As companies become more digitized and embrace new ways of working, the robotic process automation (RPA) market is seeing exponential growth. The year 2020 will be no different as intelligent automation leaders around the world are predicting it will be the “breakout” year. In the next year, we will see many big changes as the RPA industry develops and as the global economy adapts to it. RPA will be more widely accepted and gain momentum as a new generation of workers emerges, the economy shifts, and technology continues to advance. In 2020, the adoption of automated technology such as chatbots, machine learning for decision making and virtual agents, will provide better customer experience and human employees will be given the opportunity to follow more innovative work. A report from Forrester research, estimates that in 331,500 jobs will be added to the US workforce because of RPA in 2020 and the industry will be worth 4.9 billion as reported by Statista. Though there was once a belief that RPA would cause job losses, this sentiment will wane as we see an increase in jobs that require empathy from human touch, intuition and physical and mental dexterity. If you’d like to learn more, we wrote a blog on this topic that can be found here: Jobs For Automation: How RPA is Changing The Employment Landscape.
What is RPA?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a subset of artificial intelligence (AI) that allows IT to design robots to capture data and simplify manual tasks. They imitate the actions of a human interacting with one or more software applications to perform tasks such as responding to customer questions, entering data and processing common transactions or manual tasks. Many organizations are seeing tangible benefits from robotic process automation even with its limitations due to the lack of human interaction. As these tools get more sophisticated, we will see a growth and improvement in the robotic process automation market as well as more companies warming up to the use of virtual bots in their organization. Here are 8 trends we will see around the corner in 2020:
8 RPA trends in 2020
The RPA industry will see accelerated growth.
RPA will continue to be in demand as businesses look to make better use of their raw data. We can see this across all industries that are looking to streamline their data, such as AT&T, Ernst & Young, Walgreens and Deutsche Bank. Statistics from Gartner show that organizations will spend approximately $1 billion on RPA by 2020. Additionally, according to the Institute for Robotic Process Automation and the Artificial Intelligence Survey, more than 70 percent of business leaders say that they plan to invest more in the implementation and development of RPA which demonstrates the value the robotic process automation market has.
Machines have more in store for us than we think.
Many tasks that we once thought only humans could do are now being done by software. The limitations that were in place years ago, are no longer limitations. We will continue to see this trend and current roadblocks won’t last as we continually see new inventions. For example, as RPA and AI become more sophisticated, we will soon see the day where a tool will be able to analyze emotion within a customer query and make a recommendation about a discount.
A new generation of workers will necessitate automation.
For many years, human employees have been ceaselessly trying to connect separate systems via manual, repetitive tasks. In 2020, we will see recent graduates enter the workforce with digital skills and compel businesses to revamp their processes. Students who are new to these lagging processes will be automating parts of their jobs, even if not in full immediately. As these new employees gain experience and become more effective, any hesitancy to embrace RPA will wane, causing organizations to adjust and adapt to RPA.
Worry for job losses will decrease.
For many years, people worried about job losses since we often saw AI do things quicker and faster. According to the HBR report that studied the impact of various RPA implementations, only 47 percent of the projects they studied resulted in reductions in staff numbers. Additionally, RPA bots that are designed to adapt to changing circumstances, automatically manage the right response rapidly. Not only will RPA make room for employees to focus on more challenging or creative work, there will be a redistribution of work among staff, changing roles, and more collaboration among senior leadership.
RPA will be easily integrated with existing technologies.
RPA works well when integrated with existing technologies. It will enhance any software your organization currently uses instead of eliminating it by making jobs easier for the people who use the software. For example, accounting processes don’t have to change, but they can be performed faster when they are automated since they are able to respond quickly to any changes.
RPA will improve business security.
In addition to improving efficiency and productivity, RPA can reduce human-error. As more data is being fed through different online channels, businesses are more at-risk for data-leaks and breaches in security. Since human-error is eliminated by RPA, it will quickly become a tool for risk and security management in 2020.
Organizations will better understand different RPA processes.
As the robotic process automation market grows in popularity and organizations explore how to implement their own automated software, they will gain a better understanding of the different types of RPA and whether it fits well in their enterprise. By exploring RPA, businesses will get a better grasp of which of their existing processes work well and which need improvement. Since RPA is not fool-proof, existing processes must work smoothly, and RPA software must be accurately implemented.
Intelligent automation will pick up steam.
Intelligent automation, or cognitive automation such as cognitive capture, artificial intelligence (AI) or process orchestration, will be a trend in the coming year as organizations begin to understand the limits of regular RPA. For example, cognitive capture has opened the door to facial recognition and e-signatures (bots that can read handwriting) which has increased avenues for customer transactions and advanced analytics for internal teams.
Although it’s hard to keep up with the changing world of RPA, being in the know about advancements and trends can give you a competitive advantage. Including RPA in your business strategy will become a necessity for survival as organizations worldwide will experience its growing effects. By gradually transforming your business to an “automation-first mindset”, you can become a leader as the robotic process automation market reaches new heights.
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