and capabilities to assist with everything from design and implementation to maintenance and support. These 4 criteria provide a general framework for vetting potential RPA service providers.
Do you want to learn more about our experience and capabilities with RPA deployments? Contact us today to schedule your free, 30-minute consultation.