Seven Predictions for Robotic Process Automation (RPA), 2020

The RPA industry is expanding at an unprecedented rate. Gartner described RPA as the “fastest-growing segment of global enterprise software market” and predicted that the global RPA market would reach an estimated PS5.98 trillion in 2020.
It is expected to be a pivotal Year for Automation. This year will see exciting changes as the RPA industry matures. The global economy will also react and adapt to these big shifts.
Overall, RPA maturity will accelerate. This will be fueled by economic shifts, new workers, and rapid technology advancement. To remain competitive, organisations will standardize and scale their automation and will acquire and merge smaller RPA vendors.
RPA will see shifts of all sizes, which will propel the industry to new heights. This will make ‘automation first” a strategic imperative for businesses.
This means that organisations will need to address their business challenges using a hybrid human/software workforce. Software robots automate daily processes, freeing up humans for more creative and strategic tasks.
Below are my seven RPA predictions 2020 – and how the business landscape will change.
Automation will be encouraged by the global economic downturn
The financial market signals don’t paint a positive picture. The falling long-term interest rate and the withdrawal of corporate investments are signs of increasing instability due to global tensions, conflicts and trade wars.
We could face another recession if consumer fear and collapse of demand take hold. Normally, companies would cut back on employees and struggle to survive, but automation is showing new ways.
As businesses confront the realities of operating in an economic downturn they will adapt their business models to include automation. This will allow them to scale up robotics rather than reduce human employees.
RPA will be the YouTube of automation
RPA will be a central platform for enterprise automation tools in 2020. It will be the repository for automation, just like YouTube for video content.
RPA’s centrality will be paralleled with the development and reuse of automation code, which will allow it to spread further than it has before. This will allow organisations to reuse code across industries, geographies. This is the beginning of a longer-term trend as RPA becomes more accessible.
Robots will be reused by more organisations
2020 will see organisations learn to standardise robots across departments and use-cases, and eventually across companies or industries.
This will allow for more predictable deployments and easier scaling, rather than using automation in silos that limit the benefits of RPA.
Students will drive automation deployment
Human employees have been forced to use repetitive, manual work to connect and integrate outdated technology systems for most of the history of business. Students entering the workforce in 2020 will have better options and will force businesses that are behind to modernise and transform their processes.
They will be asking why we do the same things in the same way after all these years. Many organisations won’t be able to answer their questions. Research has shown that students are naturally inclined to learn automation in school. They will automate bits of their jobs.
These new employees will become more efficient and productive, so RPA’s benefits will outweigh any hesitancy. This will force organisations to change.
The intelligence of machines will continue to amaze us.
Machine intelligence continues to improve. We now have tasks that we never thought possible

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