Many experts identified automation as a trend that would continue as we welcomed the New Year more than 350 days ago, but as 2017 draws to a close, it is time to stop referring to this transformative technology as simply a trend.
If there is a single prediction we can safely make for 2018, it is that we will find ourselves remembering how tedious aspects of our jobs were prior to automation, similar to how Baby Boomers today explain life before the internet to Millennials in the workforce. As employees and consumers, we will work alongside these new tools powered by automation and appreciate the speed, accuracy and value they provide.
What to Expect
Words such as Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) are no longer buzzwords for a select few, but instead cornerstones of the evolving business landscape. In addition, with substantial advancements in virtual agents and cognitive systems, executives must understand how to incorporate the latest technology trends into the everyday workforce as we move into 2018.
Quite simply, we expect automation to expand exponentially, driven in part because of the focus and funding coming from enterprises seeking to increase productivity, improve customer experience and achieve cost savings. By leveraging automation solutions, businesses and workers will accomplish more.
Business intelligence and advanced analytics enable ML and autonomous bots to help workers make informed decisions and work more efficiently to lead to better outcomes. For example, with a progression in automated cybersecurity, machine learning algorithms will correlate multiple variables – more quickly and accurately than a human mind – to identify security threats and protect business assets.
Overall, the implementation of automation, ML and predictive tools will be a primary source of competitive differentiation. Those that wait to invest in automation will fall behind the disruptive opportunities realized by those that do, including cost competitiveness, product or service functionality, and customer satisfaction.
How to Get There
For organizations early in their automation journey, the most vital first step is to refine existing processes before automating them. If you automate substitute processes and workarounds, it will add unnecessary complexity. Simplify first, then automate.
Once an enterprise is prepared to automate, it must consider the appropriate solution to meet the company’s business objectives. With a goal of automating mundane tasks and leaving critical thinking responsibilities to the human workforce, companies must consider RPA. This technology can handle far more complex business tasks, and with continuous advancements in machine learning, the use cases are endless.
Lastly, it is imperative companies integrate automated systems that are dynamic enough to enable evolution. Without flexibility to adjust to the evolving life cycle of your business, your automation journey has a definitive end date. Today, next-gen robots are learning on-the-go, analyzing data and situations in real time. Companies should prepare for the automation of tomorrow.
Incorporating automation can seem daunting, but the business impact must not be ignored. As always, cost benefits are a priority for most companies. Fortunately, once the initial investment is made to move toward more automated processes, companies will save money by operating more efficiently – ultimately resulting in a positive ROI.
Most notably, automation will improve customer experience. Machine learning can help identify trends in customer data, while also analyzing the company’s digital experience. When leveraging this information, enterprises are able to deliver solutions that meet customer demands, resulting in greater retention and easier customer acquisition.
As we celebrate the possibilities of 2018, keep automation at the top of your business resolutions, because when 2019 nears, these technologies will no longer be just a trend but integral to a thriving businesses.
Post Date: 2017-12-21