The global Business Process Automation market size is estimated to be worth around $20 billion by 2026. This will be a 12% CAGR from its 2020 size, an indication that businesses are quickly implementing automation solutions in their workflows. Over 40% of businesses today have applied at least one form of Business Process Automation. According to McKinsey & Co. only 16% of companies today do no have any BPA plans. This is indicative of the general positive regard for BPA. The COVID-19 pandemic strengthened the belief by most businesses that automation is not only beneficial but necessary in today’s business environment.
As we expect more use cases of BPA in the near future, here are how process automation is set to look in 2022.
More No Code Solutions for Process Automation
2022 will see the implementation of no-code solutions to help non-technical people build automation solutions in their workflow. We have already seen products offered on an SaaS model where people can easily set up automation solutions to answer emails, manage social media channels, and sort out incoming messages in order to declutter their day.
These are simplistic examples but there are more high-level applications. There are solutions for extraction of data from emails, forms, and documents. No-code solutions can be applied to contract analysis, especially where a lot of bulky documents are involved. We expect to see more empowerment of people to build custom solutions for everyday work problems with little to no coding skills.
Data Privacy Concerns Will Increase
Expansion of BPA solutions to departments such as Human Resources will create data privacy and security concerns. Process mining is becoming a norm as businesses try to understand their internal processes and the customer experience.
While traditional data mining relies on already collected data in logs, process intelligence collects more data on user interface. For instance, it’s possible to collect data on user behavior on a website in real-time. There are chances that data leakage could occur at this level. Organizations will have to go extra length to give assurances that data collected is only used for service improvement or other well-intentioned purposes.
Cloud Automation Further Adoption
Cloud automation is the use of technology to reduce the reliance on manual labor. It also cuts time spent in managing cloud workloads and services. Public cloud service providers such as AWS offer some automation tools, but businesses need the requisite skills to use them.
Cloud computing offers the benefit of accessing services on demand. However, businesses equally need to know when services are no longer necessary, when they need to be improving, taking down and so forth. Cloud automation reduces the level of manual effort required for such adjustments.
One major advantage of cloud automation is the improved security and resilience of systems. There is little chance of human error occurring or malicious harm because IT people do not need to log into mission-critical systems. The automation of backups as part of process automation also ensures that the organization’s systems can recover from disasters.
Up to now, Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation have existed as two separate but related things.AI and RPA have been installed separately in the past. Smart Process Automation or Intelligent Automation involves constant improvement of Robotic Process Automation through self-learning AI algorithms.
Intelligent Automation will quicken the process of finding solutions through the trial-and-error method, reducing R&D costs for companies.
Greater Application of RPA in Finance
While other sectors have been much quicker in adopting automation, finance has lagged. Perhaps this is due to the uneasiness about trusting critical processes to robots. However, now the value drawn from automation is clearer for people in finance to appreciate because the use cases are quite numerous. For instance, automation could enable faster invoice processing, accounts reconciliation, and financial reporting. The finance and accounting department can process a large amount of information quickly. This shortens the overall size of the business cycle.
In fact, by automating menial tasks for financial accountants, they can have more time to delve deeper to find insights from reported data.
Process Automation Vendor Differentiation
As process automation using RPA continues to take shape, we are likely to see vendors differentiating themselves. This could be through the designs of their bots, the problems they are attempting to solve, and the profit model. Businesses will have to identify RPA vendors with whom they can strike a long-term working relationship. Tens of new vendors are likely to enter the market in the immediate near future.
The Challenges to Expect in Process Automation
Process automation will increase the amount of data collected within organizations, which is already enormous. Companies are striving to protect their most critical data from unauthorized access because it would compromise their edge in the market. Data leakage can also hurt a company’s image and share value. As the value of data grows, so will the persistence of attempted malware, hacker, and data theft attacks. To fully win the confidence of stakeholders with regard to process automation, businesses must take all possible measures to prevent attacks.
Another challenge to process automation is the change from traditional ways of doing business to more automated processes. Consider an organization that uses manual methods to engage new leads, record useful information about them, contact them on offers, up until closing a sale. A more automated process would involve automated but well targeted communication, perhaps through email, guiding them through the sales funnel. There might be a lack of confidence or fear that reduced contact with the customer will cause a loss of revenue.
The solution would be to fully educate employees on the value of automation. When their job description changes due to automation, they need higher-level tasks that use more of their specialized skills.
If your organization needs help in creating process automation solutions, check out Transcendent Software. We are an IT solutions company with more than 20 years of helping clients make the best use of their IT infrastructure.