Survey Shows 70% of U.S. Decision Makers Find Process Insight Essential for RPA Success

MILPITAS, Calif., May 13, 2020 – Global survey results released today found that process knowledge is the primary success factor for robotic process automation (RPA) projects, yet only 31% of US organizations are currently using process mining tools to understand their processes. The importance of a process-first approach is growing, according to the State of Process Mining and Robotic Process Automation survey conducted among 400 senior decision makers in the US, UK, France and Germany.

Process mining is becoming a critical component of automation efforts with 42% of US respondents saying they are in early stages or considering adopting process mining platforms, while 31% are already using these tools. Furthermore, 41% believe these solutions would be helpful for understanding how their business processes worked, with organizations also seeing the value of process mining for real-time performance updates (43%) and analyzing behaviors to improve processes (39%).

The survey also revealed that while some (29%) US organizations strictly follow process rules, most (60%) said there are exceptions and deviations to successfully complete processes. The most popular reason why processes were not always strictly followed was that employees may deviate to meet customer needs (58%). This points to the growing need for more advanced process mining solutions capable of tracking, analyzing and predicting varied, ad hoc processes in real-time.

Decision makers in the US credited three success factors for RPA initiatives with a strong understanding of business processes automated as the top factor (70%), followed by advanced planning (63%), and having a simple workflow to automate (50%). Conversely, the two leading factors causing RPA project failures were the complexity of projects (57%) and not fully understanding the intended automated process (39%).

“There is a direct relation to RPA project failure and not adequately understanding business process workflows and how they may deviate,” commented Scott Opitz, Chief Marketing Officer at ABBYY. “It’s becoming clearer to organizations that process knowledge is fundamental for successful automation initiatives. More advanced process mining tools are required to offer real-time visualization of bottlenecks, analysis of how various process execution patterns impact costs, and alerts to proactively notify staff if something is occurring or perhaps not occurring in the process. Armed with this more comprehensive process insight, organizations can better identify opportunities for business process automation and prioritize those with the highest ROI potential.”

The global survey also highlighted that RPA and process mining are no longer used for simply automating administrative tasks and are now moving towards higher value, enterprise-wide automation for augmenting human intelligence in more business-critical functions. For example, US decision makers believe RPA will be most valuable for improving the customer experience (40%) and financial planning and decision making (38%).

 Financial planning & decision-makingImproving customer experienceIT service managementStreamlining HR onboarding
Process mining55%45%44%42%

Figure 1: US respondents – “Where do you think process mining/RPA would be useful in your organization?”

The global survey was sponsored by ABBYY and executed by Opinium Research in March 2020 with organizations across healthcare, financial services, logistics and transportation, and government.

Download the full State of Process Mining and Robotic Process Automation 2020 global report at

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