At the start of the year, it’s very tempting to try to predict what is coming in the next 12 months. After reviewing forecasts from leaders in the RPA (Robotic Process Automation) Industry, I have selected five predictions for 2020:
- RPA will become the YouTube for automation
This phrase was expressed by David Hunter, head of automation at Ericsson, and quoted by Guy Kirkwood, chief evangelist of RPA at UiPath. It’s that Ericsson, a network and telecommunications company, is planning to use automation extensively, aiming to have one robot for each employee.
For David Hunter, it’s clear that 2020 will be the year that RPA becomes the repository for automation in the same way that YouTube is a repository for video content. And it will become more and more common to use automation across industries and geographies, since it will be an accessible, repeatable, and scalable technology.
At Conciliac, one of the most significant efforts has been simplifying the use of their tool, so that more and more users will be able to automate their processes. Proof of that is the immense variety of companies that have adopted Conciliac as their RPA solution.
- The global economic recession will encourage the adoption of automation
All the signals from the financial markets point to an unoptimistic scenario, according to Guy Kirkwood: “The fall of long-term interest rates and the retraction of corporate investments reflect increasing instability from global tensions, conflicts, and trade wars. If consumer fear takes hold and demand collapses, we could be facing another recession. Normally, organizations would lay off employees and struggle through, but automation is demonstrating new ways forward. Organizations understand that the investment they’ve made in their people will pay off if they can afford to retain them. With automation available, they can scale up robots rather than scale down human employees.”
Conciliac has found that its customers invest in automation to protect themselves from an economy in decline by increasing efficiency and satisfying the needs of both their internal and external customers.
- RPA will play a pivotal role in global privacy initiatives, governance of data, and risk management
For Milán Sheth, vice president at Automation Everywhere, the 2020s is poised to be the decade defined by big data, with the advent of 5G and the explosion of connected devices: “In this new era, we’ll see even more pressure on companies to be fully transparent about the information they collect and how it’s used, with legislation like GDPR and the upcoming California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) representing only the tip of the data governance iceberg. Additionally, as malware increasingly becomes enhanced with artificial intelligence (AI) to identify network vulnerabilities, intelligent, secure bots will be a critical line of defence against data breaches.” And, by reducing human intervention, it is implicitly helping prevent the most universal risk of all: human error. In recent years, Conciliac has helped its clients mitigate many risks inherent to data security when they are correctly automated through RPA.
- By the end of 2020, the demand for RPA abilities will increase across all industries.
In the US alone, RPA has become an industry with over 5,000 direct employees. In the next year, it is estimated that RPA abilities will be needed in more roles throughout organizations: developers, business analysts, program and project managers etc., and in more industries: insurance, banking, retail, education. And of course, it’s expected that the number of roles and starting salaries will skyrocket.
- Organizations will continue to restructure after automating their processes
Once organizations start automating their processes, the need to focus on redistributing work and changing roles and responsibilities will become increasingly frequent. This will only be possible with new approaches in management and leadership, which the highest levels of the IT and HR departments will assume.
Author: Conciliac Team.
Guy Kirkwood: “7 Predictions for RPA and AI in 2020”, UiPath
Kevin Casey: “Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in 2020: 5 trends to watch”, December 2019, The Enterprisers Project, A community helping CIOs and IT leaders solve problems
“Top 5 RPA predictions for 2020: Automation Anywhere EVP reveals his pick”, December 2019, The News Minute