Importance of the Business Case for RPA & AI

24 January 2019 | RPA, robotic process automation, AI

Importance of the Business Case for RPA & AI

Intelligent Automation (IA) has the ability to fundamentally transform how organizations work. The potential applications range from supporting customer service agents to changing resourcing models across the business - and in some cases even creating new services or products. But, with so many areas of your business that could benefit; what’s the best approach?

 Every organization will have questions around cost and return, and potential business benefits. For example; What should be automated first? What is the overall cost associated with deploying automation? And, how can you measure the potential benefits?

At first glance, you would think this is simple. Especially, with questions which are essentially based around planning, cost and benefits. But how many times have organizations bought and deployed a tool without really knowing how to get the most out of it. There’s always whipped up hype around a certain new tool, only for it to be brought in and fizzle out. And, be left like an old toy, or an old computer, or on a high dusty shelf in some storage area.

For organizations to build a successful business case and for it not to fall flat, it is important that you not only consider that the product you’re buying fits the whole business, but that it can also scale. For that to be achievable, you must think about avoiding niche function automation software and one off automations in pockets of your company. By considering how IA will help untether the power of automation, you can then deliver business wide value.

While thinking long term strategy is essential and will underpin everything you get out of the platform, you must start small and simple. Kicking off with a process in your business case that has clear benefit and perhaps covers the ROI on your investment, fast. This gives you the demonstrable potential to be able to roll automation out across the business to make transformational change.

 Because while the finance team may have read somewhere about the benefit of automating one thing. That business isn’t yours is it? Without an in-depth understanding of automation value can be challenging to predict. You don’t know the skills required, time to production, or resources needed.

 A clear understanding of every department’s problem and opportunity is essential if you are to build a strong business case. It’s about coming together as an organization and working out; who is the decision maker? What information is required for this project? What are the company wide metrics you are going after for this project?

 To illustrate, let’s take a look at some tips for how to get your business case off the ground.

Current & future costs

You take the current operating cost minus the future operating cost of the automated system. This is the simple concept that is behind a business case. How should you work this out? And, how much detail is required for you represent a solid business case.

Firstly, break it down by upfront, fixed and variable. Then take those and cut them into three key areas; staff, facilities & infrastructure. By doing it in this way, you can work out the cost for almost any eventuality and fine tune your presentation of the business case. Once you’ve learnt what your cost projections are internally — it’s time to look at the technology.

Technology & Infrastructure for Intelligent Automation

Every automation across every department will have transformative impact and effect both current, and future costs. Encompassing every aspect of your staff, facilities and infrastructure. But, one thing is missing from this picture. How do you plan to run the automation solution? There are two main options here; traditional or SaaS Cloud. You could invest upfront in new infrastructure, security, resilience and annual license cost with traditional deployment. On the other hand, you could go with SaaS. Simple to deploy, with simple monthly charge with no lengthy deployment plan. Sounds like a no-brainer to us.


For more detailed steps on building your business case — download the whitepaper on the topic below

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