Surveys finds the foundation to RPA success is in-depth understanding of processes and planning

70% say that a strong understanding of business processes that are to be automated is critical to Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

An in-depth understanding of processes and workflows is the is the primary success factor for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) projects, according to a survey conducted among 400 senior decision makers in the US, UK, France and Germany. However, the research noted that only 31% of US organisations are currently using process mining tools to understand their processes.

Decision makers in the US credited three success factors for RPA initiatives, with a strong understanding of business processes that are to be automated as the top factor (70%), followed by advanced planning (63%), and having a simple workflow to automate (50%). Conversely, the two leading factors causing RPA project failures were the complexity of projects (57%) and not fully understanding the intended automated process (39%).

Process mining is becoming a critical component of automation efforts with 42% of US respondents saying they are in early stages or considering adopting process mining platforms, while 31% are already using these tools. Furthermore, 41% believe these solutions would be helpful for understanding how their business processes worked, with organizations also seeing the value of process mining for real-time performance updates (43%) and analysing behaviours to improve processes (39%).

The survey also revealed that while some (29%) US organizations strictly follow process rules, most (60%) said there are exceptions and deviations to successfully complete processes.

The most popular reason why processes were not always strictly followed was that employees may deviate to meet customer needs (58%). This points to the growing need for more advanced process mining solutions capable of tracking, analyzing and predicting varied, ad hoc processes in real-time.

“There is a direct relation to RPA project failure and not adequately understanding business process workflows and how they may deviate,” commented Scott Opitz, Chief Marketing Officer at ABBYY. “It’s becoming clearer to organizations that process knowledge is fundamental for successful automation initiatives. More advanced process mining tools are required to offer real-time visualization of bottlenecks, analysis of how various process execution patterns impact costs, and alerts to proactively notify staff if something is occurring or perhaps not occurring in the process. Armed with this more comprehensive process insight, organizations can better identify opportunities for business process automation and prioritize those with the highest ROI potential.”

The global survey was sponsored by ABBYY and executed by Opinium Research in March 2020 with organizations across healthcare, financial services, logistics and transportation, and government.

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