How to Guarantee Automation Project ROI

Your buyers fear is real!

According to Gartner 42% of RPA (Robotic Process Automation) projects fail to deliver what they promised. With such a large amount of projects failing, automation may seem like a gamble, and one that comes at a cost.


But there are some simple ways in which organisations can reduce the risk of failure and guarantee a return on their investments. We’ve set out 3 keys ways in which organisations can ensure success and ROI in an automation project. With careful planning and the right processes and vendors selected, your project will succeed.

1. Plan for financial success:

Planning is the key to successful projects. It is important to dedicate time to identifying and mitigating project risks. As well as ensuring that you have a detailed understanding of how the financials will stack up to pay for the project and ensure a ROI.

Gartner’s 42% figure includes softer benefits such as staff satisfaction and productivity. These benefits are obviously important but hard to measure and often used to justify projects which would have been considered a failure in pure financial terms.

There is a significant difference when it comes to automation between hard and soft successes. Removing monotonous manual tasks will increase employee satisfaction. But to address the bottom-line hard financial successes are also required. Process efficiency can go beyond removing manual tasks. It can provide real financial success by increasing revenue and reducing overheads.

When planning a project it is best to make sure that at least some of your goals are focused on financial aims – ones that your CFO could verify! Create financial models to show what is expected. Identify where the value will be created and how this will be achieved.

2. Select your processes for automation carefully:

Implementing automation can have huge cost benefits, but for some processes automation may not actually be the right fit. Ensuring that you select processes that have a clear financial basis is essential in producing good ROI. Processes that reduce overheads will support this. Additionally, improved customer service can lead to increased profit. For example, processes that have direct outcomes to the customer (e.g. high quality chatbots, 24/7 services) may reduce customer churn and increase sales.

Once the processes have been selected and a plan is in place on how to achieve real financial value. What's next? Carefully selecting the process is crucial, but it does not end there. There must be a thorough understanding of the process you are going to automate. When the organisation does not view automation initiatives with a holistic perspective this limits the understanding of what the project should be.

A diverse selection of employees should be consulted during the planning stage, from IT teams to the employees that manually handle the process. Their involvement in the strategy can help to mitigate issues that can be hard to foresee and often results in better solutions.

Limited understanding of the process can mean that the wrong solutions are chosen. A common but unwise strategy is to start planning with a technology in mind. For example deciding to use RPA to automate parts of a process rather than identifying the problems that need to be solved and then identifying the best solutions. With RPA organisations often succeed in speeding up processes, but find that the underlying problems still remain. They save some time but still require enough manpower that they can't reduce overheads as originally intended. A good understanding of where the pains are and how to resolve them will support building a stronger solution fit for your needs and financial aims.

3. Select your vendor/partner carefully:

The relationship between vendor and organisation is important throughout the whole automation process. With a lot of RPA and automation vendors in the market, there are many options and routes to choose from. Having strong and collaborative relationships with vendors means challenges can be worked through together. The right partner can bring invaluable industry experience to the table but provide a tailored solution fit for your unique business needs.

With 42% of RPA projects failing to deliver, automation can be a risky decision. The right vendor partnership is very important to alleviate the chances of failure. When vendor and organisation share the risk, both parties have skin in the game. At Maximise IT, we have planned, delivered, and supported over 2,000 successful banking and insurance projects. That means we are comfortable sharing the business risk with our customers, offering a guaranteed ROI within 12 months.

With an ROI guarantee, businesses no longer need to hedge their bets on a project that may not deliver. Working with our delivery team to plan and deliver the project, our customers then will not pay their software licenses until they have received 100% return on investment.

Read Our Free White Paper: If Your Bank's Intelligent Automation Program Is Not Making Money, Then It Has Failed. Written by independent automation expert Kieran Gilmurray.