According to a recent global study by Pegasystems of 500 decision-makers, including 77 in Australia, organisations are spending more time and effort getting bots up and running than anticipated, with 68% of Australian respondents citing bot deployment as their greatest challenge and 66% confessing that bots are harder to deploy than they first thought.
Meanwhile, globally, only 39% of bots are deployed on schedule – Australia lags behind at 33% – and it typically takes 18 months on average to successfully push bots live into production.
But despite concerns over deployment and maintenance 73% of Australian organisations said that robotic automation is even more effective than they originally anticipated, compared to the global average of 67%.
And Australian respondents ranked the top benefits of robotic automation as:
- Better work production: Respondents said ‘enabling people to work more efficiently, effectively, and accurately’ ranked as the biggest benefit of bots (picked by 62% of respondents).
- Healthier bottom line: ‘Reducing overall business costs’ ranked second with 49%.
- Happier employees and customers: 47% report the top benefit is improved employee experience.
Survey respondents reported other issues including:
- Bot lifespans aren’t all that long: Inevitable changes to the underlying enterprise architecture will likely lead to increased bot breakage over time. Already, 92% of Australian respondents experienced some level of bot failures, exceeding the global average of 87%. Overall, maintenance ranked as the second biggest problem bot users face. Across the globe, expectations of a bot’s lifecycle vary – Australian organisations expect bots to last on average 2.6 years, versus 4.1 years in the US, and 3.8 years in the UK.
- Bots need more maintenance than expected: With bot breakage a near certainty, RPA and RDA can’t be viewed as a set-it-and-forget-it task. Globally, 41% of respondents said that ongoing bot management is taking more time and resources than expected, and two out of five (40%) Australian decision makers are feeling the same frustration. Bots also add another layer of complexity to IT. How much? In Australia and the rest of the world, 38% of bot use has brought more complexity than expected and on average globally 26% said they added more ‘shadow IT’ issues than expected.
But despite these issues, Pegasystems says one thing is clear - bots deliver on their promise when deployed in the right situations – and globally 66% of organisations think bots bring more value and ROI than originally expected, while only 13% have been let down by the amount of value and ROI they’ve seen.
Pegasystems cites a recent Gartner report that: “RPA software revenue grew 63.1 percent in 2018 to $846 million, making it the fastest-growing segment of the global enterprise software market.”