The advantages of implementing robotic process automation (RPA) solutions are well-known and highly publicized. What often gets overlooked are the risks associated with automation projects. Enterprises that ignore RPA risks often find themselves at the wrong place at the end of their automation roll-out journey. Further, they suffer financial, operational, reputational loss as well.

It is thus imperative for all enterprises to understand the potential risks associated with RPA in great detail to mitigate risks and gain the best from their technological investment without fail.

1. RPA Strategy Risk:

Robotic process automation (RPA) is a leading-edge technology that can help you transform your business processes and assists in enhancing business success. But many times, enterprises do not understand the full potential and scope of this fascinating technology and set wrong expectations, improper KPIs, and unrealistic business goals since the beginning. In later stages, when output does not match with expectations, it creates an environment of uncertainty. For example, rolling-out RPA programs just with an aim to reduce operating costs is a complete underutilization of this technology that is meant to help you give much more than it.

As an RPA risk management strategy, senior executives must sit, read, discuss, and analyze the complete working characteristics, potential, and limitations of RPA before drafting a robotic process automation (RPA) strategy. It will help them to hit the right target in one go without fail.

2. RPA Sourcing Risk:

While implementing robotic process automation (RPA) solutions, companies often make several sourcing risks that prove fatal in later stages. Like giving the RPA project to some external agency with an unproven track record or getting the work done with internal resources who do not possess the level of expertise as required for the successful roll-out of a robotic process automation (RPA) project.

To tackle this challenge, your team must understand that a perfect RPA risk management strategy cannot be completed without consulting an external credible automation vendor. Check their experience, clients’ feedback, number of clients served, number of robotic process automation (RPA) bots successfully delivered, expertise in various top RPA tools, collaborations, automation governance & supporting models before taking them on board. If you still want to go ahead with in-house staff then get them fully trained or hire people with proven knowledge and expertise before starting a real project. The RPA system looks very promising and it is but its implementation is complex. Only highly skilled technical talents in RPA technology prove beneficial in the long run. Therefore, make your move wisely.

3. Tool Selection Risk:

There are many robotic process automation (RPA) tools available in the market. Most vendors promise end-to-end automation through their RPA tools with complete flexibility and efficiency. But you need to understand that not every automation tool carries the same weightage and does not possess the same functionalities to help you meet your customized business goals. For example, some RPA solution providers promise screen scraping but if the tool does not support full-screen scraping functionalities then it leads to high maintenance and errors.

Your robotic process automation risk management strategy must evaluate the complete functionalities of the RPA tool to be used. Automation Anywhere, Blue Prism, and UiPath are considered the premier automation tools that can help you enable the digitized transformation of any scale and length very easily. Several top companies from across the world and spectrum put their bet on these three robotic process automation (RPA) tools very often.

4. Stakeholders Buy-in Risk:

One of the biggest risks that management takes while implementing a robotic process automation (RPA) solution is to bypass the engagement of key stakeholders in the automation process. As an organization running a business in the 21st century, you cannot afford to go ahead in a project as complex and big as RPA without taking into confidence your key stakeholders and expect a smooth execution. This technology is often perceived as a potential threat to employees’ stability and longevity. This misconception leads to resistance and poses a risk for a smooth automation roll-out.

A carefully crafted RPA risk management strategy must include gaining the trust of all stakeholders that include employees, management personnel, business partners, etc. Involving them in the conversations, clearing their doubts, explaining the advantages of automation for their benefit as well for the organization can help you gain better cooperation and support.

5. Scalability Risk:

The world of business changes very frequently. So thus the requirements and business scope. What if you work on a robotic process automation (RPA) solution that puts you within a limit and restricts you to expand the digital expansion smoothly. Will it be feasible in the long run? Therefore, choose an RPA solution that can help you expand your business whenever such a need arises. Doing so can eliminate the risk of business disruption while enhancing business capabilities and give you the flexibility and better control to run your show happily – all the time.

6. Operational Risk:

It occurs when you go ahead and deploy robotic process automation (RPA) projects without necessary preparations. Remember, making RPA bots is one thing and getting them running 24/7/365 is another. Their management requires a certain degree of knowledge and skill sets. You must thus provide training to your resources to better aware them of RPA functionalities and basic working mechanisms. You must carefully train and establish one support team as well that can look into any issue that may arise in the future and needs to be solved in a very timely and efficient manner. Assigning proper responsibilities and clearly stating about changing roles also can help you reduce operational risk to a great extent.

Final Thoughts

Every innovative solution provides immense business benefits. But along with it comes various risks as well. Robotic process automation (RPA) is no different. It can bring revolution and help you to enable digitalization to gain better results. However, you carefully need to analyze the potential of robotic process automation (RPA) and have a realistic view about its scope and functionalities before rolling-out automation. It is the only way to mitigate risks associated with automation projects efficiently.