Pinnacle Enterprises

RPA Implementation

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Transform with an RPA Implementation

RPA adoption study of myth, realities and next steps for enterprises

Reject the RPA Myths, Embrace the Potential

Are you positioning your company for real success in RPA (Robotic Process Automation)?

Increasingly, a number of companies are doing just that. They are moving out of the RPA “pilot” stage and beginning to reap real, lasting value from RPA implementations.

Everest Group surveyed 52 enterprises in 10 industries in various stages of RPA adoption, all with more than US$1 billion in revenue, 10 with revenue between $5 and $10 billion, and 23 with revenue greater than $10 billion.

As the chart below shows, nine of those companies are substantially farther along the path to achieving the fullest value from robotic process automation. These are the nine in the upper right that we have designated as Pinnacle Enterprises™.

Pinnacle enterprise RPA adoption trends

Where would your company’s “dot” land? Everest Group can help you find it in 30 days

True, RPA adoption is still in early stages at most companies, and much value remains unrealized even in the most mature RPA implementations. But even small advantages seized early can make a big difference today and create the foundation for even greater value in the future.

We found three significant differentiators in the RPA activities of the Pinnacle Enterprises™ versus the strivers. Interestingly, these differentiators repudiate three persistent RPA myths.

Before we address those myths versus the reality, let us specify how Everest Group measures RPA adoption.

RPA Adoption Measurements

To qualify as Pinnacle Enterprises™, the nine companies outperformed the strivers on three measures: business performance, operational impact, and costs.

In terms of business performance, the Pinnacle Enterprises™ share a broader set of significant business impacts:

Business outcomes from RPA implementation among pinnacle enterprises

The Pinnacle Enterprises™ also demand more operational benefits of their RPA implementations:

Operational impact via RPA implementation among pinnacle enterprises

As for cost impact, RPA implementations enables the Pinnacle Enterprises to:

Cost outcomes via RPA implementation among pinnacle enterprises
Key comparisons of pinnacle enterprises with others after RPA implementation

RPA Differentiators:  The Myths and the Realities

As three myths have gained currency around RPA, they have promoted false expectations and complicated execution – ultimately circumscribing its potential. By repudiating these myths, our research sheds light on how enterprises can reposition their RPA adoption to reap its greater rewards.

RPA Myth #1 – RPA adoption is about cost reduction, especially through layoffs.

Reality: Pinnacle Enterprises see RPA as transformational, leading to resource reskilling/upskilling.

It is true that if RPA is undertaken with nothing but raw cost reduction in mind, most of RPA’s potential will be squandered. But Pinnacle Enterprises™ expect more and get more. They achieve:

  • 50% improvement in operations metrics
  • 39% improvement in SLA compliance
  • 100% find their employees to be happier
  • l8% report significant improvements in customer performance

This RPA myth has also stoked a pervasive fear that “robots will replace people” – that effective RPA adoption can be achieved only in concert with massive layoffs. Even among leaders who know better, the public relations impact of this myth leads them to proceed with excessive caution and conflicted motivation.

In fact, the nine RPA Pinnacle Enterprises, and strivers to a slightly lower yet still predominant extent, showed a significant focus on talent management:

  • Pinnacle Enterprises reskilled, upskilled, or redeployed 98% of employees affected by RPA (versus 83% of the strivers)

By envisioning RPA as transformational, Pinnacle Enterprises position themselves to achieve RPA’s greatest benefits. For the Pinnacle Enterprises versus the RPA strivers:

How pinnacle enterprises approach RPA implementation differently
RPA Myth #2: Federating RPA implementations drives RPA innovation and ROI.

Reality: Pinnacle Enterprises centralize RPA adoption to achieve scale and (ROI?).

Expectations feed outcomes. If RPA is viewed as a series of disconnected technical projects, the separate implementers sacrifice opportunities. They overlook potential to redesign processes to optimize RPA and to design how its human workforce can best engage with its digital workforce. Carrying out their work in siloed groups, they cannot foresee or manage RPA’s organizational implications.

In keeping with their broader view of RPA’s impact, Pinnacle Enterprises establish centralized implementation approaches to help in scaling RPA more quickly.

In centralizing their RPA initiatives, the Pinnacle Enterprises™ position themselves for RPA success in the following ways:

How pinnacle enterprise approach scaling RPA
RPA Myth #3: RPA Can Be Deployed by Business Units, without IT Collaboration.

Reality:  Pinnacle Enterprises collaborate closely with their IT organizations and service providers.

RPA vendors sometimes position their wares as easy for business units to implement, thus skirting the scrutiny of IT. Years of decentralizing technology implementations have emboldened business units to take that independent path.

But our research shows that RPA implementations uncoupled from IT shortchange the enterprise on scale, efficiency, compliance, security, standards, and pure IT know-how.

