DURBAN – Automation, traditionally linked with fears of job losses, looks set to make life easier for humans across the globe in 2020.
From freeing up workers inside organisations to providing excellent customer experiences, the robots are here, and they’re helping make business better.
1. Automation is taking off: Robotic process automation (RPA) software revenue grew 63.1 percent in 2018 to $846 million, making it the fastest-growing segment of the global enterprise software market, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner expected RPA software revenue to reach $1.3 billion in 2019. Forrester is predicting the RPA market will grow to $2.9 billion in 2021. This means we’ll be seeing more and more companies implementing RPA, resulting in staff and customers engaging with digital workers more frequently, whether we realise it or not.
2. Automation efforts will continue to focus on the back office: The biggest adopters of RPA so far, Gartner says, are banks, insurance companies, telcos and utility companies - all of which are facing increasing pressure from ‘disruptor’ competitors, and looking to gain a competitive edge from their technology investments. Given their legacy environments, RPA offers them an effective way to quickly realise efficiency gains without major restructuring.
3. The need for end-to-end automation will shift the focus to the front office: As mentioned, RPA excels in system-driven process automation, which makes it good for lots of things, but not everything. 2020 will see companies getting the best out of RPA by combining it with technologies that can automate front office logic. This logic, contained in knowledge bases and staff brains, is increasingly being handled by specialist front-office digital workers. These digital workers ensure all the right questions get asked, answers get given and information gets collected in context, across staff-assisted and digital channels. They then work directly with their RPA digital co-workers to ensure the resulting back-office processing is performed flawlessly, repetitively, and tirelessly. This combination of front-office and back-office digital workers is forming a dream team that is allowing companies to achieve true end-to-end automation in a consistent, compliant and context-relevant way, at scale.