Softomotive | Simplify Automation
David vs Goliath
Blog 30/10/2018


Why is RPA synonymous with a “Stone and Sling?” Read on to find out.

Ambitious, growing companies or “Challengers” competing in tough markets, especially against large, powerful enterprises face a David & Goliath tussle. This may, according to the Oxford Learner Dictionaries, be described as “a situation in which a small or weak person or organization tries to defeat another much larger or stronger opponent”.

For such Challengers, time is often the most precious commodity: time to think; time to meet deadlines; time to stay close to the lifeblood of their business, their customers; time to prosper. Without such time, the battle with bigger, more powerful competitors with deeper pockets is made even harder for these challengers. Managing cash flow is paramount, including keeping a close eye on expenses so the answer is not just a question of opening up the chequebook to add hard to find resources.

Gartner’s 2018 CEO survey found that many more CEOs of midsize enterprises (MSE’s), “are now focused on enhancing technology leverage and structural and workforce development to grow and scale their business”.


Enlightened Challengers are discovering the power of Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

What if these small and medium-sized companies could find their modern-day equivalent of the “stone and sling” to be used to bring down their Goliath. Something to help them stay relevant and compete more effectively with and beat their larger competitors? You may say this will never happen but the fact it is happening now. Enlightened Challengers are discovering the power of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to boost their growth prospects and overall competitiveness by freeing up valuable time so that in some cases they can expand without adding to headcount or at least scale at a fraction of the cost of hiring a new FTE.

RPA makes use of robots which are software tools developed to simplify business process delivery. The software robots offer improved business efficiency and productivity by automating repetitive tasks across multiple business applications without altering existing infrastructure and systems. This is the key to staying competitive in this new, digital world that we and Challengers all live in. By putting their businesses on the equivalent of Autopilot, Challengers are able to do things better, quicker and cheaper than ever before. In short, to do more with less.


Challengers are actually well placed to take advantage of RPA

 A recent Everest Group report on Enterprise Robotic Process Automation Adoption reveals that top performers are achieving good or great results including x4 ROI and x3 improvements in operational metrics.  Admittedly, this report featured large enterprises only – but Challengers should not fear that the odds are stacked against them even further because of the impression that this new, game-changing technology is only affordable by large enterprises. Despite the fact that Challengers are likely to have tight IT budgets and a perceived lack of required skills, it might come as a surprise that Challengers are actually well placed to take advantage of RPA to create opportunities to grow. What is it that they have working in their favour?

Firstly, and importantly, Challengers are likely to have a better, innate understanding of their end-to-end business processes rather than more those operating in silo’ed, more complex and largely less collaborative, large enterprises. This understanding is a pre-requisite for success, especially since it means Challengers are more likely to find it easier to identify the most suitable processes to automate.

Also, one of the possible brakes on successful, speedy RPA implementation is fear of change and employee resistance in large enterprises is likely to be more acute since communications channels are typically longer and more convoluted. Consequently, bigger companies will most likely encounter more change management issues because there will be less understanding about the merits of RPA and for example, fear that jobs will be at risk.

The costs of RPA are less than the costs of other enterprise technologies and very affordable for Challengers. There is the opportunity to introduce desktop automation tools like WinAutomation which only need to have the RPA software installed directly on the machine rather than being committed to a more expensive central server based infrastructure – all this helps to lower the total costs of getting started on their RPA journey. Likewise, a large expensive overhead does not need to be built up to implement and maintain RPA because the technology itself, despite all the hype that surrounds, is easy to configure and does not require coding. Challengers can start small, learn quickly and scale seamlessly as their experience and confidence grows about the ROI from introducing RPA.

Together, this gives Challengers the opportunity to introduce, catch up and overtake their larger competitors who might still find themselves struggling to scale RPA in their business. Their agility to introduce RPA faster and more effectively than large enterprises, will in turn, be re-enforced as the mundane, repetitive processes are automated and time is freed for more value-added activities, with better resilience to deal with unexpected fluctuations or spikes in demand.

One of the reasons that RPA is attracting so much attention and experiencing such rapid growth amongst Challengers is because it applicable to most industry sectors, albeit some sectors like Banking, Financial Services and Insurance are experiencing more traction because of the nature of their high volume, repetitive and rules-based processes which are most suited to RPA. The typical sorts of processes suitable for robotic automation technologies within a Challenger range from front office (customer facing) “attended” operations to back-office “unattended” operations covering Finance, HR, IT, Procurement and so on.


RPA is a real opportunity to boost productivity and achieve growth

So at a time when Challengers need to improve business efficiency and productivity, RPA is a real opportunity to optimise business operations and achieve growth. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that one of the key findings of the Everest annual report 2018 on Robotic Process Automation – Creating Business – Value in a Digital-First World was “small- and medium-sized enterprises have accelerated the pace of RPA adoption and now together account for a major portion of the market”. This bodes well for Challengers as they battle against larger competitors, their Goliath, to remain relevant and competitive in today’s fast-changing, digital world.


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Bob Weare

Chief Marketing Officer


October 2018

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