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The Top Automation Challenges Facing Enterprises in 2020

3 min read
Jan 2, 2020 9:30:00 AM

At the end of 2022, 72% of Fortune-1000 companies will have adopted some sort of business process automation. By 2027, all of them will have implemented Digital Process Automation (DPA) in one form or another. It’s no surprise Gartner has identified it as the fastest-growing enterprise software category.

The rate of both current and projected adoption and market expansion is clear, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t significant challenges and barriers for large organizations buying into DPA technology. Some of the most common growing pains include delayed time-to-value and most painstakingly, the inability to scale DPA and see impactful, tangible results across the enterprise. 

According to market research and our collective insight with the industry’s top analysts, vendors, and customers, here are the top five automation challenges confronting enterprise executives in 2020:

Challenge #1 - Choosing the right business processes to automate

As Robotic Process Automation (RPA) gained traction and began to be viewed not only as a viable option, but the next phase of business process evolution, the assumption was that its ROI would be delivered by reducing headcounts as bots automated what humans did manually. That hasn’t been the case.

Instead, the return on investment has been realized by making business processes more reliable, quicker, and of higher quality—freeing the talent that once performed these repetitive, mechanical tasks and allowing them to focus their energy and time on more critical, higher-value deliverables directly tied to key business objectives.

The challenge for the enterprise executives sponsoring their DPA business cases is deciding not just which business processes to automate, but the right ones to automate to drive ROI and the value in automation.

Challenge #2 - Scaling Digital Process Automation

According to research by HFS and KPMG, the majority of enterprise automation initiatives have not scaled. In a previous blog post we predicted that in 2020, enterprise-wide automation will become a top strategic priority for at least one quarter of Global 2000 companies.

Even though large organizations have abundantly invested in automation software – whether it’s been Process Discovery tools, Robotic Process Automation vendors, or a combination of both – scale has been impeded by a reported lack of enterprise-wide automation strategy and shortage of both leadership and talent.

We’ve mentioned that one of the ways to overcome this challenge is to get the right people involved in DPA initiatives from the start and establish an automation Center of Excellence to standardize a framework for deployment and define requirements to become operational and realize a quicker time-to-market.

Challenge #3 - Accounting for regulatory and enterprise constraints

Large organizations are finding that after implementing their digital workforce, their expectations are misaligned with both enterprise constraints and visibility into critical business processes. Automated business processes that are tied to evolving regulations, controls, or policies have to be pulled from production, analyzed, and then modified and tested before they can be made operational again.

This is causing not only re-work, but also prohibiting scale. Executives need to find a way to better connect their critical business processes to constraints – especially the ones in heavily regulated industries – to better manage change.

Challenge #4 - Effectively governing automation

As previously stated, the biggest challenge impacting large organizations in their DPA efforts is their inability or difficulty to apply automation at scale. A root cause of this is how automation projects are governed.

Different, isolated teams are taking ownership of separate business processes to automate. IT teams or technical assets are then charged to implement and execute automation, using the software the organization has invested in to design and deploy the bots. This is creating significant dependencies and bottlenecks, limiting agility and effectiveness.

Challenge #5 - Optimizing business processes before automating them

Just automating business processes eliminates the opportunity to make your processes better by identifying where there’s waste. Of course, this challenge is compounded because business process optimization with automation software demands the technical resources to optimize the business processes with the different conditions or expressions the analyst defines, creating an even greater reliance on IT resources.

Therefore, the challenge for enterprise leaders is not only optimizing their processes before automating them, but also finding a way where their business personas can do it autonomously.  

How Blueprint helps overcome the challenges facing DPA in 2020

Blueprint offers an industry-leading Enterprise Automation Suite that helps large organizations overcome the Digital Process Automation challenges they face. Integrating with the leading Process Discovery and RPA vendors, Blueprint’s solution allows large organizations to easily discover, model, design, and optimize their business processes for automation while ensuring regulatory compliance for their digital workforce.

To learn more about how Blueprint can help your enterprise scale RPA by integrating with your process mining and RPA vendor to overcome your automation challenges, schedule a demo.