Danny Major, CTO, Blue Prism Cloud (Thoughtonomy)
1. Accredit the automation not the person
With the explosion of interest in all things RPA and IA, so has a rise in access to curriculums to allow people to self-enable. In as little as 30 minutes, I can log-in and become accredited with an online certificate to represent my automation skills, however, while certification does demonstrate a degree of competency, we all know that actual skill comes from experience in real world projects. In 2020, I see the emergence of tools to validate the quality of the automations created, allowing the automation itself to be assessed in line with best practices, paving the way for best-practices to be embedded in the very fabric of automations themselves.
2. AI (not) for AIs sake
A flurry of new terminology is prolific in the industry today, of which AI seems as a badge of honour for the automated processes that consume it. However, very few solution examples exist where AI underpins business value. In 2020, I expect to see a focus on use cases ‘powered by AI’ measured in terms relevant to the business.
3. Terminology Standardization
RPA, RDA, IA, AI, Desktop Automation, Robots, Digital Workers, Virtual Workers... the list goes on..!
The efforts by the IEEE and supporting organisations over the last few years have created a taxonomy to support the consumer in their analysis of a suitable vendor. As I’ve started to see this language proliferate into RFIs and other vendor assessments, I expect apples for apples vendor analysis to become more common place, which will in turn benefit the potential buyer.
4. Death of the ‘bot’ count
As an industry, we've become accustomed to measuring scale and success against the number of ‘bots’ deployed. However, this approach often distracts from the actual value derived for a business from automation, as it doesn't take utilization rate nor impact into consideration. In 2020, I see a shift in language to focus on hours back to the business, customer experience improvement and a more consistent reference to organizational outcomes.
With the industry and capabilities of a digital workforce now better understood, and intelligence use cases more easily accessible - there’s a greater understanding of how this digital resource can benefit a business. In 2020, I expect a shift in the complexity of the initial processes targeted for automation, with a move away from the hidden back office use cases into more front line activities where digital workers interact in a more visible way.