Robotic Process Automation (RPA) by the numbers: 14 interesting stats

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) by the numbers: 14 interesting stats

Let’s quantify what’s going on with Robotic Process Automation (RPA). These statistics speak to adoption, ROI results, job openings - and hint at what’s ahead

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2,158: This is the number of open positions produced by a recent search for “robotic process automation” on LinkedIn’s jobs site. Titles vary within this growing IT jobs category, but “RPA developer” (and variations of the same) is an increasingly common one – reflecting the need for IT pros who can build the bots that enable organizations to offload repetitive, time-consuming tasks.

4,226: The acronym RPA might be more in vogue than the full phrase it stands for: Searching “RPA” on LinkedIn produced nearly double the number of job openings. Oddly enough, though, this flips on the jobs site Indeed, with the full phrase generating 5,037 results while the acronym returns 2,792 positions.

3 percent: It’s also reasonable to assume RPA-related hiring will grow. Deloitte’s RPA survey notes that companies’ enthusiasm for the technology is tempered by a current reality: Just 3 percent of respondents said they’ve scaled their digital workforce – meaning the bots that perform work as digital employees, much like human employees – to this point.

How’s ROI? A Deloitte survey found payback on RPA investments occurring at less than 12 months.

12 months: That’s not tamping down enthusiasm too much, however: The Deloitte survey found payback on RPA investments occurring at less than 12 months, with bots delivering an average of 20 percent full-time equivalent capacity in the process.

38 percent: The percentage of employee respondents, in a recent survey conducted by RPA software vendor NICE, which listed compliance improvements as the leading benefit of RPA adoption. That gave it the largest slice of the pie, topping improved productivity/performance (27 percent) and other benefits.

92 percent: Compliance improvements also led the list of RPA benefits in Deloitte’s survey, with a whopping 92 percent of respondents saying RPA met or exceeded their expectations on this front. That was followed by improved quality/accuracy (90 percent), improved productivity (86 percent), and cost reduction (59 percent) as areas where RPA met or exceeded expectations. There is some obvious overlap between these benefits; improved quality and accuracy in your processes almost inevitably will be a boon for compliance, for example.

70 percentRPA opportunities exist in many business functions, but some departments have developed a particularly keen interest in the technology. More than 70 percent of finance organizations have piloted or are actively using RPA, according to Gartner. Some big names are taking note; Ernst & Young has a whitepaper on RPA in finance and accounting, for example.

This last point makes sense. When you consider what RPA is good at – processes that are rules-based, high-volume, prone to error, and so forth – as well as what it’s not good at, finance “clicks” as an area ripe for increasing automation. Tack on an aforementioned benefit like improved compliance, and it seems like an even better match.

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