As the number of daily activities we can schedule automatically multiplies, resources gain not only operational efficiency but also time to devote to more complex tasks. Today, time is as important as economic gain as it leaves room for new projects, process improvement, and gaining competitive advantages. How is Robotic Process Automation evolving, and what will be the future trends in automation? Here are the answers.
The evolution of Automation
We can automate mundane tasks, those in which we are only likely to make mistakes, or automated responses to customers. Many companies are already doing this and are already experiencing the benefits of Robotic Process Automation (RPA), such as cost reduction, process efficiency, and improved customer experience.
Automation is an innovation that has already reached an excellent level of maturity, thanks to digital diffusion and the digitalization of companies. That’s why we now need to go beyond using RPA for industrial automation and routine tasks and find out what processes we can streamline with deeper, more advanced adoption.
In the report published by Gartner, “Debunking Myths and Misconceptions About Artificial Intelligence” it is estimated that by 2024, 69% of what a manager currently does will be automated. This doesn’t mean the resource will have less work to do but, instead, will engage in more performed replacement tasks. Instead of spending an entire work morning extracting values from invoices and entering them into Excel spreadsheets, I can invest my time in defining new strategies to increase sales. I have turned an unproductive activity into a profitable one.
Integrated RPA: the boost given by Artificial Intelligence
RPA is deterministic software, meaning it is programmed to repeat only certain actions and provide pre-coded responses. But will this be the case in the future? Certainly the boundary between Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence will be increasingly blurred. This is because the levels of adoption of new technologies are increasing more and more. Moreover, the connections among IoT, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotic Process Automation are developing and consolidating. These interactions will enable the automation of not only simple and repetitive tasks, but also more complex ones. The role of RPA will not be marginal, rather it will form the basis on which to build smart evolutions.
Today, automation is about rules-based activities involving structured and semi-structured data. On the other hand, the foreseen evolutions hint at a use more oriented towards machine learning, computer vision, and the processing of unstructured data. Robots, therefore, will not only function through manual programming but will be able to make diagnoses, self-repair, and self-manage.
Bots: how design, monitoring and control will change
A bot (short for robot) is a program that performs repetitive actions. As far as bot design is concerned, evolution mainly affects programmers. Currently, creating automation means designing algorithms based on images for virtualized environments or drawing from specific function libraries.
Future trends, characterized by the increasing use of AI, will change programming techniques. Static images would be flanked by those captured by computer vision, and libraries of pre-built automations would be replaced by online databases. This would allow digital bots to be shared and downloaded as needed.
As the flexibility afforded by this learning capability increases, it will become easier to scale automation projects across the enterprise. In fact, intelligent workload balancing will occur, made possible by the bots’ control over quantitative process data.
In the future, Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence will increasingly merge to generate bots that can self-repair and self-manage. Click To Tweet
Robotic Desktop Automation (RDA): how it will improve employee experience
By now, it’s clear automation comes into action precisely to offer support to employees in performing simple tasks that don’t require human judgment. Like, for example, extracting data from an invoice or classifying resumes received via email. Future steps could involve implementing a bot on employees’ desktops. This function would offer constant or on-demand support to new automatable tasks.
Robotic Desktop Automation, in fact, is a kind of virtual assistant that resides on the employee’s or end customer’s PC. The type of activity it performs is not just based on automation. That’s why we talk about evolution. The RDA offers support on-demand or is activated to speed up certain tasks performed on the PC. Adapting responses based on user input requires a level of flexibility that is possible thanks to the learning typical of Artificial Intelligence.
Bots are fast accurate and ensure consistent execution for each repetition. As a result, employees will gain a significant amount of time on a daily basis that they can spend on strategic reasoning or requiring consulting skills. An example of RDA is reading a customer’s history to provide the salesperson with useful information to make an offer in line with their needs.
RPA: future deployments will be in the cloud
In the coming years, not only will the design of RPA change, but also the architectures on which it will be implemented. While today many companies implement such automation on their servers (on-premise), in the future, it will be the cloud that will be chosen as the most suitable place. This is because today’s work is increasingly disconnected from physical locations, and keeping core processes running on-premise means preventing resources from working remotely, benefiting from automation.
RPA in the cloud also offers other advantages, such as:
- constant updates: a change to an automation model will be immediately available for all activities and processes that benefit from it;
- ease of use: just log in to the platform, and you can use the automations for any branch of the business that needs them;
- rapid and unlimited scalability of bots: a possibility that facilitates the adoption of automation throughout the organization.
Not only that, but it will also grow the SaaS usage model that will allow its customers to accelerate the RPA adoption journey.