Riding RPA unicorns from magic to margin

Back to Blog
Graphic from: https://entrackr.com/2019/10/india-third-largest-hub-unicorns-after-us-china/

Riding RPA unicorns from magic to margin

The rules of economic policy appear to need redrafted. The economies of the worlds richest countries, and the economics of their largest companies, seemed to have changed. Inflation no longer rises reliably when unemployment is low. Making significant, increasing net loss is now considered a good thing.

Hyper-growth unicorns such as Uber, WeWork, Lyft, or Netflix, with ‘growth-and-scale’ or ‘die in a ditch’ mindsets continue to lose billions of dollars. As promises have soared, profits have not. The strange ‘all roads lead to red’ situation appears to have become the new normal. Market share and market valuation appear to matter more than making money. Few have appeared willing to call unicorn bullshit, that is until now.

This week HFS called bullshit on the RPA market This time more forcibly than ever. As Uipath announced redundancies, the crashing sound of over inflated promises of RPA have amplified. With valuations of $bns and turnover of tens of millions RPA companies have again come into the spotlight. In a situation reminiscent of the 2000 dot-com bubble over inflated promises of massive returns from an emerging technology may have started to unravel.

UiPath will argue that the trimming of their sails is part and parcel of their journey to scale (or possible sale). They are not the first scaling company to say ‘what got us here won’t get us there’ and they certainly won’t be the last #RPA vendor to feature in the news.

Not every #RPA vendor, or analyst or consultant is guilty of over inflating #RPA, but lots are. I have attended far too many industry events, sat in way too many vendor presentations, and heard far too many promises of processes being automated in days, to count. Inexperienced sales staff from license dependent vendors, consultants using #RPA to land and expand into organisations digital transformation programs, sometimes flawed analyst research and a media that vacillates between #RPA being the eternal answer to every business prayer (or the slayer of jobs) have all made promises that #RPA can’t possibly keep.

UiPath’s announcement has amplified a much needed conversation. Business basics still matter. It is beyond time we shifted from over inflated promises to profit. Profitable business outcomes are all that matter. They always have and they always will.

#RPA has a fundamental role to play in the future of automation in the workplace. It is a very powerful tool when harnessed appropriately. Combined with AI, data analytics, OCR, APIs and chat bots, RPA can play a significant role in an organizations profitable digital transformation journey. The journey is bumpy but the rewards are worth the effort. UiPath is a key RPA vendor in many companies digital arsenal. The market needs strong competitors to drive innovation. Here is hoping UiPath come out stronger than before for the sake of the market and their remaining staff.

#RPA #TechUnicorns #IntelligentAutomation

Additional reading:




Note: The above article represents the author’s personal views not those of his employer.

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Blog