Automation is now entering a new phase of maturity and investment, based on a perfect storm of conditions that are accelerating investments and placing us firmly on the Automation Autobahn. This storm has been created due to a combination of changing market and global conditions. including:
- Covid19: The ongoing situation with Covid has forced many organizations to take a hard look at their IT and automation strategy. Many of our own customers have put Covid Response programs in place, using digital workers to help cope with the move to remote working, with benefits being felt far beyond cost reduction. For example, the use of RPA by the NHS in the UK has enabled COVID-19 antibody testing registrations to be accelerated, in addition to automating GP referral processing time from 25 minutes to 5 minutes.
- Beyond RPA: RPA has grown up. The business benefits have always been very tangible, but CTOs are now realizing that a well-designed and managed RPA platform can enable an agility and ROI from existing IT investments that they could only dream of previously. The ability to drive automation across technology platforms - through Bi-lingual Digital Workers who can speak the language of APIs and graphical interfaces - enables an organization to deliver maximum efficiencies , as well as streamline their Digital Transformation, as any legacy technologies in that landscape are swapped out.
- The Rise of Intelligent Automation (IA): IA, or Hyperautomation, represents the convergence of multiple automation and AI technologies into a single, unified strategy. Organizations recognise that they need a mix of solutions and technologies to enable them to supercharge their automation strategy. For example, process mining and task mining can be used to identify opportunities, or optimize ROI from existing automations. Text analytics, IDP and other AI technologies – often combined with human-in-the-loop processing - can be used to increase automation complexity and yield, by making more data accessible to automation, or enabling more complex automated decisions or predictions.
Where Does the Automation Autobahn Lead?
Well, there are a number of interesting junctions we expect to see over the next year:
- More Consolidation: The intersection between these technologies is driving a level of consolidation that will only accelerate. Microsoft acquiring an RPA vendor, IDP vendors acquiring process mining vendors, Process Mining vendors acquiring or building automation capabilities, RPA vendors extending across the IA suite either through build, acquisition or partnerships. More consolidation is inevitable, but this sets up an interesting challenge…
- The Automation Orchestration Engine: This same intersection of technologies also drives the need for an orchestration of technology and process that is unlike anything previously seen. RPA has some advantages here – an Enterprise RPA platform will have evolved through the establishment of a Robotic Operating Model that lends itself well towards the cross-technology governance and orchestration required. But the involvement and collaboration with Humans is key, which leads to our 3rd outcome…
- Seamless Digital Worker and Human Collaboration: The Automation Autobahn may be moving faster, but the cars on it are not yet driverless and may not be for some time. Human collaboration will be essential – to validate exceptions and apply judgement, to train the Digital Workers and to provide the customer interface. The way that work is seamlessly and securely passed between Human and digital workers will be a key requirement and focus of a successful Intelligent Automation strategy.
To hear more about this, you can join me in discussing the Automation Autobahn with Eveline Oehrlich from Research In Action on November 10 at 11am EST | 4pm GMT. Click Here to Register