Covid hampers firms’ RPA goals in Asia-Pacific

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First-time adopters of robotic process automation (RPA) in the Asia-Pacific region have seen early successes but are struggling with the scale as the pandemic has hampered their growth plans, a new report said Monday.

The Asia-Pacific region and the markets in its member countries have been growth engines for RPA in recent years, accounting for around 17 percent of the global market for RPA services.

For the report, global research firm Forrester surveyed 45 companies in Australia, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and Singapore to understand the challenges of adopting RPA.

“After the pandemic, many first-time companies in the Asia-Pacific region dipped their toes into automation. However, Covid-19 has not resulted in a significant expansion of the perpetual programs beyond the existing plans, ”the report said.

The results show that wave first companies face three scalable challenges: identifying and deploying automation for the right processes, establishing effective governance for the automation program, and managing the cultural and human aspects of automation.

“The users of the second wave have new expectations of the market. Such companies represent the newer wave of participants in the automation market; They started their RPA journey in the past 12 to 18 months, ”said Leslie Joseph. Principal Analyst, Forrester Research.

These companies often struggle to determine the value and cadence of business automation.

“However, your programs emerged in the context of a changing market landscape. Today, both vendors and practitioners have a better understanding of automation best practices and pitfalls, ”she said.

Accordingly, these new market entrants are looking for a lower risk during implementation, better solution support and accelerated deployment through solutions with AI components or prefabricated integrations from their supplier partners.

In India and the Philippines in particular, the offshore captive units of large global companies have created a significant amount of automation.

“While these entities were often formed prior to the current RPA explosion, many were able to adopt automation as a new charter and become ‘robot hubs’ or automation centers of excellence for their parent company and global business units,” said Joseph.

Despite the heavy investment of large RPA tool vendors in skills, talent remains in short supply in the Asia-Pacific region.

It is particularly acute for technical-functional roles such as business analysts and RPA operations staff, the report says.


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April 2, 2021