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Blog | Dec 11, 2023

Intelligent Automation Trends and Predictions 2024

Intelligent Automation Trends & Predictions
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What Is the Future of Automation?

Automation is on the uptick, and organizations are searching for more ways to deliver consistent value that will ensure reduced costs, improved employee and customer satisfaction, and drive higher productivity through efficient, automated processes. We’ll especially see these digital transformations in areas such as supply chains, customer service and administrative tasks.

Intelligent automation (IA) uses robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and business process management (BPM) to automate end-to-end business processes.

So, let’s talk about the automation predictions for 2024.

What is the current trend in automation?

Probably the topmost topic everybody’s talking about is the expansion of IA into broader technologies like generative AI. But there isn’t just one trend we’ll see emerging in the upcoming year for automation. We’re going to see changes across ethics, strategy, governance, all-in-one solutions and how business users interact with automation technology in real time.

What Are the Automation Trends for 2024 According to SS&C Blue Prism?

SS&C Blue Prism has identified seven key automation trends we’re likely to see in 2024, including:

  1. Generative AI + intelligent automation.
  2. Digital worker-first processes.
  3. Evolving from pure play to platform play.
  4. Strategic applications.
  5. Better user accessibility for citizen developers.
  6. Ethical automation and ESG compliance.
  7. Governance and security.

Which technologies will dominate in 2024?

We’ll be seeing a lot more platform play over simple automation solutions. Organizations want their automation to do more, and they don’t want to scoop a few samples from each pot – they want the whole honey store. What that means is more businesses will look to vendors offering a full breadth of automated solutions to help them reach total digital transformation, including automation tools like:

Natural language processing (NLP)

As more organizations use chatbots to automatically respond to customer queries and complaints, the need for more conversational AI virtual assistants will become a necessity to keep up with demand and continuously provide high-quality customer experiences.

Generative AI

There’s been an explosion of generative AI in 2023, where a computer is trained on large language models (LLMs) to generate new content based on a prompt. This has opened a whole host of possibilities for expanding IA’s capabilities and putting code automation development in the hands of business users or ‘citizen developers’ – non-tech people within the business.

Of course, gen AI still has its limitations and with it comes the need for good governance and ensuring businesses stay compliant with their processes. 2024 promises to see more organizations using gen AI, and even more struggling to find a way to use it securely.

What the analysts say: By 2025, generative AI will be a workforce partner for 90% of companies globally. – Gartner, We Shape AI, AI Shapes Us
What our people say: “While gen AI as a development technology will hit a roadblock, we’ll start to see it leveraged more and more to support humans in making individual tasks easier – including automation. Whether this is to support application modeling or automation flow review, gen AI will become a productivity enhancer within the automation space – giving the human automation designer more time and space to exercise their creativity and judgment while picking up some of the more boring and mundane tasks.” – Drew Sonden, senior solutions consultant, SS&C Blue Prism
What our partners say: “New gen AI-based automation tools will breathe life into the 'citizen developer' movement, encouraging individuals to do more to improve their own personal productivity.”  – Ted Shelton, global product leader for business process redesign, Bain & Company

Intelligent document processing (IDP)

Many organizations will look to consolidate their data, making it easier to store and sift through so information is secure and accessible. IDP enables businesses to turn any format of unstructured, semi-structured or structured documents into machine-readable automation data. This, in combination with automating processes, will streamline and digitize processes across the business.

What our people say: “The consolidation of BPM, RPA and IDP into a single vendor or platform model is part of a broader trend in business automation, aiming to provide a more holistic and efficient approach to managing and optimizing business processes and customer interactions.” – Greg Walker, product marketing manager, SS&C Blue Prism

Cloud-native platform solutions

Data accessibility is key, and organizations lacking the infrastructure for on-premises automation will turn to cloud-native platforms. With cloud-native automation platforms, organizations can deploy a hybrid digital workforce with more flexibility than ever seen before.   

What the analysts say: 70% of enterprises will form strategic ties with cloud providers for gen AI platforms, developer tools and infrastructure, requiring new corporate controls for data and cost governance by 2025. – IDC FutureScape
What our people say: “Cloud offers flexibility and control in equal measure. Customers, as they move on from automation will use ‘calls’ to cloud services like AI, gen AI or contact center or fraud detection, from the likes of AWS or GCP, etc., to create more complex solutions that will be consumed on a pay-as-you-go basis. Digital workers will drive the solutions across multiple clouds and applications.” — Michael McLaughlin, VP alliances and commercial operations, SS&C Blue Prism
What our partners say: "Robot as a Service (RaaS) and Cloud-based RPA:can provide a flexible and scalable approach to automation, with quick integrations and data access" – Julien Fest, Intelligent Automation Offering Lead, Avanade, LinkedIn

Process intelligence

The need for scalability will affect both new and experienced organizations automating their processes. Process intelligence tools such as task mining and process mining will help these organizations with a cost-effective way to identify bottlenecks and find new opportunities to automate. This will help them realize more benefits with their IA program and also encourage further efficiencies by eliminating redundancies.

What the analysts say: More than 50% of organizations now use process intelligence tools, and the remainder plan to use them. – Forrester Predictions: 2024 Automation 
What our people say: “Task mining will finally deliver on hype in 2024 – increase efficiencies, optimize processes, increase compliance through better auditing and allow enterprises to make data-driven decisions.” – Michael McLaughlin, VP alliances and commercial operations, SS&C Blue Prism
What our partners say: "In recent years, Process Intelligence became a measurable driver for process improvement and automation, still requiring data science and the ability to interpret the data correctly. The use of Artificial Intelligence is supporting this interpretation." – Ina Krebs, Partner and General Manager DACH & Nordics, Novelis, LinkedIn
What our partners say: "Process Mining and Task Mining are effective tools as part of the broader digital transformation tool kit– but need to be combined with traditional process analysis and process improvement expertise in order to realize the full benefits of the tools and overall transformation." – Joe Gabiger, Head of Automation Operations, Ignite IPA, LinkedIn

    What are the trends in business automation?

    Work needs to get done faster, cheaper and better, driving many organizations to apply more low- and no-code applications so business users can easily build and deploy automations into business operations and reduce process complexity. More automation market vendors will offer citizen developers no-code APIs, with the pro developers building the connectors to enable this.

    What our partners say: "The evolving landscape suggests that sustainable competitive advantage will increasingly derive from operational excellence,”bettering your operations,” rather than from products or services. In this context, Business Process Automation (BPA) emerges as a critical tool for fostering innovation and agility, enabling organizations to adapt swiftly to market conditions and seize emerging opportunities." – Karli Kalpala, Head of Strategic Transformation, Digital Workforce Services Plc, LinkedIn

    What is the next big thing in automation?

    More organizations will look to leveraging LLM and gen AI in the attended and task-focused areas of their business. But with so many vendors jumping on the gen AI bandwagon, organizations will need to discern which automation technologies will consistently add value to the business.

    What is the trend in AI and automation in 2024?

    We’ll see more IA wrapped around gen AI offerings to ensure the right guardrails to control input data. That means more organizations will look at using AI within existing automation spheres to ensure consistent and reliable outputs.

    What is the next trend after AI?

    After AI we’ll see a lot more ethical automation around evolving ESG regulations. More organizations will need to consider what ESG reporting is required in their region and industry, and will look to automation to solve factors such as their carbon footprint, data security and employee satisfaction.

    What Are the Future Goals of Automation?

    We’re heading into new territories with changing technologies and evolving ESG requirements. More organizations will need to strategize their digital transformation to ensure they’re maintaining compliance and for that, most will likely look to operating models such as the SS&C | Blue Prism® Robotic Operating Model (ROM™2) to guide their path.

    7 Intelligent Automation Trends & Predictions

    7 Automation Trends & Predictions 2024

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