Everest Group’s latest research shows that while there is growing adoption of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) within Business Process Services (BPS) contracts, customer satisfaction (CSAT) with service providers’ is distinctly average at 3.6 out of 5. Service providers need to do more to achieve better CSATs.
Everest Group’s research titled Business Process Services Delivery Automation (BPSDA) – Service Provider Landscape with PEAK Matrix™ Assessment 2017, which assesses the automation capabilities of leading service providers, shows that the number of automation proofs of concept run by service providers for their BPS clients has on average quadrupled in one year. Furthermore, the number of BPS contracts with automation has gone above 1,000. Yet, the scale of deployments is small; the average number of robots deployed per BPS client hovers at just below 10.
Unsurprisingly, at 85%, the vast majority of deployments are robotic process automation as opposed to automation based on Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The other finding from the report, based on interviews with reference clients of the service providers shows that CSAT with service providers automation services is fair to middling. The average overall score was 3.6 out of 5. Clients rated the need for RPA skills very highly with service providers achieving 3.9 for their RPA related services. The scores were dragged down by the CSAT for AI capabilities that scored only 3.1.
The kind of issues that the reference clients reported were mainly related to the immaturity of RPA in the global services market and the skills for deploying it. Examples of feedback include:
- It feels like they used us as a training arena for some of their staff
- They (the BPS provider) should communicate opportunities better. It feels like they were late to bring this to us
- They took a long time to learn how to code in xyz RPA software. It took a long time to integrate the RPA with our systems
- The service provider should have done more due diligence on the RPA technology vendor
- Change management and governance need improving
What can we expect with Robotic Process Automation?
Some of this dissatisfaction is a result of the hype in the market about the ease of robotic process automation deployments and rapid returns on investment. Clients have high expectations from all RPA projects, and this is showing in projects that they deploy for themselves or through system integrators as well.
The good news is that service providers continue to invest in automation. On average, 60% of service providers’ technology staff are working on automation products, solutioning and related services. This will enhance their skills and capabilities in SDA technologies, both RPA and AI.
We expect to see skills grow alongside the market in the coming months. We’ll be watching this space closely to provide our clients with updates over the year.