One of the biggest ways COVID-19 impacted the workplace was by forcing businesses to reimagine how they operate. Many different companies are now turning to robotic process automation to transform their business operations. Using robotic process automation is much quicker and less expensive than a complete platform transformation while also reducing the need for human workers to do high-volume, basic tasks.
Intelligent process automation also reduces expenses and creates more distance between people. Gartner believes that the use of robotic process automation will experience double-digit growth all the way through 2024. Understanding the benefits of using intelligent automation in the workplace is essential for businesses to fully take advantage of this innovative technology.
Market leaders in the robotic process automation industry remain well aware of the product’s shortcomings in the past. These companies are now looking at ways to grow for 2021 and many years later. Here is how the intelligent process automation market is evolving and a few ways you can leverage this tech for your business.
The line between dumb robots and intelligent robots continues to blur as the market matures. The boundary between the front and back-end is also not as clear as it used to be.
One of the initial uses of robotic process automation was simply emulating a human by copying and pasting data. However, the newest form of intelligent automation isn’t emulating a human, but it’s powering the digital workforce with the help of humans and AI cloud technology, such as Amazon’s AI cloud or Microsoft Cognitive Services.
Understanding the capabilities of your existing technology is essential to fully take advantage of this changing landscape. For example, does your system use APIs, and is it the most cost-effective option for your business? Robotic process automation is a great option if APIs aren’t available or if emulating a worker provides additional business value than using a system-to-system connection. Many of the best automation strategies combine APIs and RPA to obtain maximum value. Reaching out to your IT team can also help you achieve the perfect balance.
Intelligent Automation and Cognitive Computing
Robotic process automation providers understand how to grow their consumer base. These providers are working on ways to make their product even more accessible and valuable for citizen and professional developers. Intelligent process automation isn’t only limited to using digital processes for structured data, but it’s also being integrated into cognitive computing systems. Microsoft and UiPath are a few of the market leaders using natural language processing, text analytics, and sentiment analysis as building blocks that can easily be used in your workflow to create artificial intelligence automation. These web services make it possible for anyone with an AWS or Azure account to use artificial intelligence and automation services that were once only available for large enterprises. Ultimately, this allows professional developers to work more efficiently while also making it possible for citizen developers to build business value without the need for AI expertise.
Here are a few examples of cognitive computing automation:
Chatbot and RPA Bots for Citizen Developers
What was once almost impossible less than a couple of years ago is now becoming normal, as UiPath partnered with Druid and Microsoft created Power Virtual Agents for full integration with the using their RPA development platform. The use of a no-code chatbot development platform employs a simple user interface with API or RPA automation. An HR chatbot isn’t simply a knowledge base, as it can answer a variety of questions while also using RPA automation to better meet the needs of each user.
Automated Testing for Pro Developers
Testing software is often one of the most time-consuming and laborious aspects of development. Studio Pro by UiPath is looking at ways to improve testing capabilities by helping developers create highly resilient RPA bots. This test suite can also be used for professional developers to create other applications. An RPA system also makes it possible to create a central location for testing by using a digital workforce.
Enterprise Business Solutions
The robotic process automation market is constantly evolving, as Pega and Appian are doing a variety of projects to focus on improving business processes. SAP and other enterprise system vendors are creating RPA capabilities to use directly in their products. Strong competition between products also creates a diverse range of ideas to compete for additional funding.
A great app is yet to be developed for robotic process automation software. However, the first company that creates an app can dominate the industry by making it simple for automation ideas to transition from concept into deployment. Microsoft and UiPath are both using robotic process automation tools to help citizen developers and IT team members to take an idea and make it into an application while still keeping the data safe.
UiPath is looking at ways to explore process mining and task capture. The primary goal is for robotic process automation software to find automation projects by itself. These automated tools will have value by preserving the automation life cycle. However, IT security challenges will arise due to the third-party use of recording and analyzing your business process in action. Convincing your HR teams that recording employees while working is a good idea will be a challenge, despite UiPath doing a great job at offering security documentation.
Microsoft is also creating a library of applications and automation with the help of its Power Platform. Tools are needed to monitor and manage citizen developer environments to ensure IT teams can implement the necessary amount of governance guidelines. More vendor-supplied governance tools will most likely become available as an increasing number of vendors continue to engage with the community of citizen developers.
Going Back to the Basics
Robotic process automation tools will continue to evolve by getting smarter, more integrated, and becoming more flexible in 2021. However, none of that is useful unless businesses identify a problem that they can help solve. Companies need to begin their automation journey by looking at the “what”, “who”, and “how”.
No matter where your business is located on its automation path, you can still strengthen your team members and boost your automation potential by teaching everyone how to document their business process. That simple skill allows your employees to transition from mindless work into more reflective work. It also gives employees the time to explore the reason behind what they do and find ways to learn how it can be accomplished even better.
As robotic process automation software continues to mature, there will be no lack of innovative tools to create automation. The vision for optimizing your company process must come from people who know the process the best.