What are the costs for the maintenance of my software robots? And how can I keep them under control?
Just like human employees, software robots need the right care to function properly. These costs can grow extensively, even to the point where they surpass the costs of developing a software robot in a matter of just a few years. At the moment you will find a bunch of diverging experiences regarding these costs: from just €25 a month up to €400 a month. This could easily ruin a positive business case, hence the necessity to control these costs.
Below you will find an overview of the four major affecting factors:
1. Internal or external maintenance:
Maintenance costs can be cut by even 40%, by keeping the job within the company, since third parties generally charge a higher rate. Of course a pre-condition would be that the right skills need to be present, or build, internally.
2. Business needs and desires:
The business needs and wishes must be described in detail and formally dealt with, including all of the exceptions that may appear. This will prevent all sorts of small changes in the future, which are carried out under the label of maintenance.
3. Solution design:
The solution design document determines the solidity of the robot. The style of programming has a great impact on the number of malfunctions, as well as the costs. For this reason, it is good to let a third party check the document as well as the script. For example, the implementation of image recognition is more prone to errors than scripting.
4. Scope of maintenance:
Defining what is and what isn’t maintenance will produce more insights and grip on the expenses. For example by excluding little user-friendly adjustments, interruptions in infrastructure, and errors in other applications. This way, the real maintenance activities will remain, to be controlled and improved by you.
When sticking to these rules, the expenses for a software robot don’t have to be higher than €50 a month. This makes robots way more appealing for doing loads of smaller processes.
In short, if you want to maintain a grip on maintenance costs, apply these