A recent study found that the keys to successful implementation of robotic process automation (RPA) include carefully selecting the right automation opportunities, being realistic about costs, and building a good support team. The study, published by The Hackett Group, looks at the current status of RPA adoption, common pitfalls in its adoption, and advice on how to address the challenges that come along with using RPA.

As discussed in a recent blog post, many businesses are looking to increase the adoption of RPA in the near term. Indeed, the study found that nearly 60% of finance organizations, nearly half of all global business services organizations, and a third of HR and procurement organizations already have RPA pilot programs in place. However, it can be difficult to optimize the use of RPA.

In order for RPA adoption to be successful, the business first needs to select the right RPA opportunity. Processes that are ripe for automation are ones that have digital inputs, use structured data and follow logical rules without the need for discretion or judgment. RPA has been successfully implemented in tasks requiring extracting and entering data, processing and updating forms, and formatting and reporting, among other things.

Once a task has been selected as a potential RPA opportunity, it is important to develop the right business case for adoption. Business cases usually focus on cost savings, but in modeling the cost savings, the organization should analyze all costs involved with the RPA adoption, including the costs associated with hosting and server space, monitoring and maintenance, and building internal support resources.

In order to gain the most from RPA, an organization should develop a well-thought-out roadmap for the implementation of the RPA solution. This roadmap should address issues like selecting the right tool for the specific task, building realistic expectations within the organization, and managing associated role changes or the impact on jobs. Additionally, the organization should build a multidisciplinary team to support the adoption effort.