Robotic process automation (RPA) is a rapidly growing force in today’s business world. In a recent article, venture capitalist Geoff Bernstein noted that RPA is the fastest-growing segment of the enterprise software market. The facts support his enthusiasm for RPA. According to MarketWatch, the RPA market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 29.5% from 2018 to 2026. By 2026, the market will reach a valuation of $8.8 billion dollars. But, what is RPA, and why do many businesses consider it a valuable addition to their competitive toolset? More importantly, what is the ROI of robotic process automation?

What is Robotic Process Automation?

With RPA, software robots (bots) automate many of the repetitive processes your business relies on daily. Essentially, bots take over tasks normally performed by employees.

Of course, humans aren’t robots. They sometimes get tired, distracted, or bored. This results in errors, even if employees start out by following well-defined processes. One of the great advantages of RPA is that once the steps of a process are determined, the software does it exactly the same way every time. Ultimately, this eliminates errors due to human limitations.

In addition, a bot performs the steps of a process far more efficiently than an employee. It also never tires of doing the same thing repeatedly for days on end. RPA relieves workers of dull, repetitive work and frees up their time for higher-value business tasks. The benefits of RPA include enhanced productivity, increased employee satisfaction, and greater business success.

According to Bernstein, RPA centers on automating “high-volume, business-rules-driven, and repeatable processes.” Bernstein, an Indicator Ventures partner, supports companies “leveraging ‘digital efficiencies’ to generate material time and cost savings.” His firm considers Shibumi a leading choice in RPA solutions.

The Importance of Measuring the ROI of Robotic Process Automation 

It’s inevitable that increased productivity and reduced error rates positively impact profitability. However, to make a business case for full-scale RPA, you’ll need to present clear quantitative metrics to important stakeholders.

Companies typically begin incorporating RPA into their workflows on a small scale. They then gather KPI data to determine what ROI can be achieved when RPA is scaled up across the organisation.

However, as Bernstein notes, demonstrating the true ROI of an RPA program has proven to be challenging. This is due to “many enterprises…using multiple vendors to patch different processes and initiatives together.” Bernstein highlights one tool as being especially useful in calculating the ROI of robotic process automation:

Shibumi…holds all of these initiatives together, ensures they are rolled out correctly and accurately measures their business value and impact to the enterprise…So far, Shibumi has had a $75M+ impact with 1,000+ high-impact bots in production. It has become clear that Shibumi’s ability to clearly calculate and depict the impact of different initiatives is inherently valuable to companies implementing RPA and any other strategic initiatives.

To further understand Shibumi’s unique value, let’s compare it with UiPath Automation Hub (formerly Enterprise Connect Hub) a recent UiPath product that aims to solve a similar challenge.

UiPath Automation Hub and its Approach to RPA

Many UiPath users have begun incorporating UIPath Automation Hub into their Automation Toolkit or are considering doing so. UiPath Automation Hub promises to help users assess the ROI of automation opportunities based on a number of RPA performance metrics, to build a pipeline of opportunities, and then to manage them through the Development Lifecycle. While valuable, these assessments are far more focused on the ‘operational and technical’ aspects of Bot development and far less focused on the ‘business and value-based’ aspects of managing an Automation Program such as Cost Benefits, Hours Returned to the Business, Program Investment Return on Investment (ROI), and much more as explained below.

Shibumi’s Approach to Determining the ROI of Robotic Process Automation

Shibumi looks at RPA from an end-to-end business perspective. And, it focuses directly on quantifiable business benefits, such as hours returned to the business, dollars saved, and revenues earned. Most importantly, Shibumi provides visibility into these metrics in real-time. This allows managers to quickly evaluate competing initiatives and make rapid, value-based decisions as to prioritisation and re-alignment of resources to keep automation projects on track. As Bernstein puts it:

Companies are now using Shibumi to specifically decipher the impact of disparate systems working towards a common goal…With RPA, getting buy-in from management and IT support for post-pilot deployment is completely contingent on proving ROI. Shibumi is the perfect platform to bridge this gap and provide a resource for companies to deploy these new initiatives in an easy and efficient manner.

Another reviewer notes that Shibumi excels at tracking your RPA programs and monitoring their success through business-focused KPIs, and, it does so with a significantly reduced need for manual labor.

A Shibumi Case Study

According to data presented at the BTOE Summit, Hewlett Packard Finance and IT teams partnered with a number of world-class vendors, including Shibumi, to implement a pilot program to evaluate RPA and other leading-edge technologies. HP wanted to create leaner, more profitable organisations by automating error-prone business processes. The teams understood that the success of the program would depend on clearly demonstrating the ROI of robotic process automation on a larger scale.

One of the automation platforms HP chose was UiPath. But, perhaps, Shibumi proved to be its most critical choice. Here’s how HP describes its experience:

To provide the governance around value capture, funnel management, and project management, we implemented a tool called Shibumi…[that] enables the E2E (end-to-end) value of a given automation to be captured using specific business case templates, workplans, sign-off methodology, ROI analytics, and robot inventory management. This tool has helped to encapsulate all governance and value capture across the automation program, whilst helping to provide transparency to all stakeholders.

How Shibumi and UiPath Work Together

Shibumi is a certified UiPath Technology Partner. It integrates out of the box with UiPath Orchestrator. In addition, it also integrates with Blue Prism Control Room, Automation Anywhere Bot Insights, Jira, and MS Project. That close integration enables the importation of operational data (bot run times, failures, and successes) into Shibumi. This data is then used to calculate the ROI of automation to compare against the original business case. When organisations begin to understand the results achieved by automation, they are further motivated to scale up their automation programs.

Considering Shibumi? You should be aware that it fully automates the calculation of ROI for automation programs. In addition, it also automates the generation of dashboards and presentations, which can be shared with important stakeholders.

Shibumi: A Critical Piece of the RPA Puzzle

Regardless of the efficacy of UiPath Automation Hub, all Automation CoE (Center of Excellence) leaders share the same goals. They seek the knowledge to create “automation factories” to drive down costs, grow revenues and improve the customer experience. Shibumi’s RPA Accelerator is the enterprise-ready solution for scaling seamlessly and achieving critical business goals. If your organisation is considering RPA and needs clear quantitative ROI metrics showing its business impact, then you should consider the Automation Accelerator from Shibumi.

Not convinced that Shibumi is for you? Read what organisations are saying at Gartner Peer Insights:

  • “Powerful and easy to use tool for automation transformation programs.”
  • “Impressive advanced integration capabilities with various third-party apps.”
  • “Really useful software to track and map automation opportunities.”

For more information about Shibumi’s powerful platform, contact us today.