Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is already revolutionizing productivity and accuracy in the workplace. However, the amount any business should invest in the technology is contingent on the nature of the business and the limits of RPA. How much a business should invest in RPA comes down to how much work is compatible with automation and how much automation the business can afford to manage.
RPA technology works best with simple, repetitive actions. Right from the beginning, there are obvious limitations to what RPA technology can do for businesses. The objective of RPA is to remove talent from boring, simple practices so they can be reallocated to higher-value work that can't be performed by a machine.
A business should invest as much as it can in automatic simple, practical processes. The technology excels at data-entry tasks, increases data-processing speed, cuts down on errors and simplifies auditing-related compliance. Don't look to RPA to handle complex analysis — that's what employees are for. The actual amount a business should invest depends on how much work can be automated, which can vary wildly from company to company.
While RPA is great at reducing payroll costs for simple tasks, implementing the technology means your business will need to pay people to manage and evaluate automation work. Hypothetically speaking, the RPA software might reduce existing payroll by $500,000 — but it may require paying people $100,000 to handle upkeep and make sure things are working correctly.
Additionally, by being able to process simple tasks faster, your business might find itself with more opportunities to hire additional staff to work, because data entry is no longer a work bottleneck. Therefore, a business needs to consider managing RPA as a cost. Larger operations working with larger amounts of data tend to see a greater return than smaller counterparts.
RPA technology has an excellent ROI potential for businesses, but that potential will eventually suffer from diminishing returns. There is a limit to what RPA can do. It can reduce payroll costs and generate more projects employees can work on. However, at some point, your business will hit a limit regarding how much the technology has to offer.
Consider this hypothetical example using low numbers for ease of understanding: Investing $10 in RPA might save you $40, but investing $15 in RPA might only save you $50. Eventually, your investment in RPA won't be saving your company money — so finding that point is essential in determining how much you should invest.
If your business is looking to start investing or further invest in RPA, finding the right partners can make all the difference in both identifying the ideal jobs for automation and getting that automation running. RPA offers exciting opportunities for businesses to run better.