New technology enables new possibilities. But every advancement in technology also increases demands on our time as we struggle to keep up with the evolving landscape.
Just think about how long you spent on social media 20 years ago and how much of your time it takes up now. As the amount of data, computing power, and capabilities of technology increase, so do the challenges for businesses to keep up with the pace.
But one area in which enterprises certainly welcome technological advancements is automation. Automation enables companies to reduce costs and increase efficiency while freeing up valuable time for employees.
We’ve seen an enormous range of advancements in automation for enterprises over the last few years, from workflow and process automation to chatbots and beyond. But what are some of the top automation trends we can expect to see more of in 2022 and beyond?
“Hyperautomation” is a term coined by Gartner that describes the process of combining and leveraging intelligent technologies, including robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data, and IoT, to automate processes.
In the past, automation was generally associated with the manufacturing industry. But now, businesses in almost every industry use automation to streamline operations and make the most of limited resources.
The trend for combining multiple intelligent automation technologies is already achieving success in areas such as customer service, data analytics, and marketing optimization. In the future, we can expect to see this trend take hold with increasingly complex use cases across different business processes.
Many enterprises have already recognized the potential of hyperautomation and emerging technologies and are investing in new intelligent automation tools and solutions to support their transformation efforts.
These technologies will help companies better meet the needs of customers and clients by more quickly delivering products and services while also improving competitiveness through increased operational efficiency.
Reduced Human Involvement in Basic Tasks
Prior to 2020, most consumers and businesses alike expected and preferred at least some human interaction when buying goods or using services.
All of this changed with the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses in all types of industries scrambled to put remote services and automated operations in place wherever possible.
This shift has made technology such as chatbot-assisted customer service and self-service tills at retail stores preferable for those who prefer to avoid close contact with other people.
Of course, these technologies have already been around for several years. However, up until relatively recently, there was a certain amount of resistance to this type of automation. The ideas that robots would replace people and we’d all be stuck in automated systems for customer service with no opportunity to talk to a human were a genuine fear for many.
Since the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in businesses of all kinds, the job market has indeed changed.
Automated systems have replaced the need for employees to conduct low-level, repetitive tasks in many cases. But there is now an increased need for irreplaceable human skills such as problem-solving, creative thinking, and flexibility.
IBM has dubbed this need “enterprise experience and humanity,” emphasizing how an organization’s people will continue to be its most valuable asset in this brave new world of technological opportunities.
Personalized Automation Tools and Automation as a Service
Since automation is such a popular trend right now, it’s unsurprising that we’re also seeing more businesses invest in tools and technologies to help automate the process of building their own systems to meet their unique requirements.
In the past, it was not always necessary or even practical for individual companies to build their own automation systems from scratch.
However, there has been a massive surge in SaaS companies providing automation tools and platforms to help enterprises get on board with digital transformation.
This digital evolution has made it significantly easier for businesses of all sizes to build automation capabilities without the need for prohibitively expensive investments in time and resources.
Platforms like IBM’s Business Automation Workflow and the upcoming Watson Orchestrate, for example, enable enterprises to build automation tools and services that can tie into many other intelligent technologies such as AI and RPA.
The global automation as a service market is expected to grow at a rate of 29.7%, exceeding $15 billion within the next five years.
Enterprise Security Automation
Until relatively recently, there has been a significant amount of resistance to automation in IT security.
Many people feared that automated systems could make it too easy for hackers and cybercriminals to launch their attacks by making them more efficient and widespread than ever before.
However, AI-powered cybersecurity solutions are already proving their worth by providing the best possible protection against new threats without the risk of human error. This includes identifying and blocking sophisticated attacks that would be very difficult for human agents to spot.
There’s also a global talent shortage in the field of cybersecurity. As the number of cyber threats continues to grow at a rapid rate, automation is proving to be the solution that enterprises need to stay protected.
It’s also worth noting that cybercriminals are increasingly leveraging AI technologies themselves to carry out attacks. Enterprises must learn how to automate more of their security processes if they want to keep up with the latest threats.
In the future, we can expect AI to deliver even more intelligent solutions for IT security. Moreover, machine learning and automation capabilities in the area of cybersecurity will continue to grow exponentially, thanks to huge investments in R&D from businesses and organizations across the world.
Enterprise automation is proving to be much more than a handy tool as we enter the age of digital transformation. It’s not just about eliminating low-level tasks that don’t require human intuition or creativity; it’s about enabling enterprises to do better than ever before.
We’re only just at the beginning of a much bigger revolution that will be powered by intelligent technologies across all industries. Organizations that want to stay ahead of the curve should be looking to invest in automation solutions now so they can take advantage of the huge opportunities that lie ahead.