RPA Pitfall #5 and Conclusion – Not Taking Maintenance Needs into Account
Forgetting About Automation Maintenance and Support
One pitfall that we see clients stumble across often is not taking maintenance needs into account. When building automations, whether its attended, unattended, machine learning, or an AI-integrated process, a critical error is made by the organization when they forget that their automations need updates, bug fixes, and general support after they are built and deployed. Whether it’s a bot failure, a server failure, or even a change to a system’s login credentials, sooner or later all automations are going to need maintenance and support.
Not adding a support plan to your automation program is like buying a car without factoring in the service visits and oil changes; you can’t expect to operate at full capacity without it. Much like a car, bots and automations need to be serviced, upgraded, monitored, and tested regularly. Typically, when a check engine light comes on, the owner would bring their vehicle in to a mechanic. When a bot’s “check engine” light comes on, its best to have a dedicated support team to look into the issue rather than pulling an in-house and unprepared developer away from a project, or worse, having someone less experienced look into the issue.
Without a trained automation support team or IT group that understands RPA bots and their respective platform infrastructure, who can an organization turn to for reliable support? Managed Robotic Operation Centers or ROCs are becoming a necessary and invaluable pillar to successful automation programs across all industries. A ROC is implemented to ensure that deployed automations continue to be productive throughout their daily operations and are continuously improved over time. Continuous monitoring not only reduces bot down time, but it can work to optimize license usage and amplify bot productivity, thus increasing the ROI from automation program costs already accrued and strengthening the deployed digital workforce.
When RPA is implemented within an organization, support should be included as part of the company’s overall IT operations from the beginning. As dependency on automations increase, the need to support those automations along with the necessity of mitigating risk of automation failure within business functions become critical. Without the proper monitoring, maintenance, and reporting, companies are not maximizing the value of their digital workforce. Acquiring a ROC for automation support covers all of these needs and increases the returns of automation programs overall.
Pitfalls and Their Automation Solutions
The pitfalls discussed in this article are some of the most common mistakes we see in the industry. In some cases, it’s good to know what to avoid, however, when the technology and expertise are leveraged correctly, there is a way to turn each misstep into a strategic solution that benefits the organization. RPA is becoming increasingly popular and reports see this trend continuing for the next several years. This is true even more so after the coronavirus pandemic as business are looking to put solutions in place now that will solve for if a similar scenario happens again in the future. A digital workforce can scale processes up and down by adding bot capacity instantaneously; solving for staffing and demand volume fluxes as they occur. When companies go all in with Process Automation and the surrounding solutions, they can return major hour and dollar savings to the business. Knowing what to avoid and how to solve for mistakes is what separates organizations that are making strides within automation from those that struggle to break even and eventually fall short of necessary digital transformation.