4 Reasons You Can’t Scale RPA Without Task Mining

Robotic process automation (RPA) is a powerful and increasingly mature technology. It is the most common automation tool, yet data from HFS research suggests that as much as 60% of purchased licenses are sitting as shelf-ware. 

According to Forrester, just 52% of enterprises adopting RPA have been able to progress beyond the first 10 bots. “The COVID-19 pandemic has increased interest in robotic process automation (RPA), while its biggest challenge remains scale,” Forrester notes.  

Why do most RPA projects fail to take off after the first few implementations?  

For RPA deployments to deliver good results – you need to identify the right processes with repetitive mundane work that can be automated. Task mining tools can help strengthen your RPA strategy by improving accuracy and ROI by identifying the right processes that need to be automated. According to Gartner’s latest Market Guide for Task-Mining Tools: “As RPA buyers scale their automation, they require granular-level task insights to improve its accuracy and ROI, and to reduce dependencies on manual process-mapping techniques. This is leading to increased adoption of process mining and task mining.”  

Learn More:  What is Task Mining ?

What is RPA?

RPA refers to the use of software robots to complete a task fully or partially without requiring human effort or involvement. However, in today’s work landscape with fragmented processes across business units, enterprises need to have a detailed understanding of ‘what to automate to derive the full value from their RPA investments.  

Task mining tools answer the question with quantifiable data. With task mining, managers can understand how employees work across business applications and tasks that can be optimized and automated. Task mining can find opportunities for improving work by identifying factors affecting end-user’s/employees’ performance, such as poorly designed user interfaces, application hotspots, or areas of mundane, repetitive work that are ripe for automation.   

As enterprises continue to accelerate digital transformation, task mining becomes pivotal to gaining complete visibility across end-to-end business processes and identifying inefficiencies and opportunities for task-level automation. This is essential to break down the barriers to RPA scalability.  

Learn More: How Task Mining Helps Accelerate Digital Transformation  

Understanding the Role of Task Mining in RPA  

Task mining can be defined as the process of extracting data from clicks and keystrokes from user desktops through UI logs. Task mining tools use computer vision to generate insights into how users interact with computers.   

While RPA-centric automation is largely focused on augmenting work experience by automating rules-driven business processes via bots, its success is hinged on credible automation pipelines – a key component of truly augmenting human workers. Without a credible automation pipeline, it is difficult to scale initiatives. As a result, task mining addresses some of the key barriers to scaling robotic process automation.    

Learn More: Understand Task Mining and Process Mining, Software & Tools 

4 Reasons Why Task Mining is Key to Scaling RPA Deployments

Task mining technology is integral to automation success because it allows you to:  

  1. Visualize and understand the as-is state of processes 

Before deploying robotic process automation, it is essential to understand how users interact with systems and create a digital trail that can unlock key enterprise insights. Often, enterprises will map their business based on event logs from systems of records such as ERPs and CRMs to understand the relationship between these structured data sources – but miss out on one key variable – unstructured data created by employees’ interactions with software. Task mining tools provide a robust foundation for building and scaling automation deployments.   

  1. Optimize daily work processes and not just transactional workflows 

The biggest value of RPA lies in its ability to optimize everyday jobs – but this may not always correspond to the transactional workflow map you have at hand. An accounts payable (AP) task may require five steps and two systems on paper, but a worker could be putting in 10+ steps across several online and offline systems to complete the job daily. With task mining solutions, managers can maximize the value from RPA investments by capturing workflows outside of enterprise systems and automating them.   

  1. Pinpoint where RPA should (and should not) be implemented 

Task mining software can pinpoint areas where inefficiency creeps in. It can capture desktop-level data to understand where employees spend the most time, where they take the most time, tasks they routinely avoid, and where they face bottlenecks. With task mining, managers can strategically implement RPA and not spend time and resources automating what’s unnecessary. 

  1. Monitor and quantify the effects of RPA on employee efficiency 

Finally, task mining plays an important role in scaling RPA even after the initial deployment is over. How do you know that automation software made a measurable difference in employee efficiency? The task mining tool will observe user activity and desktop-level data to measure how work patterns have changed for the better. It can even help anticipate low RPA adoption, so that you could intervene through training, more intuitive automation software, or by automating different processes. This prevents RPA initiatives from getting derailed and keeps them squarely focused on employee efficiency.  

Learn More: What is Process Mining?  

Bottom line

Ultimately, the “hype or hope” question around robotic process automation comes down to how it is executed. Task mining provides a window into how work happens on the ground so you can make the most of RPA in the long term.  

Today, over 60% of the teams’ workday is spent on unstructured interactions in documents, emails, communications, custom applications, and websites – outside of ERP, CRM, and other systems of record. This massive unstructured and undocumented interaction dataset between people and software is untapped and contains a goldmine of insights that could give a significant competitive edge to enterprises. Traditional task mining solutions have significant privacy, accuracy, and scalability issues and fail to capture work done outside the systems of record, such as EPRs and CRMs.  

Through Soroco ScoutTM, powered by the world’s first work graph platform, organizations can unlock this data source to discover areas where inefficiencies occur and are prime candidates for RPA-centric automation.   

Want to build a credible automation pipeline? Request a demo of Soroco ScoutTM today!    

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