Let’s not talk about RPA anymore, let’s talk about automation

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som3 Recruitment is back again with it’s latest RPA piece and this time we were inspired by one our brilliant UiPath contacts, Arthur Foltz. After discussing our previous insights, we decided to take the ‘controversial’ route of saying that we shouldn’t just talk about RPA, but let’s focus on the ‘automation’ part. Now, of course this doesn’t mean that RPA is redundant, companies like UiPath are still automating processes, but automation should be thought of at a higher level than just ‘process automation’, it should become ‘work automation’ or ‘enterprise automation’.

We are seeing more and more clients’ integrating robots into newly designed processes, which means that automation is not only a way to save time, but it has now becomes a vessel to achieve what was previously impossible. Exciting eh?!

So what about ENTERPRISE AUTOMATION then. Well, enterprise automation today is not what it used to be several years ago. It goes far beyond simple bots and virtual assistants that take over repetitive back-office tasks. Now, we can talk about full-fledged enterprise automation platforms that help make informed decisions, optimize operations, and improve customer experience. Automation has penetrated into all major enterprise functions: finance, customer service, marketing, procurement, sales, office administration, legal, etc.

Automating a process is easy but automating processes across the whole enterprise is a real challenge. To address it, the concept of Automation as a Service (AaaS) has been introduced. AaaS is a set of services offered by technology companies to enterprises in order to automate their process workflows and increase their productivity. AaaS helps scale automation across the enterprise and orchestrate IT operations across the hybrid landscape while providing a holistic approach and keeping the view of a big picture.

Today, AaaS offerings cover mainly two areas: knowledge-based automation, powered mainly by AI, and rules-based automation that functions on a set of predefined requirements. According to a report by Reports and Data, the global Automation as a Service market is expected to grow at a rate of 29.7% and reach $15.47B globally by 2026. In the following years, we are going to witness the increased adoption of automation among enterprises.

So let’s take a look at the 4 hottest enterprise automation trends that will shape the future:

  • The shift from RPA to other intelligent automation technologies

When we think of “automation”, we usually imagine some kind of an RPA tool that performs a repetitive task. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Thanks to automation, it is also possible to perform more complex, high-value tasks that address real-world challenges, combining the right technologies to automate processes across the enterprise. And these technologies include not only RPA but also Big Data, AI, IoT, Blockchain, VR, and more. Many enterprises are leveraging multiple intelligent automation technologies. IoT and AI are among the leaders. AI provides machine learning capabilities, including natural language processing (NLP), optical character recognition (OCR) and other cognitive services that are combined with RPA  to create a more intelligent automation environment. With improved technologies within the IoT area including sensors, digital twin technology, and edge computing, enterprise automation use cases become more versatile and complex.

  • Infrastructure Automation

With the increasing adoption of microservices and hybrid IT, “Infrastructure as Code” or “Infrastructure Automation” becomes paramount for businesses. It helps automate the provisioning, orchestrating, and managing of cloud and on-premise infrastructures.

  • Enterprise Security Automation

When it comes to enterprise security, automation really matters. Enterprise attacks are becoming more difficult to prevent, detect, and mitigate. At the same time, security operations centers (SOCs) suffer from staff shortages. They simply can’t find or can’t afford to hire the talent they need. So with the rise of automation, interest in Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) solutions is growing.

  • Automation is transforming the job market

Robots are coming!! And there is a concern that they will replace humans at work. Put your worries aside, this won’t happen. At least, until people are involved in the process of the robot creation and its maintenance. Forrester calls it the automation paradox: humans will spend less time on easy work — and more hours on difficult tasks. The more powerful the automated systems become, the more crucial the human contribution is. Humans are less involved, but their involvement becomes more critical. If an automated system has an error, it will multiply that error until it’s fixed or shut down. It’s true, automation will change the skills and requirements the workforce needs. Creativity and problem-solving skills will become the most important. It means that the adoption of intelligent automation technologies will liberate and empower workers rather than bind or displace them.

Enterprise automation ensures a more efficient, manageable, and flexible environment which can be easily scaled as your company grows. Automation can solve very many problems in the enterprise. It can not only execute routine processes quickly and accurately but also perform complex tasks that help reduce costs, mitigate risks, and improve overall user experience.

So that’s it for this time round and I think the consensus is to think beyond ‘RPA’ and focus on the ‘automation’ part and what it can mean to you and your company.

As always, som3 Recruitment are looking to speak to RPA Specialists across the globe and companies that are on the hunt for these precious gems and need some help with their staffing. Get in touch with us for an informal conversation – info@som-3.com