Instead, Pinnacle Enterprises™, recognizing they need broader RPA skills and resource levels, augment their IT organizations with third-party IT service providers to support or jointly lead RPA implementations. They see IT as the logical place for the full scope of desired expertise to help them: select and own RPA technology, manage and integrate it, provide supporting infrastructure, mitigate risk and security implications, standardize tools, ensure conformance with enterprise performance standards, and sync bots with application and infrastructure changes.

In the Pinnacle Enterprises™:

Pinnacle enterprises and their work with IT providers in RPA implementation


It is not too late – far from it. With RPA adoption still in the early stages, these gaps need not be predictive for the long term, and even the Pinnacle Enterprises™ still have a long journey to achieve full RPA benefits.

If the enterprises now trailing in RPA outcomes can quickly recognize the power of these differentiators and work to alter their course, they can likewise reap the anticipated benefits of their RPA efforts in the coming months and years.

If you would like to learn how your RPA adoption compares to the Pinnacle Enterprises™ –and how you can improve it – Everest Group can show you.

Pinnacle Assessment™ Process

By engaging in an assessment of your readiness for digital transformation, you will gain an understanding of:

  • Your level of readiness to either drive or be a major player in the digital transformation of your enterprise as compared to others who are achieving superior outcomes
  • Your highest potential areas for improvement
  • Pinnacle Practices™ used by high performers that could accelerate your readiness for the digital transformation


3-Step Process

  1. Complete the same survey completed by participants in the original Pinnacle Model™ study – completed online in less than 20 minutes
  2. Everest Group prepares an assessment of both the outcomes you have been able to achieve and your maturity level
  3. Senior leaders participate in a 2-3 hour workshop with Everest Group to review the assessment and identify high priority next steps


Enterprise RPA Adoption: Behind the Curtain | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Blog

Now that we’ve put the finishing touches on our first-of-its kind assessment of enterprise RPA adoption around the globe, we’re seeing a full dismantling of several RPA assumptions and myths.

After surveying enterprises across a wide swath of industries, we have finalized the analysis and are releasing a goldmine of data and insights for enterprises looking to take a confident step forward in their journey toward Pinnacle RPA status. While the full results are laid out in our Enterprise RPA adoption | Pinnacle Model™ Analysis for 2018, I want to provide an overview of some of the findings here that I think you’ll find interesting.

RPA adoption is size- and industry-agnostic across enterprises

Enterprise RPA adoption is not a trend for big organizations in certain industries to pursue while smaller players maintain the status quo. Stagnation is a recipe for complete disaster in the industry’s rotation to digital. In our research, we’ve found that all types and sizes of enterprises are adopting RPA. This includes both top-down adoption across the org to improve overall speed to impact and bottom-up adoption where segments of orgs are adopting RPA to optimize specific processes. Regardless of size and type, enterprises are going all-in and getting results.

Related: How to transform with RPA implementation

So, what happens if you’re not a part of that? Well, you can imagine the way Toys ‘R Us execs felt when they realized they were about to watch the titan enterprise enter into complete oblivion. Part of that is due to a failure to transform the model in the age of digital transformation. Enterprises that are not thinking in the direction of some level of enterprise RPA adoption are in danger of charting a course to that same end. The takeaway here is clear: adopt or be disrupted.

RPA Pinnacle Enterprises™ significantly excel in three impact areas

RPA Pinnacle Enterprises exceed others in the three critical areas of cost impact, operational impact and business impact. Statistically, they have seen a 50% improvement in operational impact alone. Those enterprises not at the Pinnacle level, but who are still adopting RPA, have seen a 30% improvement.

Enterprise RPA adoption

So the news for all enterprises moving along the RPA adoption curve is either good or great – there is really no bad news here. This is a fascinating and important statistic for all enterprises, and warning of what’s to be missed out on for those on the sidelines of adoption.

RPA and massive job loss is a myth

Automation is soon to be a driving factor for sweeping job losses across all industries. While that’s great fodder for headlines, blog titles, and social media clicks, the actual enterprises we’re talking to aren’t singing that song at all. I talk about this more in a recent blog, The Robots are Coming – Should You Fear or Welcome Them, but in essence, enterprises are talking about reskilling, upskilling, and enhanced training; they’re not talking about eradication of the human element.

As you might have heard, in the midst of this rotation to digital across all industries, we’re actually experiencing a labor shortage in the United States and Europe. We’re just not seeing it in the headlines.

Instead of the comparison to Skynet or some other Terminator-related theme, a better comparison for RPA and jobs is one that involves our actual history. When you review what happened in the industrial revolution, you don’t find the entire workforce replaced by machines (Of course, individuals were impacted at various levels). Instead, you find massive reskilling and upskilling so that the new technology can complement and improve human effort – AND by improving productivity, allow our companies to continue to grow even in the face of a labor shortage. That’s much more along the lines of what enterprises are discussing, planning, and doing. Unfortunately, news like that doesn’t make the cut for trending stories.

