5 Key Intelligent Automation Themes for 2021

Chandra Ramarathnam | 29 January 2021

The global pandemic has altered the pace of automation. Most enterprises have redefined their expectations of customer experience, speed of execution, employee productivity, and adaptability from automation programs. This is more evident in mid-market businesses that are aiming to provide differentiated offerings, and intelligent automation is seen as a key enabler for this.

Here are five themes we see driving intelligent automation in 2021.

Enhanced Customer Experience will be the driving force for Digitalisation in mid-market financial services firms. An increasing number of firms are looking to provide hyper-personalised advice to their clients through an interactive and seamless solution enabled by smart technologies and digital tools and Intelligent Automation will be at the center.

Automation COE to garner attention: As enterprises race to achieve their automation goals, the adoption of multiple tools and solutions are likely to create disconnected silos. A cross-enterprise, centralised management will be necessary to align the overall automation strategy, maintain focus ROI and scalability. An Automation Centre of Excellence and a managed services model will help businesses amplify the benefits of intelligent automation.

RPA to the cloud: With organisations focussed on managed services and improving ROI in a work-from-home environment, more automation processes and workloads are moving to the cloud. Forrester predicts that the global public cloud infrastructure market will grow 35% to $120 billion in 2021 and automation will have a good share of this.

Citizen Automation: Giving the power of automation tools on every desktop is likely to gain traction in small, well-controlled groups rather than enterprise-wise adoption in 2021. Enterprises are likely to be more cautious in scaling citizen automation due to IT policies and security requirements. It also poses a huge challenge to the IT support that need to manage robots on every desktop and ensure systems do not break.

Process Mining and Process Discovery with Machine Learning and NLP: The emergence of process discovery tools that embed domain knowledge, industry reference architecture, and industry-specific process models and efficiency metrics could provide businesses with domain- and function- specific solutions that were previously too complex to automate.

There is no going back to the pre-pandemic way of doing things. As one of our panellists in the webinar on Building business resilience and Intelligent Automation said, The genie is not going back in the bottle and enterprises will continue to evolve and figure out newer ways to increase value to customers.