Recorder based RPA- Hype vs Reality

Post by : Deepak Sharma

The (Empty) Promise-

Recorder based RPA tool vendors are selling big dreams to their customers.

The promise that subject matter experts in business operations working in front and back offices across different departments such as finance, HR, supply chain, etc. can record software robots within a matters of hours sitting on a Sunday afternoon without having to do any coding and can make their life better.

And that in case processes are complex, needing more technical skills, that users can just automate some pockets of the process that can be recorded and leave the rest.

And that RPA ROI realization is much faster with the recorder based UI automation approach, and that the investment made breaks even in less than 6 months.

And that IT is costly, constrained and understaffed to solve automation problems of the business. Working with IT to automate business processes is slow and you have to go through a whole lot of activities of providing requirements to IT, IT teams going through a full development cycle, business have to then accept automation, etc. and overall the delivery process being very lengthy, frustrating and error prone.

The Harsh Reality

Almost 85% of the businesses implementing RPA are realizing within first few months that the promises made about recorder-based RPA are not getting fulfilled. And that it is not as easy and as simple as it is made to believe.

And that subject matter experts alone using recorder based approach are unable to scale RPA projects and realize the fuller strategic business benefits of RPA.

To cover up the situation, recorder based RPA vendors are on a hiring spree, unlike typical software product companies, bringing in loads of employees tagged with customer success or similar roles, to go and deliver the automation for the customers. Majority of these roles are actually software developers with technical skills.

To further rectify the situation, RPA vendors are partnering with almost all of the big and medium size technology service providers and consulting firms who would typically have scores of software engineering professionals. Customer are then left with no other option but to hire these technology partners to implement RPA projects.

Partners are then able provide RPA developers, not subject matter experts, trained and certified in a matter of days (in some cases certified within hours) in these recorder based RPA tools, which the customer has invested in, to go and work with the subject matter experts in businesses, gather requirements and implement software robots as a shadow IT project.

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