22 way to cut the cost of an automation program – Part 1 of 4

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22 way to cut the cost of an automation program – Part 1 of 4

It is critical to look after the bottom line of any automation program. Thankfully there are multiple ways to cut the cost of an intelligent automation program including;

1. Licence Costs: Licence costs can mount up rapidly as an automation program scales. Discounts are usually available when purchasing higher volume of bot licences which helps keep program costs down as an automation program scales. However, it is still possible, in this very competitive market, to press vendors for further discounts on published licence costs. If you don’t ask you don’t get! Ask for a discount on published prices.

“RPA licence resellers can offer licences at significantly less cost than vendors.”

Nitin Kamra, Senior Manager RPA 

It is possible to rent licences for a limited period of time. If your organisation experiences peaks and troughs in its business cycle, then renting licences may yours firms best option.

“Program cost is not just licences or bot costs, its about the infrastructure and hardware costs, the training costs, the time spent from the business as a whole. The key is to recuse the over heads e.g. VDI costs, the run team, and the licence costs all at the same time whilst fully utilising the organisations solution. Push back on any Vendor to reduce licence cost, do not accept the current situation, but focus on other costs too.”

Graham Lee, Automation Yoda

Note: Remember organisations should seek out great partner relationships. Make sure your organisations licence negotiations result in a win-win situation for you and the vendor. This is a much more sustainable, less conflictual model, over the longer term. 

“Understand how you are paying for your RPA Robots. There are different models for this, that can drastically change your TCO. Is it per robot, per user or per process? Understanding the differences here is crucial to getting the best value.”

Arif Khan, Customer Success Manager and AI Ninja

2. Dont simply follow the herd and aim for the top 3 or even top 10 RPA vendors. Choose the intelligent automation platform that best suits your organisation and your budget. The so-called three platforms may, or may not, be the right answer for you. Take time to pilot multiple tools as not every tool with work with your existing technology.

“Selecting the wrong vendor or technology is easy. Don’t let your prejudices or preconceptions inform your choice. Everything that comes after is a direct consequence of that decision. Commitment of budget & resources will reinforce the rightness of your choices in your thinking. This is confirmation bias in action. Danger! This way leads failure, risk & losses. Get independent experts in as early as possible. Don’t just listen to the latest buzz.”

Jon Silver, Automation Guru

There are variety of automation flavours on the market. Think forward and don’t just pick the platform that will solve your current problems. Automation is a long term play so take your time and choose the right platform.

“With 3 specific types of RPA, Unattended, Attended and Assisted, knowing the size and shape of the problem you are trying to solve should direct your tool choice, as much as anything else. Ensuring you chose a round tool for a round hole will mean that you are not botching a solution after being mis-sold. All tools are not equal, make sure you do your research, and you should always look at an assessment first, this ensures that you don’t buy the wrong sized tool for your RPA needs.”

Wayne Butterfield, Automation Expert

3. Use inbuilt core application automation or indeed add-on tools. For example, Microsoft Flow comes with your office 365 subscription. Encourage your firms greatest ‘digital ninjas’ to develop flows that save time, create capacity and drive income.

But do remember to select the right processes to automate. Giving the right tool to the wrong person or applying it in the wrong context can turn a winning program into a financial mess.

“It is important to select the right processes especially at the beginning and show a quick return on investment. Selecting the wrong initial processes could slow down or even stop the Automation initiative.”

Nandan Mullakara Strategic Advisor on Intelligent Automation | RPA | AI

4. Cloud: Firms can move their automation platform to a cloud environment such as Azure, AWS or G Suite and enjoy the flexibility and fungibility that comes with cloud hosting. A ‘cloud’ automation platform can offer firms a cost effective OpEx model that will scale as a firm’s automation program scales. Cloud based computing offers firms the ability to spin up new software, or development environments or VDIs in minutes, if not hours at an affordable monthly cost.

Note: check check that your platform is cloud certified, not all are cloud tested.

Additionally, companies can also go to specialist cloud RPA as a Service platform providers at an affordable fixed monthly price or annual contract price. RPA as a Service platforms often include licences, support, and applications access to OCR, reporting, AI, analytics, APIs, chat bots or web services. This can save organisations a lot of money, as compared to the expense a firm might incur, were a firm to build, secure and support their own environment. In addition, a more accurate ROI for your automation program can be calculated at the offset when you have a fixed cost for your platform to hand.

Kally Gill, Head of RPA Services.

“By moving to the cloud, firms only pay for what is needed. Cost efficiencies are a breeze as the cloud allows you to easily scale your infrastructure in line with your firm’s RPA adoption growth rates. 

Major cloud providers also offer enterprise-grade security, resiliency, speed and customization you need with almost no Capex costs. Furthermore, integrated cloud offerings such as Azure Logic Apps and AWS AI Services synergizes well with RPA. Early cloud adoption is proven to be highly advantageous from start to scale!”

Martin Lau, Global Automation Lead

Additionally, automation as a service

5. OpenSource: Multiple open source RPA platforms are now available. Here are six free open source options for RPA TagUIRPA for PythonRobocorpRobot FrameworkTaskt and Automagica.

What other ways are there to cut the cost of an automation program?

#intelligentautomation #bots #rpaworks #digitaltransformation#roboticprocessautomation #rpa #cognitiveautomation #digitaldisruption#digitalworkforce #processautomation #digitalfuture #digitalstrategy

Other articles: If you like this article then you may find these articles of use too.

1.    How to build a business case for Intelligent Automation and Robotic Process Automation

2.    30 ways to build a pipeline of processes suitable for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation (IA)

3.    8 questions to ask to ensure you select the ‘right’ processes to automate using RPA | IA.

4.    14 rules for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Intelligent Automation (AI) success

5.    The A-Z of Robotic Process Automation, Intelligent Automation and Digital Transformation

6.    The biggest lie told to RPA customers – 50 robots equals success

7.    40 essential selection criteria to choose an RPA platform

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Note: The views expressed above are our views and not those of my employer or the employers of the contributing experts.

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