Forrester Study: Huge RPA Return in Short Time Frame
When considering whether to deploy a new technology, chief information officers have many questions. Two of the most urgent are: 1) How long will it take to see results? and 2) How painful will it be for my users?
When it comes to a truly revolutionary innovation such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), anxiety about business risk abounds. This adds a third question: If implementation of this technology fails, could it negatively impact my business?
Research and advisory firm Forrester considered these questions and more when it conducted a Total Economic Impact (TEI) study of five global Automation Anywhere customers. The study involved extensive interviews with these five enterprises, each of which had between nine and 60 months of experience using the Automation Anywhere Enterprise platform.
Examining the RPA study results
For the purposes of this study, Forrester created a composite organization to demonstrate the measurable benefits and costs of investing in Automation Anywhere Enterprise. Over a three-year period, the composite organization reaped more than $13.2 million in risk-adjusted present value benefits.
The net takeaway: After the dust of implementation settles, enterprises can expect a short payback period — less than 12 months. And, when all benefits and costs are counted, enterprises get an unheard-of return of 262% on their investment in RPA within three years.
Moreover, the bulk of revenue comes from redeploying employees more effectively to do high-value work, and the study in general proved deploying RPA is a low risk for businesses.
To put this into perspective, Forrester broke down RPA benefits into four distinct buckets: those arising from:
- Digital transformation
- Compliance and audit savings
- Redeploying staff to improve business processes
- Reducing errors
Let’s walk through each of these in turn.
Incremental revenue opportunities from digital transformation
Most of the companies interviewed were in the process of completing their digital transformation. According to them, the Automation Anywhere platform accelerated that journey.
Specifically, enterprises were able to capture additional revenue not previously possible without the Automation Anywhere platform. This came from releasing new or expanded products and services for their customers and automating processes, including data entry and migration, invoicing and credits, sales spreadsheet updates, purchase order issuance and invoice receipts, invoice matching, and inventory accounting.
Total benefits accrued as a result of digital transformation amounted to $1.1 million.
Compliance and audit savings
According to the interviewed customers, the Automation Anywhere RPA solution offers a broad range of compliance and audit benefits. First, it reduces compliance risk by eliminating human error — a major win.
Then, it standardizes and automates regulatory processes to mitigate compliance risk. It tracks and manages data to meet regulatory requirements. And, it meets stringent regulatory mandates and enables compliance with industry-standard frameworks, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Benefits from compliance and audit savings totaled $2.7 million.
Redeploying staff to focus on process improvements
Interestingly enough, the majority of quantifiable benefits that arose from deploying RPA came from the users themselves. Freedom from the drudgery of repetitive manual tasks enabled employees to do work that adds more value to the business.
With its investment in Automation Anywhere, the composite organization has increased productivity and delivers significantly better customer service by provisioning a scalable, resilient, and flexible Digital Workforce.
Total benefits from process improvements added up to $8.3 million.
Previously, the businesses studied had suffered from errors in data processing due to the time-consuming manual effort of retyping data into different systems. Using Automation Anywhere RPA, the organization significantly decreased error rates, enhanced its operational efficiency, and improved overall customer experience — and was able to redirect resources to more value-added activities.
Today, the bots continuously search records for errors, resolve them using a rule-based system, and complete workflows by sending resolution emails to the appropriate human users.
The significant reduction in errors resulted in $1.1 million in total benefits.
Low risk. High value.
Designed for business users, the Automation Anywhere Enterprise platform is easy enough to use to allow corporations to rapidly adopt it — and then apply it to more complex process scenarios.
A case in point: In its TEI study, Forrester took the risks that threaten RPA projects into consideration and quantified them. The risk-adjusted costs, benefits, and return on investment (ROI) demonstrate a compelling business case. This should raise confidence among enterprises that global investments in RPA are low in risk — and high in value.
A 262% ROI over three years is something to celebrate.