Majority of firms find RPA to be effective, but very difficult to manage

Most businesses find robotic process automation effective but difficult to deploy and maintain, according to research by software company Pegasystems Inc.

The company surveyed 509 decision makers from organizations in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Netherlands, and Australia that are using RPA or robotic desktop automation (RDA), and found that maintaining these platforms can take significantly more time and effort than first thought.

The survey showed that most respondents gain significant value from automating their operations with bots, with 67 percent saying robotic automation is even more effective than they originally anticipated. Only 8 percent felt it was less effective than expected.

But getting to that point and staying there can be more challenging than expected, according to the research. Organizations are spending more time and effort getting bots up and running than anticipated. Deployment ranked as the challenge, and 50 percent of the respondents said bots are harder to deploy than they first thought.

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On average, only 39 percent of bots are deployed on schedule, and it typically takes 18 months to successfully push bots live into production.

In addition, inevitable changes to the underlying enterprise architecture will likely lead to increased bot breakage over time. Already, 87 percent of respondents experience some level of bot failures. Forty-four percent said the amount of bot breakage is small, but 37 percent said it's a moderate amount, and 6 percent think it's large.

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