Forrester defines 3 categories of automation projects for the enterprise:
Efficiency play (RPA)
In 2018, robotic process automation (RPA) will add 500,000 digital workers in the US alone.
Enterprises implementing robotic automation capabilities in their shared services operations are witnessing reduced response times by 40-60%, increased speed and agility, and improved data accuracy.
While RPA is creating a lot of operational value today, its future lies in cognitive-AI enhancement, a technology convergence that will solve many more business problems and will do so in a more sophisticated fashion.
Competitive play (projects like AI chatbots)
Conversational interfaces and natural voice understanding and processing technologies are moving very fast, and early adopters are looking to harness this to differentiate themselves from competitors.
The haircut appointment demo by Alphabet CEO Sunder Pichai using Google Duplex is going viral, and provides good reasons for most C-suite executives to take Voice seriously. The AI‑driven scheduling startup X.ai, for instance, has created an intelligent agent, Andrew or Amy, which focuses solely on calendar tasks like scheduling a meeting. While that’s still an admin chore, Andrew/Amy is capable of working with much less information than past applications.
A number of Innovation labs and teams at enterprises have been exploring use of chatbots and digital assistants for automation and improvements in the sales and marketing functions. The days are not far, when managers will talk to their digital assistants "Hey Stacy, can you open our sales forecast and get me last year’s retention KPIs?”
Transformational play ( Intelligent Platforms)
The platform era is here, and it is here to stay! Low-code, no-code and rapid application development platforms, offered as a service over public Cloud - it was never easier for line functions to go digital!
Enterprise High-Productivity Application Platform as a Service (hpaPaaS) solutions continue to increase footprint across enterprise IT as businesses juggle the demand for applications, digital business requirements and skill set challenges.
The leaders in this space enable businesses to automate business processes across departments. Platforms like ServiceNow are providing intelligent automation, machine learning and voice interface capabilities as part of the platform components. In his recent keynote address at ServiceNow’s annual conference Knowledge 18, CEO John Donahoe presented a new manifesto - where technology including AI is used in the service of people - and automation technology will help make the world of work (employee experience), work better for people.
Digital Automation is bringing people and machines together at a rapid pace, and a bright future is where technology will augment human skills and humans will augment machine intelligence.
What is your automation strategy?