Automation can be applied to a variety of business verticals, saving man hours and significantly improving business efficiency and accuracy. Having said that,even though Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a rapidly growing market, but not all potential users are aware of its benefits and how to choose the right RPA tool.Even if you feel tempted to automate just one process within your organization, it is important to first take stock of your time, resources and business need before implementing RPA.
However, if you are ready to take the plunge and know what processes need automation, you will need a checklist to help you zero in on the right tool. RPA technology is evolving every day with added features and functionalities. The chosen RPA tool should assure maximum ROI with added benefits sooner rather than later. Hence, choosing the right RPA vendor is very important to augment your business capabilities, improve productivity, and reap the benefits of automation for business gain. We have put together five of the most important criteria in selecting the right RPA tool:
A well-defined architecture of an RPA tool determines its ease of use and helps in achieving maximum business output.Where do you plan to employ your RPA tool? The architecture of the RPA tool depends on your answer to this question. The skills and controls built into an RPA tool decide its functions and capabilities. Depending on the purpose of your tool and the way it will function (unassisted or assisted) will determine the choice of the structure and design on your tool. Most RPA tools rely on a layered design for better deployment and maintenance, which is another important factor to keep in mind while selecting the right RPA tool.
Your architecture checklist must tick these boxes – robust delivery, re-usability of components, integration of robots without altering legacy system, ease of accessibility, and support for popular language.
Every RPA application has inbuilt features that speed up the editing and configuration process, while keeping it uncomplicated. Look for an RPA suite with such solid key features – one that has built-in extendable commands, wizards and GUIs; and supports extensible or add-on features. Other factors to look out for are: flexibility, wide scope and easy and seamless availability. Remember to check out the deployment toolset of the RPA application as well, as each business has a specific deployment scenario. Security features is yet another important factor to consider, since the RPA system will be handling sensitive data. A system that remains vulnerable to external threats, has privacy issues, and allows misuse of data can easily cost your business.
Speed of Implementation
Speed is a vital factor to consider while choosing an RPA tool. Remember you want to improve the speed and efficiency of your business processes, which is why you are looking to deploy an RPA tool. What is the learning curve of the tool, does it allow fast deployment of robots, is the mapping process quick, does it have point & drag and drag & drop functionality? Ask your vendor these questions before you choose an RPA tool.
A robust RPA tool is well-designed in exception handling. It can detect or circumvent errors during automation easily and quickly; and has the ability to automatically resolve them without manual intervention, under most circumstances. In a scenario where human review is required, the tool is designed to pass the error to a queue visible in reports. An efficient exception handling capability ensures that workplace automation operates smoothly and seamlessly. So, make a prudent choice of selecting the right RPA tool with superior exception handling capability if you know your business processes are prone to higher number of errors.
Different RPA vendors offer different kind of support. Make sure what kind of support your preferred RPA vendor provides. Few important things to check would be – Will the vendor provide part-time, contractual, or a dedicated round-the-clock support team? What kind of training or certification is required related to the functioning of the RPA tool? Will you have open access to certain RPA communities and user forums? What kind of documentation set will be provided by the vendor that helps reduce deployment errors and deployment delays? Best practices ensure strong maintenance procedures, and hence you must make sure you have access to these too. Selecting the right RPA vendor will also help in efficient training and certification of in-house users and reliability for technological innovations in future.
Other than the above five most important criteria, here are some other guidelines to keep in mind when making the right choice for an RPA tool or RPA vendor.
Ease of Implementation: An easy-to-implement RPA tool is what you should look for, as then it becomes easier to ensure smooth transition of workflow within the work environment. A non-invasive tool that is compatible with the existing system, easy to understand and requires minimal training while efficiently supporting all fundamental automation requirements is the best choice.
Scalability: With ever-evolving technology and the changing demands of the market, the scalability of a tool is important. Check if the chosen RPA tool has the power to scale as and when a need arises. Keeping growth in mind, talk to your RPA vendor and understand the scalability aspect. Is the RPA tool capable of expanding the scope of usage and increasing the accessibility? How easily can the tool be integrated with new applications and technologies?
Visibility: Centralized visibility using dashboards can come in handy for members across the organization to get a real-time view of the entire process at hand. A tool that enables improved visibility and provides automatic notification of pending actions, offers a ROI dashboard that can be analyzed for business justification, as well as addresses other monitoring mechanisms necessary to stay informed and connected, is the right value proposition of an efficient RPA tool.
Cost of Ownership: Evaluating the total cost of ownership is essential before zeroing in on the right RPA tool. Various determining factors like implementation cost, license fees, vendor fees, maintenance costs etc. should be taken into consideration. Estimating the cost of the RPA tool keeping in mind the organization’s growth along the roadmap and how it impacts the profitability in the long run is an essential and absolutely necessary step while selecting the right RPA tool to suit your needs.
Remember that each RPA tool has a specific purpose, and it doesn’t follow the one size fit all approach. To achieve the full potential of your RPA tool, you will need to prioritize one or more criteria over the others to find the perfect fit for your business. Talk to your vendor in detail.
We have created an interesting infographic which explores the key factors to be considered while selecting an RPA tool. Read it here.
Do you have any questions for us on Robotic Process Automation? Talk to our RPA experts.