The Deloitte Approach to Robotic Process Automation


Intelligent Automation Fuels Digital Ambitions

Many organisations have advanced along the automation maturity curve, according to new research

Organisations are getting closer to their automation transformation goals, according to a new Deloitte Global Intelligent Automation study.1 When asked to imagine an ideal organisation transformed by intelligent automation and compare their own organisations with that ideal, organisations rated their progress more positively in 2021-2022 compared with studies in 2020 and 2019, according to the research, now in its seventh year.

Greater use of a range of intelligent automation tools appears to help advance digital transformation. Back in 2015, only 13% of organisations reported plans to increase automation in the coming months by investing in robotic process automation (RPA). This latest survey shows that RPA and optical character recognition (OCR) technologies have finally hit the mainstream. Seventy-four percent of survey respondents are already implementing RPA, and 50% are implementing OCR. AI and process mining and monitoring are the next most desirable emerging technologies.

Deloitte’s Global Intelligent Automation survey

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Tapping into a wide range of intelligent automation technologies comes with many benefits. This year’s survey shows that organisations are adopting intelligent automation solutions to benefit from increased productivity, cost reduction, improved accuracy, and better customer experience.

Cost reduction remains one of the top priorities. By adopting intelligent automation, organisations can expect to achieve an average cost reduction of 31% in the areas targeted over the next three years, up from 24% in 2020. Organisations that have moved beyond piloting intelligent automation report they have actually achieved an average cost reduction of 32% in the areas targeted, up from 24% in 2020, according to this year’s survey.

End-to-End Automation

Many organisations started their automation journey with basic tools such as OCR and RPA to automate tasks in targeted areas, such as finance processes. These initiatives typically delivered value, but the limitations of using one or two tools to automate existing processes soon became apparent. Additional software tools were frequently added to the toolkit; process redesign was often also brought into scope.

The most advanced adopters of intelligent automation have steadily moved from task-based automation toward end-to-end automation. While rebounding from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, over 85% of organisations are rethinking how work is done. This year, 92% of the most advanced adopters are either already implementing end-to-end automation as part of their intelligent automation strategy (44%) or are planning to implement it in the next three years (48%).

Organisations face many barriers in their journey toward end-to-end automation, including challenges integrating various solutions, lack of skills and experience, and inability to change business processes or ways of working. By calculating potential benefits and payback periods, they can better understand the value automation brings, thus boosting the chances of attaining the funding required to overcome the barriers and deliver the benefits.

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