The Cost of Failed Automation -- It's not just money Lost

  • latentbridge
  • Monday, July 4, 2022, 2 min read

LatentBridge, a global intelligent automation company participated in a panel discussion of experts in intelligent automation to share their views on the impact of a failed automation. 

The panel included was hosted by Hema Gandhi, CEO LatentBridge with panellists  

When an automation fails, apart from the money lost, companies lose time too; precious time that could help gain a lead over competitors or redesign a process or improve employee morale. Getting automation right the first time is extremely valuable. 

A recent study by Deloitte suggested that about 37% of respondents are piloting (1-10 automations), 23% are implementing (11-50 automations), 13% are scaling (51+ automations) and 27% haven’t done any automation.                           

In 2019, only 8% were scaling according, showing that the pace of scaling is slow, with a key barrier being failed automation. 

Some of the key questions answered during the enlightening discussion are: 

How well do you think firms know their TCO? 

There are three distinct challenges to calculate total cost of ownership for automation projects 

Most organisations believe the cost of failed automation is equal to cost of the project that didn’t go live or didn’t meet the expected outcomes. 

What should be the criteria for undertaking Proof of Concepts (POCs)? 

Businesses conduct PoCs to check if a technology works, but the success of a PoC depends more on the data and inputs rather than the technology itself. The purpose of a PoC is to encourage experimentation and understanding but are often used like a discovery rather than an evaluation.  

PoCs are very good if you can work in a very agile manner, learn from failures as well, and move on quickly. This should help to retrain the business case to prioritise what comes at the top and what falls away. 

Do organisations drive the change holistically or they work in silos? 

Businesses are organised by functions and units, each with their own purpose and goals. They adopt automation to overcome their unique challenges and, in the process, create automation silos.  

To implement a more holistic approach, leadership needs to view automation as a single workflow, with processes starting with the customer and ending with the customer. The focus should be less around middle- front- or back- office and more around a COO, CEO, CFO or CDO with functional owners behind the change to lead to a better customer outcome with optimised costs. 

Tags: failed automation, intelligent automation, process assessment