Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is witnessing a paradigm shift in its narrative. From being associated with cost cutting measures and productivity gains, “Intelligent Automation” (RPA, AI and other cognitive digital technologies) in its new avatar, is a force multiplier for digital transformation initiatives. It has evolved from playing a secondary role in the complete digital transformation journeys, to being a primary driver for achieving digital transformation objectives.
Research firm Reports & Data predicts that by 2026, the combined intelligent automation market size will reach USD 20.7 billion, at a CAGR of 11.5%, signifying the importance of automation in overall transformation strategies. With 2020 on the horizon, we list some of the key trends and predictions for these cutting-edge technologies, which together constitute Intelligent Automation:
Fully integrated intelligent automation: Business problems can no longer be solved by a single standalone technology. Popularly known as the Triple A Trifecta (RPA, AI, Analytics), these technologies together can lead to fully integrated intelligent automation solutions which combine the advantages of rule-based RPA, AI-powered automation and smart analytics-led, data-based business rules/ approaches to unlock the new value in digital workforce optimization and operational effectiveness that has not been seen before.
Security risk management & governance: This remains among the top-of-mind concerns for businesses planning digital transformation initiatives. These concerns exist on multiple levels that include infrastructure security, information security, application security involving identity and access management. A recent study by Kaspersky Lab reveals that over 46% of cybersecurity incidents occurred due to “employee actions”. Intelligent Automation solutions which combine AI and ML technologies with RPA will be customarily used to automate processes in areas such as data collection, data analytics, automatic reporting, false positives etc. to ensure better security and governance management.
AI-enabled automated decision-making: Organizations are sitting on troves of data, most of which goes unused. According a report from Forrester, 60 – 73% data in organizations is not put to any use! In the future, as AI matures and gets equipped to handle large data volumes, this information will be put to effective use for automated decision-making. For example, product refunds/ returns can be automatically decided by AI without customer care agent intervention, loan applications can be approved without human intervention, and so on.
Cloud-based RPA adoption: RPA vendors are introducing cloud-based SaaS solutions which will help organizations accelerate their automation journey by offering solutions which will enable rapid scalability, easy deployment and reduced IT infrastructure costs. Such cost-effective solutions will result in wider reach and adoption of automation by organizations of varied sizes.
Low Cost, No Code, Drag & Drop tools: These are gaining wide popularity and acceptability among users due to their versatile and easy-to-use nature. Such tools have customizable built-in drag and drop features, shareable & reusable components with almost no code automation, and a very gentle learning curve for new users. In the coming year, these tools will enable process experts having direct line-of-business knowledge to design and optimize processes, thereby resulting in reduced automation turnaround time.
Renewed level of collaboration between CIO & CHRO: CIOs will continue to save the day by managing automation initiatives, building and empowering different teams that help create a solid digital ecosystem. All this automation will require a lot of Change Management initiatives to ensure that employees transgress from stereotypical towards strategic roles, leading to a blooming relationship between CIOs & CHROs.
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