Read on to know what are the major trends to look out for in 2023 in the world of Automation. From task mining to enhancing the last mile delivery, automation will only
help deliver superior business value.

We have seen a rapid evolution of automation in the last decade, from repetitive process automation to a blend of machine learning, robotics, and artificial intelligence. With this, we have shifted from automating redundant tasks to automating enterprise operations.

As LOB leaders and CIOs work together on identifying and executing enterprise automation initiatives that are in line with strategic business objectives, the focus is moving toward automating critical and innovative operations while concurrently reducing TAT. As the industry moves toward continuous improvement, these processes will be regularly monitored and improved upon to ensure they stay aligned with current business needs.

The goal of this new generation of automation is to deliver faster service levels while reducing costs by eliminating human error through reliance on technology-based systems that can quickly adapt as business requirements change over time.

Let’s look at how the automation industry is set to evolve in 2023.

Trend 1:
Federated IT development will drive automation success

Automation has become a big part of business operations for both CIOs and LOBs. For the CIO and IT office, automation is about scalability, reliability, and security. But many LOBs are looking for more than just cost control from their automation initiatives – they want to improve their processes as well. One trend we’re seeing this year is that citizen developers are building their own automation solutions with low code / no-code components on scalable, secure platforms provided by the IT office. Citizen developers understand the business process better than anyone else, so they can develop automation sets that meet their needs and make work easier.

Automation initiatives will be driven by Federated IT structures where LOB leaders share their business objectives with the CIO’s office. By collaborating to deploy automation solutions that meet strategic business needs while complying with enterprise security and scalability policies, organizations can streamline processes while improving data security and scalability.

Trend 2:
Looking beyond cost reduction and focusing on driving agility of operations

As organizations adopt automation, they are moving from the early stages of automation to scale—where less than 8-10% of their processes have been automated. The impact on business post the pandemic has seen pressures on costs and margins, while automated processes have delivered from a cost perspective. Still, as businesses see the advantage of automation from a cost perspective earlier, they are now seeing how automation improved agility in both customer-facing operations (e.g., self-service) and critical back-office operations (e.g., Inventory stock management). This agility is helping cost-takeout strategies and reducing pressures on margins.

Automation delivers further on the promise of cost reduction and agility, proving itself to be a recession-proof technology. This resulted in the organization’s automation budgets getting accentuated.

Trend 3:
Automation at scale = a combination of technologies with RPA

Enterprises have begun to see the benefits of task automation. They are reaping the rewards of scaling these processes and operations to increase the volume and scale of automation. One way companies are doing this is by increasing the number of bots to increase transaction volume. However, as the number of bots increases, so does the complexity of automation. This increased complexity will require a combination of conversational interfaces, low-code components, AI/ML, IPAAS (Integrated platform as a service), and process orchestration. This allows for seamless handoffs between automated processes and manual interventions with workflow orchestration.

Automation solutions are evolving from automating singular tasks to processes to operations. With this increasing complexity, these automation solutions will consist of multiple technologies, including RPA, IDP, AI, ML, and low-code/no-code, IPAAS, all working seamlessly to deliver operational and cost efficiencies.

Trend 4:
Automation will help to scale and accelerate digital transformation

The pandemic brought with it many challenges to organizations worldwide. However, organizations that adopted automation initiatives before the pandemic has seen a reduced impact on operations. For example, IT service engineers adopted co-browsing technologies to remotely fix customer issues, and many customers used self-service and AI Chatbots to complete online transactions without any other human interactions. Post-COVID, these organizations realize the increased scalability, agility, and other added value that these automation initiatives have brought to the organization’s digital transformation journey, which goes beyond just cost takeout.

As businesses increasingly realize the added value that automation delivers beyond just cost takeout, automation initiatives will play a critical role in the digital transformation journey.

Trend 5:
Automation done right will deliver amplified value

The recent economic downturn has seen enterprises deploy automation initiatives which in turn has delivered amplified value. They became more agile and could provide services with minimal human interaction. The right automation technology has consistently enabled companies to predict and proactively service their customers rather than respond reactively.

However, automation initiatives must be planned and executed properly:

  • Identifying the right technology platform for the business, industry, and scale
  • Building the required technical capability in-house that allows you to develop and deploy relevant solutions
  • Ensuring that the technology platform deployed is secure and trustworthy and is protected against all vulnerabilities
The right automation solution amplifies value delivery, enabling organizations to be more agile and proactive – this requires the right technology solution, in-house technical capabilities, and a trustworthy, secure platform

Trend 6:
Task mining will drive automation scaling and deployment

Large organizations often struggle with scaling their automation and seeing the benefits of their automation initiatives, as automation only amplifies the inefficiencies of suboptimal processes and process variations. Task mining, hence, will help identify the process inefficiencies, in addition to providing empirical data on how each process runs and can be optimized. This helps apply a scientific approach to process automation, which is an essential step to scaling automation.

RPA deployment can be accelerated through a combination of understanding how a process runs through task mining, in-house capability to build context-specific automation, and a platform that is able to cover a diverse application landscape

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Trend 7:
We will see more humans & machine collaborate

With automation initiatives on the rise, there is a fear that this will lead to the loss of jobs as tasks and processes are automated. The truth, however, is otherwise. The only difference will be the change in the role and nature of jobs. Automation will help us work more efficiently by allowing us to delegate the tasks like analysis and prediction to the machine. This allows us to work on things we want to do or can do better, making us more innovative and efficient.

As machines become more intelligent, humans will become less mechanical, collaborating with AI and automation to complete work efficiently and innovatively. Enterprises will harness this seamless Human-Machine collaboration to deliver improved productivity, engagement, and innovation

Trend 8:
Automation will improve user productivity at both individual and enterprise levels

End-users, based on their roles (Finance, IT, Marketing, HR) and organization levels (CXO, mid-level manager), have different expectations of automation technologies that have been deployed. The data collected during automation can be utilized to analyze productivity across people, processes, and technology. This helps identify the causes of bottlenecks in the process, track application utilization and user activity – and address the areas of concern as required.

Automation enables end-users, based on their roles, to amplify their potential through enabling ease of use, integration of information and insights, and automating data and process updates in real time.

The future of automation – What’s in store?

Automation is an integral part of digital transformation and is evolving daily. Future enterprises will look at automation not just to improve user, process, application, or enterprise productivity – the focus on automation will now move to how they can improve the user and customer journeys and experience.

Organizational digital twins are becoming a part of the landscape, allowing organizations to map users, processes, applications, and data across the enterprise – providing an integrated virtual view. This helps trace user and customer journeys through the organization and predict future actions, enabling the organization to prepare and address these actions proactively rather than reactively.

From task to process to operations to experience – Automation is paving the way to building a Connected Enterprise, where humans and machines collaborate to capitalize on the power of real-time operational, business, and transactional data and drive improved business value.

Disclaimer Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the respective institutions or funding agencies