When the world set off fireworks at the beginning of 2020, we had no idea that we would be in this position a few months down the road. COVID-19 has been a learning experience just as much as it has ravaged economies and turned lives upside down. The way we conduct business has swiftly changed and we can be sure certain trends will be as a result of the pandemic.
Automation is a process that many industries have been pushing to implement and with the pandemic, the push is even greater. Some of the trusted sources for information about tech trends predict the following post-COVID-19 trends in automation.
There has already been a lot of automation within the workplace but the rate at which it is being integrated has increased due to the pandemic and close to 70% of marketers are using automation platforms. There is now greater discussion about the ethical use of automation within different industries. While software companies are on a push to develop new technologies to automate different processes, the thought has to be given to what legislation will govern the use of such technology? Coming up with parameters to guide the implementation of different automation software along with the use of AI and robotics in different industries like healthcare is going to be a trend post-COVID-19.
Increased Traditional Business Process Automation
Despite the need for automation, many small businesses cannot afford to jump onto major automation trends like robotics and AI. Traditional business process automation (BPA) is a much more realistic start for many that are trying to improve efficiency despite the disruption caused by the pandemic. Even as the business world struggled with the effects of the pandemic. Simple automation like email automation was a wise choice for many. Open rates for most industry emails saw a rise as more people worked from home. Automated responses became a more efficient way to handle certain customer concerns and communication. Automation of general workflows by replacing human involvement with simple automation tools is a trend that will continue long after the corona pandemic.
Document Automation Adoption
One of the things COVID has taught us is that we can effectively work from home and remain productive. This might be something we will consider doing even after the pandemic. To do this, however, certain tools need to be availed. Document sharing is one of the capabilities document automation software enables and it is already one of the top requested cloud services. There are also the benefits that document automation brings to the table like efficiency, productivity, and error-free documents that maintain consistent quality. Document automation can save up to 20 minutes that are usually spent looking for documents.
Robot Process Automation in Healthcare
According to CDC statistics, 1 in 25 patients in the hospital will contract the infection as a result of failed hygiene practices. With increased concern about the risk of contracting infections like SARS-2, it is a relief that statistics about the Xenex robot indicate that it can bring down hospital-acquired infections through carrying out much-needed disinfection and sanitization procedures using special UV technology. There are already several orders for robot assistants within hospitals and these are expected to increase past the pandemic. Robots can handle numerous functions including surgeries and patient bedside care. They are already in use for administrative functions.
Collaborative Automation (Cobots)
Contrary to popular belief, we’re not yet going to experience total automation with machines taking over humans. Instead, we can prepare to have collaborative automation. Machines need humans to manage them and some tasks need human input. In the past, it was unsafe for humans and machines in factories to share the same workspace, but thanks to intelligent sensors, robots have been taught to recognize humans and avoid injuring them. This has made it possible to have humans and robots working on the same floor different factories. With the increasing need for less expensive robot use, Cobots sales are expected to grow by 175% in the next 10 years.
IPA Integration With RPA
Integrating intelligent process integration with robotic process automation is the next level of automation that will see machines get smarter each time they perform tasks. This means factories can expect production times to significantly improve whenever a process is completed. This is like the energy drink for robots that will make them both efficient and intelligent and not get tired as well. KPMG estimates that businesses will invest as much as $232 billion on this technology by 2015.
AI + ML + Cloud Automation
Software developers have carried out tests to improve the integration of different tools. 2021 and beyond will be the time for industries to experience the full force of such integration. Cloud automation is already effectively in use, but we shall see it do much more when it is integrated with artificial intelligence and machine learning. This will be particularly useful when analyzing huge sets of data to find trends. Marketing, healthcare, and finance are just some of the industries that will make effective use of this trend.
Technology Management Software
Gartner predicts that by 2022, large industries will need to have technology that can keep an eye on all the automation technology they will have. They coined the phrase hybrid digital infrastructure management (HDIM) to refer to this automation trend. It will be more reliable to automate the monitoring process for all the technology an organization has in place since machines are simply more reliable.
Steady Rise in Adoption of Automation
This is an obvious trend, more businesses are going to seek out whatever reliable automation solution they can get to improve efficiency. The COVID-19 pandemic has created a heightened demand to ensure continuity even when faced with such a situation. Businesses that have been dragging their feet to implement automation can now see the urgency. We will likely see a stampede to secure the right software and that may also create fragmentation within the vendor market as different vendors try to get a piece of the paper that will be floating around.