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As the price of software robots drops, HR’s interest rises | TechTarget

Software robot costs are declining
But there are now more vendors providing RPA products, and it’s driving down costs, Liebross said. A project that once might have cost millions of dollars to deploy can now be done for tens of thousands of dollars, making the ROI easier to achieve, he said.

The cost of software robot deployment can be relatively inexpensive, said Craig Le Clair, a Forrester Research analyst who recently co-authored a report on RPA. A software robot, or bot, might cost $30,000 to build and have $15,000 in recurring costs, including infrastructure support and licensing. The bot might offset the work of two to four people, taking out 4,000 to 8,000 hours in annual labor costs, he said.

But software robots are limited in what they can do, Le Clair said. They typically work best on processes that require fewer than five decisions by a human and need fewer than five applications to complete a task. There is also a limit on the number of clicks, he said.

Software robots will improve as they gain AI-type capabilities that make it possible for them to handle exceptions in processes, Le Clair said. In time, they will be able to, for instance, sort and respond to unstructured data, such as emails.

“It’s worthwhile implementing [RPA] even if you’re not going to reduce head count, just so you can be more efficient, more scalable,” Liebross said. The main push was initially in finance and accounting, but HR is now getting a lot of interest, he said.

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As the price of software robots drops, HR’s interest rises.