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Automation Predictions for 2021 and Beyond

Nobody thought 2020 would pan out the way it did. And while nobody can say for sure what will happen in 2021, one thing we are confident in is that automation technologies are going to continue to boom.

There’s no denying that COVID-19 shook up the way we work in 2020 and its effects can still be felt now. Indeed, most of our predictions are a direct result of COVID-19, as numerous organizations are re-evaluating their business operations due to the impacts of the pandemic.

Here are our automation predictions for 2021 and the technologies that you need to be investing in this year to set you up for future success.

 

HyperAutomation

More organizations are accelerating their automation efforts as a direct response to COVID-19. The global pandemic has forced many organizations to rethink how they operate and to enable employees to work remotely or to respond to an increased demand in services. Enter HyperAutomation.

An evolution of Industry 4.0, HyperAutomation was predominantly used in the manufacturing industry as a way to accelerate supply chains. HyperAutomation essentially means applying automation at speed, so when organizations need to rapidly adapt their workflows they can roll out a solution quickly.

And speed is not the only benefit, Gartner predicts that by 2024, organizations will lower operational costs by 30% by combining HyperAutomation technologies with redesigned operational processes. This is not surprising as organizations approach more mature implementations of BPM/DPA in addition to RPA and AI as part of a holistic automation strategy.

 

Process Orchestration

Speaking of a more holistic automation strategy… Many organizations have deployed automation technologies in recent years, but now is the time to think about them in context. There’s little point in automating processes in isolation. You must think about the end-to-end process and orchestrate technologies and applications to optimize workflows across your organization. This creates better experiences for both employees and customers.

For example, deploying a handful of RPA bots for data extraction in a single department will have little impact to overall business operations. It’s important to integrate this automated task with other processes and systems in the business. This can be achieved by planning workflows with BPM and incorporating task automation into the end-to-end process that connects your applications, systems and people.  

 

Artificial Intelligence

Increased accessibility and integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies is making it easier to use AI to your advantage. 2020 saw more people using AI to unlock business insight and drive intelligence in automation and 2021 is sure to see more organizations take up the technology. Gartner predicts that by 2025, 50% of enterprises will have devised AI orchestration platforms to operationalize AI, up from fewer than 10% in 2020.

Embracing AI is a key step forward in digital transformation programs as it enables organizations to properly leverage the swathes of data they capture, but often fail to make proper use of. This kind of business intelligence can help to drive efficiencies, save costs, and improve customer experience.

Once again, this trend is perpetuated by the effects of Covid-19. A survey by MIT Technology Review revealed that 32% of business and technology leaders have accelerated their AI investment plans as a result of the global pandemic.

“Consumers and business decision-makers are realizing there are many ways that AI augments human effort and experience,” reports MIT. “Technology leaders in most organizations regard AI as a critical capability that has accelerated efforts to increase operational efficiency, gain deeper insight about customers, and shape new areas of business innovation.”

 

Cloud

Not made the move to the cloud yet? 2021 is the time to do it. Running your services from the cloud allows scalability, business continuity, and cost efficiency. In 2019, 49% of all enterprise applications had already been migrated to the cloud, and this trajectory looks set to continue.

“Moving to the cloud is not only allowing organizations to recover but positioning them to thrive post-pandemic, increasing resilience and supporting business continuity at first, and then allowing them to do new things and offer new services. Going forward, cloud can support benefits including collaboration, automation, scale, innovation, and agility,” reports Deloitte

The need to work from home has certainly proved the value of cloud computing, allowing employees able to access their work remotely, ensuring business continuity and productivity. Not to mention the new opportunities for value post-pandemic, which Deloitte highlights the cloud can support, such as collaboration, automation, scale, innovation, and agility, as they can access the latest technologies, such as AI, with less investment in infrastructure and expertise.

 

Low-code

Low-code is coming to the fore in 2021, with Forrester predicting that 75% of development shops will adopt a low-code platform this year. This isn’t surprising, as it allows agile and rapid development, which is particularly beneficial during the uncertain times brought in by COVID-19 when businesses need to be responsive.

“In 2021, digital leaders will use a mix of low-code, remote process automation, and integration technologies to improve customer and employee experiences in more business areas and at a greater scale,” reports TechTarget.  

Indeed, the business agility provided by low-code has proved beneficial for organizations who have needed to adapt or scale operations in response to COVID-19, such as Bizagi customer VKB Bank who were faced with an increased number of credit installment deferrals, jumping from around 150 requests a year to more than 100 per day. They responded by using Bizagi’s low-code platform to design and implement a new process in just three weeks, reducing processing time by 90%, and delighting customers with swift service.

Additionally, a low-code approach encourages citizen development, allowing business users to get more involved in process automation and application development, which accelerates time-to-value while decreasing the reliance on IT.

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Collaboration

With a large share of office-based people working from home, it’s more important than ever to use tools that encourage collaboration between employees. 2020 saw the explosion of collaboration technologies like Microsoft Teams, which the average user spending the software for more than four hours a day to participate in video calls, work on shared documents and reviewing meetings, according to the Financial Times.

For Bizagi customers, one example is the ability to co-develop process applications using Bizagi Studio Collaboration Services; the clue is in the name! The application was designed with effective collaboration in mind, even before the pandemic as we know that the key to success is a combination of agility and teamwork. You can develop processes in the cloud and share with colleagues, seeing notation of any amends that are made by others in real-time.

Find out more about the cloud-based Bizagi Studio Collaboration Services and how it could help your organization to collaborate and innovate in 2021.

 

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