RPA as a Service vs In-house Deployment of RPA

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As an industry disruptor Cevitr gets asked a lot of questions, for example:

‘What is Robotic Process Automation as a Service (RPAaaS)?’

‘How is it different from an in-house deployment of RPA?’

Moreover, can both models be deployed within the same organisation and is there any merit in doing so?

Let’s begin with RPAaaS. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the use of software technology to execute a business process that requires processing of data and information using specific rules. Cevitr offers RPA as-a-service (RPAaaS) – a Business Process Outsourcing Service that uses a digital workforce to execute business processes for and on behalf of its clients.

Cevitr’s RPAaaS market offer is additionally complemented by two unique commercial propositions – Zero CapEx and a savings-based charging model. It is this combined market proposition that we will compare to in-house RPA deployment and outline how, in our belief, there is great benefit to be had from the synergies between both of the models.

In-house RPA deployments in large organisations has accelerated in recent years and more and more businesses are adopting it for all the right reasons. Some organisations have been able to get key business stakeholder buy-in at a much faster rate than what others have been able to achieve. This has been down to the

fact that the period of time that it takes to demonstrate and prove that the technology works, is very short. In most cases, an initiative of this nature is backed by a business sponsor who is seen as a ‘cultural icon’ within the organisation and recognises the benefits of adopting RPA across all departments. Businesses also deploy in-house RPA as they are more comfortable when they are in control of their data and business processes are executed in the same time zone. This enables them to retain and build subject matter expertise.

‘Seeing is believing’ when it comes to business buy-ins. One of the most outstanding features of RPA is an end state outcome that can be demonstrated to business stakeholders within the shortest period of time. However, it is important that businesses give a great deal of thought in identifying the most appropriate process as the initial pilot. In the context of an in-house RPA programme, the considerations for automating a specific business process is purely

driven based on a business case which would mean that the Return on Investment (ROI) within 18 to 24 months is the most important criteria that is used for selection.

Large businesses have in the past decade already outsourced a very high percentage of simple processes to service providers in low cost locations. More often than not, these processes are overlooked for the initial RPA pilot even though there is potential for further cost reduction. The clients are therefore left with business processes that were never outsourced and tend to be of a more complex nature with serious business implications, as the initial pilot. The net result is that these processes are time consuming to develop due to complexity and prone to error, thus eroding the confidence of the business stakeholders.

Compare this with Cevitr’s RPAaaS market offer combined with a Zero CapEx commercial proposition, and all business cases will be positive. The clients do not need to look through the lens of a business case for an initial set of pilot projects. This will help them identify an initial process for automation that is not highly complex or have high transaction volumes and steadily move on to processes with increasing business impact. In doing so, an ‘as-a-Service’ model bridges the now and future in an in-house RPA capability roadmap deployment. The development of an automation routine is done in a matter of days and business stakeholders are able to visualise the possibilities that the technology is able to offer.

The additional benefits RPAaaS are

  • Time to market – Since the technology is platform deployed and thoroughly tested, client business processes can be automated much faster than an in-house deployment.
  • Zero technology lock-in – As RPA technology is evolving clients would have the ability to jump start their RPA initiatives without worrying about technology lock-in and make informed investment decisions.
  • Access to capability – Since a typical RPAaaS offering is a vendor driven market proposition, the people capability required to automate a business process is already available and clients need not invest in developing this capability.
  • Cost avoidance resulting from access to capacity on the fly – Have the flexibility and availability of introducing capacity when the business requires it the most without having to make any additional investments.
  • Access to a knowledge base – One of the reasons why in-house IT has moved to an outsourced based model over the last two decades was due to the access to an industry knowledge base that gave clients the ability to resolve complex issues.
  • Access to standardised tools & processes – Whilst in-house deployments are focused on making technology viable and work, an ‘as-a-Service’ provider has to have effective tools and processes to ensure not only repeatability but also predictability of outcomes.

The table below summarises the difference between in-house RPA and RPAaaS

Feature In-House RPA RPAaaS
Who funds the RPA activity? Clients Service provider
Where is the technology hosted? In-house, private cloud Public cloud
Level of Technology Lock-In High Low
Data & Information Processing Clients Service provider
Who Develops & Retains technical Skills? Clients Service provider
Can the platform support multiple clients? No Yes
Impact of Service Levels Tracked with no commercial liability Contractually linked to service provider
Use of Tools & Processes Basic Advanced to ensure repeatability & predictability
Level of Utilisation Low to medium High
Who pays for utilisation inefficiency? Clients Service provider
Ability to leverage multiple technologies Low to medium High

 

The complementary nature of Cevitr’s RPAaaS market proposition with an in-house deployment is demonstrated by the fact that it can be leveraged in the following scenarios:

  • Development of initial pilots that facilitate business stakeholder buy-in across all departments in the business (essential to increase the coverage of RPA adoption with a business).
  • Enable automation of non-industrial scale processes that would simply not meet the rigorous ROI requirements of a business case.
  • Enable automation of one-off processes, especially with mergers and divestures being more common place.
  • Enable automation of processes that require temporary scale, like peak trading season, event driven etc.
  • Address urgent process automation needs, which otherwise may not be possible due to lack of specialist and on-demand enabling technology and related people skills access.
  • Automation of processes that are not your current focus area, because this is not looked at from a digital empowerment perspective.
  • Enables trailing of future RPA test candidates before in-house deployment.
  • RPAaaS could be deployed as a digital assistant for those in-house attended bot workflow scenarios.
  • The RPAaaS Platform can be used as a disaster recovery site for In-House deployments.

 

Although the RPAaaS offering is as secure and accurate as the in-house equivalent, it can certainly complement any in-house initiative for the reasons outlined above. Yet, the biggest benefit that we have seen in a similar situation with our clients are the unforeseen and consequential benefits of organisation wide RPA deployments. These benefits are increased sales growth and customer satisfaction as well as upselling across their existing client base. At Cevitr, our goal is to digitally empower our clients and explore endless possibilities.





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