A survey revealed that 45% of businesses are planning on partnering with managed service providers, especially for outsourcing IT functionalities. On the other hand, it’s been reported in 2021 that ~5% of MSPs provided RPA as a Service to their partners. However, with the predictions that RPA will become an embedded feature in many platforms, we expect more IT-oriented MSPs to provide RPA functionalities as one of their main services.
In this article, we explore why businesses are choosing to partner with MSPs to provide RPA as a service, and the benefits and challenges of doing so. And if you are working at an MSP, don’t forget to download our whitepaper which provides a list of RPA tech partners for MSPs that offer commercially usable bots for $2,000 or less per year. This can help MSPs address cost-sensitive customers’ automation needs:
How can MSPs tackle RPA adoption challenges?
Although RPA adoption is increasing exponentially, businesses still face challenges when implementing RPA. This is why more businesses are turning to MSPs which provide RPA as a Service to tackle issues regarding:
1. Adoption cost
On average, a single bot may cost an organization $5,000-$15,000 annually, and a lot of businesses tend to underestimate the cost of implementation. A Deloitte survey revealed that 37% of organizations said their expectations of cost to implement were not met.
MSPs that provide RPA as a service tend to already have implementation infrastructure of:
- Platforms and bot licenses compatible with most businesses.
- Bot templates which can be customized according to different business processes.
- On-premise and/or cloud storages for archiving training data and bot event logs.
2. Talent acquisition
Implementing customized RPA solutions requires experience in RPA development and testing. However, RPA is a relatively emerging technology with a limited number of skilled RPA developers in the market. Relying on MSPs can reduce business costs for RPA talent acquisition and training, as well as provide them with higher levels of RPA skills and certifications. A 2020 survey revealed that:
- 37% of RPA developers at consulting and managed service firms have more than three years of experience working in RPA, versus 26% of those who are working in-house.
- 86% of consultants are RPA-certified, versus 75% of in-house employees.
3. Time to solution roll-out
It is reported that RPA pilot projects often take 4-6 months instead of the expected 4-6 weeks because businesses fail to identify the right processes to automate and/or don’t have enough knowledge about their as-is processes. RPA-focused MSPs help businesses overcome time management issues because they:
- Reduce time to build RPA infrastructure.
- Reduce time to acquire and train talents.
- Provide consultancy regarding processes to automate.
- May have industry-specific experience, thus, can have reusable bots specific to the business functions.
4. Bot maintenance
RPA implementation requires frequent and ongoing testing and maintenance even after solution roll-out. This may be difficult if businesses don’t have an IT team dedicated for RPA development and maintenance. Relying on RPA MSPs can reduce post implementation pitfalls, as they:
- Modify and maintain bots when business processes or underlying interfaces change.
- Provide up-to-date information about data regulations and update bot credentials accordingly.
- Track bot performance and monitor solutions for recurring errors.
Argos Labs’ no-code RPA allows you create, run, and manage your software robots. The major differentiating factor of Argos Labs is their POT SDK toolset that is open-sourced and Python-compatible. The expected benefits of using Argos Labs’ platform include:
- Fully customizable low-code platform to meet customers’ needs
- Affordable license schemes for different business needs
- Entry level engineers and citizen developers can run the tools
What can RPA managed services provide?
RPA-focused MSPs can automate numerous processes according to business needs, such as:
- Finance functions:
- IT functions:
- HR functions:
Tip for business: When choosing an RPA-focused MSP, it is critical to choose an MSP with industry-specific experience, and explore their portfolio and clients’ stories. This will help businesses quickly discover processes to automate, decrease time for solution roll-out, and understand business-specific automation advantages and challenges.
MSPs themselves are leveraging RPA to automate some of their processes in order to optimize costs and overcome time zone differences. Explore in our in-depth article the 3 issues that managed service providers can tackle with RPA.
To learn how RPA works, read our comprehensive articles about RPA’s underlying technologies:
- RPA Architecture: In-Depth Guide to How RPA Works
- Underlying Technology of RPA & Web Scrapers: Screen Scraping
- OCR for RPA: How RPAs can understand unstructured data
If you still have any questions about RPA, download our in-depth whitepaper on RPA:
And we can help you find the right tool for your business:
This article was drafted by former AIMultiple industry analyst Alamira Jouman Hajjar.
Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.
Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.
Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.
He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.
Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
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