When one considers automation, the world is changing every day. Notwithstanding the enormous advantages of automation that have been demonstrated over the last several years, the pace will moderate around 2023. Uncertainty in the economy drives a more pragmatic strategy that focuses on core business objectives like resilience and efficiency instead of change, purely for its own sake.
Those who are able to adapt to the reality of 2023 while doubling down on automation will gain a significant competitive edge. So, what lies ahead in the automation strategy?
Here’s what to expect when planning your automation strategy in 2023:
1. Users will want convenience, and convenient systems will help you make a business case for automation
Across sectors, consumer expectations for swift and simple services are evolving. Also, businesses are incorporating automation technologies to attract consumers and reinforce their market position. For instance, automation in e-commerce allows you to activate an event based on a customer’s inactivity or action. Specific emails or advertisements may be triggered to be delivered to certain target groups, and purchases can trigger inventory management notifications. If you want to adopt automation in 2023, these real business use cases will help direct your efforts and investments.
2. Data-driven automation is an important area of opportunity this year
The majority of automation addresses static processes; however, data insights are changing this trend. Several organizations emphasize data-driven automation, with data events via IoT or state changes in ML apps powering the next-gen business process transformation. The acceptance of this phenomenon is resonating across process automation industries — so one needs to pay attention.
Yet, a significant issue is the absence of essential data management or automation capabilities. This comprises three factors: challenges for business developers attempting to thrive with low-code development tools, skill shortages for professional developers throughout the AI spectrum, and a lack of experienced data analysts as well as project managers for automation initiatives. Skills gaps are continuous, but 2023 is expected to be especially challenging.
3. You will have to rope in the CIO into more and varied initiatives
Teams are increasingly turning to their CIOs to set the tone and take charge of company-wide initiatives with a primary focus on revenue growth. In recent years, the job of chief information officers has expanded and evolved.
CIOs are in charge of implementing fresh plans and structures that save costs, accelerate processes, transform customer experiences, and generate new business prospects. In addition to their primary responsibilities, 90% of CIOs are now involved in tasks like analytics, ESG, hiring, or sales and marketing, according to reports. Today, CIOs appreciate how automation can be an invaluable asset for all of these tasks.
Automation initiatives will not only involve CIOs at a technical level, but also to unlock the desired business outcomes.
4. Your wins in the early days of the pandemic may slow you down this year
Automation is by no means a new concept; however, lockdowns during the COVID-19 outbreak, turbulent economic circumstances, and the rising consumerization of all sectors have brought it to the forefront of IT executives’ concerns. Although these initial brief automation wins helped reduce some stresses on compartmentalized business operations, they could not handle the complex, long-running systems, which is the lifeblood of most organizations.
Given that many of these basic automation technologies are fragile and tough to understand or manage, many companies discovered that initial quick wins are actually barriers to genuine digital transformation. It shouldn’t be surprising that 54% of IT executives believe that process automation is already becoming obsolete, considering the rapid rate of technological advancement.
You must accept that digital transformation is a continuous process. One may accomplish their primary business objectives, but one must keep updating your processes even as new demands and technologies come to the fore.
5. All new automation deployments will likely be in the cloud
The advent of cloud-based automation will also have a major impact over the coming year. Even though there has been some reluctance to move beyond on-premise systems, especially among larger organizations, businesses will migrate to the cloud as well as web-based platforms as they realize the advantages this provides. They include increased agility and scalability of the business, faster deployment, easy cloud administration, and overall resilience. Cloud-first will be the way to go if you are revisiting your automation stack in 2023.
6. Ignoring old-school RPA completely in favor of intelligent automation will be a mistake
RPA helps automate repetitive, low-value processes, like data entry and form submission. AI is being extensively used across a range of sectors, from banking to healthcare, and its usage is projected to increase substantially in 2023 as companies seek to address labor shortages and boost productivity. Even if additional forms of automation (like hyper-automation) emerge, RPA continues to be crucial for you.
RPA is employed in repetitive jobs with a strong likelihood of human error. This allows employees to focus on more essential tasks and expedite operations. The human resource management industry is among the major beneficiaries of RPA.
For instance, automating onboarding processes in the National Health Service enabled hospitals to continue acquiring fresh talent at a rate almost impossible for people to sustain.
7. If you are new to automation in 2023, start with your corporate strategy
To enable the delivery of automation capabilities, the automation strategy must be clearly connected to the business model, and the organizational structure be integrated with the culture and strategy. Also, the overarching vision and philosophy for automation must be established.
Since automation has such large and immediate effects on the organization, strategies must be developed during the pilot phase to overcome any obstacles its implementation may present.
A well-defined collaboration and engagement framework and change management program can mitigate human-led challenges combined with comprehensive training and communication initiatives. This will enhance capacity development and better equip workers to interact with their all-new virtual counterparts and co-workers — a hallmark of the modern workforce.
8. Succeeding with CoEs will take fresh energy
Since 2019, the rise of intelligent automation and robotic process automation, has made centers of excellence (CoEs) gain prominence. A centralized perspective helped in scaling automation systems, exchanging and developing expertise, and regulating deployment.
In 2023, however, a number of CoEs will transfer duties like training and execution to the core business lines they support. The more strategic tasks, like security assessment, automation design, and guardrail governance, will remain within automation COEs. This change will be driven by low-code software enhancements and the need to federate to attain scale, which is something you need to be prepared for in 2023.
Conclusion: What’s next for automation in 2023 and beyond?
It is necessary to be prepared for the future of automation, which is already upon us. As has been demonstrated, businesses and organizations should be mindful of potential repercussions and undertake precautions to ensure that short-term advantages do not impede long-term success.
End-to-end automation entails automating comprehensive workflows or mechanisms from start to finish instead of just automating individual activities; this ought to be the enterprise’s aim going forward through techniques like process mining and task mining.
Finally, while designing and executing processes, your employees should be the point of focus, and their problem areas must be your first priority. We must reskill, upskill, and empower workers with fruitful, responsive, and purpose-built automation that makes it simpler to complete their responsibilities successfully. At the same time, you need to put in efforts to support a creative and innovation-friendly environment, attracting and retaining the best talent in your industry!