The Dark Side of Robotic Process Automation
23 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2022
Date Written: February 4, 2022
Prior research on Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has largely focused on how it benefits firms and employees. In contrast, we interview 26 high-profile RPA stakeholders at a Fortune 500 firm to ascertain challenges, drawbacks, or pitfalls of using RPA. We identify five key problems related to RPA usage: (1) RPA is often used as a quick-fix band-aid instead of fixing core system issues, (2) RPA can cause serious control and security issues, (3) the true cost of RPA is often misunderstood and understated, (4) RPA governance is complicated and challenging, and (5) RPA usage can lead to a loss of process knowledge. Raising these issues should allow practitioners to make more informed decisions regarding RPA implementations and help inform them regarding the problematic areas that require better governance.
Keywords: Robotic Process Automation, RPA, Automation, governance, challenges, drawbacks, pitfalls
JEL Classification: O1, N7, G30, M42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation