RPA market trends have witnessed an ever-evolving trend of constant innovation on how the solutions address critical business problems. What started as a solution that automates repetitive rule-based tasks through unattended/attended automation, now boasts of an intelligent platform which plunges itself from the core ‘deterministic’ offering to a ‘cognitive’ one. AssistEdge is already aiming for the stars with Automation Singularity by providing a scalable and secure offering, right from identifying the appropriate use cases through our in-built Process Discovery tool to seamlessly automating the identified processes and orchestrating this entire gamut of complex activities through a digital-human concierge.
While AI and RPA solutions are already making strides and are the most recognized buzzwords for businesses attempting to catapult their efficiency into the next orbit; Internet of Things (IoT) will be the next big wave which will work in tandem with automation. With increased data sharing brought in by IoT, organizations are now able to experience seamless and efficient streamlining of business processes. This makes IoT a major candidate amongst emerging technologies to pair with RPA. But, before we jump into that bandwagon, let’s understand how these are related in modern-day businesses.
To understand how all these emerging technologies will work in sync, let’s dissect how we humans function on a day-to-day basis. The reason we are choosing a modern-day human as a reference is because at the end of the day the purpose of these technologies is to replicate what humans have been doing for the past decade or two and ensure that an organization’s productivity is prioritized in the right place. A human body works in a fascinating way that we almost take for granted. We use our mind to analyze a situation and make decisions real-time; our limbs to react to the analysis and enact the decision that the mind has made. Every moment of our life, the human body is performing three steps: observation, decision and action. Enterprise operations are fairly similar operationally where organizations need to analyze what situation they are in, make a decision accordingly and take actions based on the decisions.
With data being ‘the new oil’ in the current century, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are helping entities make complex decisions day in and day out. Not that a human can’t perform the same task but something that a human workforce won’t be efficient in w.r.t ‘time’ being one of the most important metrics for business success. Artificial Intelligence is nothing but a machine’s mind which analyzes data patterns, makes guesstimates with minimal error and prescribes a plan of action. But, someone needs to execute what the AI/ML offering suggests. This is where RPA comes into the picture. RPA can pick up action triggers based on events and execute pre-programmed repetitive tasks with ease. RPA and AI will always work in tandem, similar to how our limbs and mind are connected. But, for them to make a decision and enact on it, these technologies are reliant on another aspect of the mind — Observation. Data needs to be fed into an AI model in order to gain insights and take subsequent actions. This is where IoT comes in handy. Internet of Things is a concept of intercommunicating devices which can identify each other, transmit data and pass triggers for pre-programmed business/personal needs. In other words, if AI is the mind and RPA the limbs of an organization, then IoT is the eye and ear, which helps an organization observe events around their universe.
According to GE, IoT will contribute roughly $10-15 trillion to the global GDP by the next decade or two. Global consulting giant McKinsey and Company has visualized IoT transformation involving interconnected devices into two broad categories:
A simple example of ‘Information and Analysis’ would be how IoT has already made its presence felt in supply chain with industrial automation. With the help of sensors and actuators, organizations can track products in the supply chain lifecycle and monitor health of the industrial equipment, etc. IoT Gateway devices are the communication bridge between the endpoint sensors, and the Cloud server helping democratize the information. ‘Automation and Control’ is where IoT is making rapid strides with the advent of ‘Home Automation’ and ‘Smart Living’ intelligent infrastructure. Users can now have every home electronic devices connected, controlled by a standalone application on a personal mobile phone. This is where personalized bots in RPA can help revolutionize the industry as a whole as it receives actionable insights from IoT sensors and transform them into meaningful engagements as per business/customer needs.
RPA and IoT will primarily elevate operational efficiencies by providing innovative ways to capture business information and leverage it with the help of personalized bots managing it. Autonomous responses to events will experience a transformative journey where personalized bots will be configured to take instantaneous actions without any human intervention whenever an IoT device signals a trigger. This will drastically improve the quality of output for both home and industrial automation scenarios. The future lies in interconnected devices exchanging gazillion data points every second and it needs an ecosystem of products and solutions to ensure a seamless transformation from today’s as-is state. The future lies with IoT, AI and RPA coexisting and forming a holistic solution suite to make daily lives of an enterprise and its staff hassle-free, thereby channelizing the productivity levels on other pressing needs.