Have You Had Your Annual RPA Checkup and Benchmark?


When ISG hosted its annual Automation Summit in New York City, the predominant topic of discussion among the attendees was: How am I doing on my automation journey? While the agenda had been largely fashioned to answer this question, the buzz persisted as leaders and practitioners gathered during breaks and over meals to ask time and again: How is my RPA initiative doing compared to others? How is my center of excellence doing compared to best practices? Where can I improve and accelerate?  

During the summit, ISG introduced the results of its 2018 Bot 3.0 Survey, a survey distributed to more than 300 companies to gauge their progress on their automation journeys. It probed into areas such as progress versus plans, the pace of automation deployment, the scope of automation, and many other areas to provide insight into an organization’s progress. Participants at the Summit received an early view of the results, which were revealing.

As expected, most organizations have not achieved Bot 3.0 defined by ISG as a state of maturity in the use of both robotic process automation and cognitive automation. Other results included:

  • Most firms that classify themselves as Bot 1.0 and Bot 2.0 – levels that correspond with the launching of and the maturing of robotic process automation, respectively – lack best practices.
  • Automation today is not a board-level priority, but more than a quarter of companies expecting it to become a board-level priority in the coming year.
  • Over 80 percent of the survey respondents use one or two RPA software vendors, while 5 percent use four or more.
  • Savings delivered are primarily through improved productivity and speed of processing, rather than reduced headcount.
  • Governance is the hardest thing to get right, followed by technical challenges.

The response to these initial survey results was overwhelming, with summit participants clamoring for more details and insights. Enterprises want to know how they can accelerate their automation programs. But to do so, organizations need to first understand where they stand in comparison to others and how they measure up. And they need to know the strategies and tactics that will make them successful. They need an RPA health checkup.

An RPA health checkup should include three important components:

  1. A 400-point diagnostic that examines the key elements for a successful automation initiative.
  2. A comparison of the diagnostic results to best practices established after more than one hundred automation initiatives over the past three and a half years.
  3. A custom benchmark of a company’s status based on the results of the Bot 3.0 survey.

The results of our recent Bot 3.0 survey provide the place to start. By comparing an organization’s status to the results, leaders can get see exactly where they stand versus others and get customized answers about what they need to do to move their automation program to the next level.

The recommendations from ISG’s Annual RPA Checkup and Benchmark provide enterprises with the opportunity to improve how they deploy automation in their environments and accelerate the journey toward a more mature and effective RPA program. Findings can be used to stimulate thinking for the adoption of best practices, processes and techniques, and to gain traction across the coming months, and in budget season, to deliver on the business case and more.