Automation Trends and Opportunities

Enterprises around the globe are in the midst of an intense race. To win, it will take innovation and agility, and an ability to capitalize on the opportunities that data and modern technical abilities like automation can provide. At the same time, there is an ever-increasing expectation to focus on the experience of customers and employees alike.

As they embark on their journey to modernize through automation, teams want to capitalize on tried and tested technology, or collections of technologies, and learn from the experiences of early adopters. Learning from early adopters is essential because early adopters have a tendency to pursue automation haphazardly and their investments end up being non-strategic, poorly linked to the business, and under-managed. As a result, many automation efforts fade due to disappointing gains in productivity or performance, or both.

To successfully convert automation investments into value, companies need to put automation to work at the right pace and right place. Learning from companies' successful adoption of automation, and their ability to convert investments into value, we foresee a select set of trends in automation continuing to take root, presenting businesses with evolving opportunities.

Shift Closer to Outcome with Business-Centric Automation

Experience within this sphere showcases how automation is pushing out of its traditional stronghold within IT and moving closer to the front lines of the business. Recent advancements in automation, such as robotic process automation (RPA) and cognitive automation, are complemented by ancillary technologies such as cloud, embedded software, machine learning, and block chain. These capabilities expand the role of long-established automation keystones, such as workload automation and service orchestration, to become key enablers of enterprise agility and digital transformation.

Automation as a Seamless Fabric Across the Enterprise

Expectations for enterprise automation capabilities have evolved over time. Today automation plays an active role in achieving business outcomes, such as improving market position, time to revenue, customer experience, and brand resiliency. As such, automation within a modern enterprise stitches together disparate enterprise data, functions, tasks, and activities to meet expectations of high-performance, business-aligned IT. Conventional manifestations of this trend are most notable in increased revenue and increase brand loyalty. However, unconventional use of automation in this form is playing a pivotal role in synthetically tying together and orchestrating activities, leading to improved employee satisfaction.

Autonomous Automation Drives Modern Enterprise

Machine learning and automation, the two powerful digital enablers, are creating more excitement than any other trend in automation today. These two technologies together create a value proposition that is ushering a new era in innovation through the autonomy of automation. Early successful adoptions of this approach are seen in the optimization of administration tasks by the shift of human workforce from operational tasks. Companies have gained enough experience in this sphere that the next chapter is being written. Here, companies move beyond leveraging this technology for administration and start leveraging it for management, bringing to bear digital dexterity that shapes the company's business strategy.

Automation Enables Systemic Compliance

The word "compliance" has long been associated with tedium and imposing hurdles to innovation. And recently the situation is getting even more complicated with organizations operating in a bimodal space, where bots and humans are collaborating and performing tasks within a service chain. And while challenges abound, automation is enabling compliance to shift from a reactive stance to a proactive stance or continual compliance. It is enabling companies to efficiently adhere to standards and comply with established policies as a means to protect business value and avoid risk.

These trends highlight the shifting role of automation within the enterprise. Automation is becoming an "enabler." As such, it is enabling enterprises to respond better to changing dynamics within the organization and in the market space. Automation is having a positive impact on experiences, fueling increased consistency and enabling the organization to effectively meet and exceed expectations. Finally, automation is helping compensate for human workforce inconsistencies and yield healthier operating margins.