RPA Pinnacle Enterprise webinar

Many more in-depth details about these enterprise RPA trends are laid out in our Pinnacle Model analyses. Moreover, this research is brimming with data-packed analysis on what is truly differentiating Pinnacle RPA enterprises from the rest of the pack. The kind of analysis that all enterprises are clamoring for as they determine where they are on their journey to Pinnacle, and decide what the next best steps should be. We also hosted a webinar on April 12 that dispels popular myths surrounding RPA using our fact-based analysis from the RPA Pinnacle Model study. Watch the webinar replay.

Please contact us with any questions you may have about our Pinnacle Model analyses, or reach me directly at [email protected].

Is Your GIC the Secret Weapon for Digital Enablement? | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Blog, Uncategorized

You might recall, back in December we identified digital agility as a key 2018 initiative. In that blog, we discussed how you can create business value by making things easy, reliable, and fast for your customers. The question I would ask GIC organizations for 2018: In realizing that goal, are you part of the problem? Or are you part of the solution?

Our research, Digital Maturity in GICs | Pinnacle Model™ Assessment 2018, seeks to answer those questions.

Most GICs started small and expanded over time as they proved their value. Now that most GICs have realized the fundamental benefits of labor savings, quality and process improvement, and – in some cases – business outcome improvement, it’s time for them to look to their next act.

Our central thesis is that a GIC can be a critical driver in building and running new digital competencies. But we want to hear from you about the functions and processes that are getting the most attention and investment. Which digital technologies are you focusing their efforts on? And what capabilities did you deploy to build out these capabilities?

There are plenty of digital surveys that you can participate in, so – why Everest Group’s? Because we take a different approach that results in more meaningful, useful outputs. Our Pinnacle Model™ approach asks questions about what the very best GICs are doing in terms of real impact and then correlate the capabilities required to achieve those results. And we go beyond the online survey, talking with some respondents to understand their journeys – what worked and what didn’t.

With that information in hand, we identify a set of Pinnacle Practices™ that you can consider deploying in your GIC.

Yes, there is a ton of hype around digital; let’s get beyond the headlines and talk outcomes and practices in your GIC.

Take the survey

The Robots are Coming – Should You Fear or Welcome Them? | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Blog

How does your enterprise compare with peers?

A few weeks back, we opened our Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Pinnacle Model study to enterprises to compare their RPA adoption performances head-to-head. Everest Group Pinnacle ModelTM assessments are unique in that they correlate quantified outcomes and capabilities with a special spotlight on the Pinnacle Enterprises that are outperforming their peers. As part of the study process, we also interview select participants to gather qualitative information about these same enterprises.

Having completed a number of these interviews and looking at some of the early tabulations from those have completed the RPA adoption survey, I’m sharing some of my early thoughts below.

Four thoughts on our RPA Pinnacle Enterprise survey results

  • The robots are truly coming, but the fears about the impact on jobs is way overblown – it is clear from our conversations that RPA is going to have an impact in many different parts of the organization, including both front office and back office, but the number of jobs being impacted is not going to be the primary value proposition. Yes, cost take out will be part of the equation, but it is highly likely it will impact slices of jobs and/or departments that will allow for those employees to be transitioned to higher-value tasks.
  • Improving the job for employees – One of the clear messages that we have heard so far is that employees are embracing RPA. In fact, the branding of these initiatives is about getting rid of the worst tasks of their current jobs and includes names like “Smart Automation” and “We Innovate.” In fact, many of these employees are already implementing their own home automations like Nest, Alexa, Google, Rachio, etc. and are becoming quite comfortable with these quality of life improvements automations. One of the enterprises we spoke with actually talked about seeing improvements in their employee retention rates when they were included in these initiatives and allowed to improve their own jobs. However, change management has not been “easy,” and companies have adopted various ways to create awareness about the benefits of RPA and how employees can use it to be more effective in their jobs. Some of the examples of approaches include workshops, training programs, newsletters, project of the year, and hackathons.
  • The real skirmish is between the business units and IT for ownership – one of the interesting aspects of this analysis is to see where the study participants reside in their organizations. In the conversations, it becomes apparent the business is the one driving the conversation and IT has been the reluctant partner. But I got the sense this was changing pretty quickly, and IT was beginning to see the light that they have to be part of these implementations for a variety of reasons. Also, organizations have internally gone through a debate as to whether to approach this is an IT project or a business process redesign. We will be interested in hearing how your organization is thinking about this. Participate in the study.
  • We are just getting started – we can see it in the data and with our conversations, enterprises are running multiple RPA initiatives and projects are spread across RPA implementation stages. At least 65% of respondents are in the process of scaling up their RPA efforts or running steady-state automations. However, the majority of enterprises are still in their rookie year when it comes to setting up RPA CoEs (or expanding existing automation CoEs). The implications is that the initial proof of concepts projects are seeing enough promise that formal teams are being stood up to begin the scaling process.

We will be analyzing the data over the next several weeks so watch this blog for more interesting tidbits from those results.
Join the party … it is not too late for you to participate. Take the survey to compare your enterprise RPA adoption to others in the industry.

Related: The Evolution of RPA Adoption