The shift towards digital continued to pick up momentum over the past year as all kinds of businesses realized remote work is here to stay. However, without the right solutions in place, businesses wouldn’t be able to offer employees and customers the best experience possible. Because of this, workflow automation has become an integral part of the digital workplace as many processes and functions can be done faster, saving time and money. Heading into 2022, I expect automation to continue being a driving force behind digital transformation in both the business and consumer side of things:
The Next-Gen of Digital Transformation is Automation
In 2022, we’ll see industries incorporate automation into their digital transformation strategies. Digital transformation has been a mainstay in the marketplace for a while now and has further progressed in this pandemic-caused remote world. In the wake of successful digital transformation, we’ll see automation begin to touch all facets of businesses including fulfillment, accounting, advertising and marketing. This concept will percolate for the SMB with customer relationship automation, which I anticipate is where we’ll see the most growth in the next decade.
A Less-Bullish Take on AI; The Human Element Will Remain in Automation
The notion is that automation is not as smart as people believe, but we should look at it through the lens of where the human component is still beneficial to automation and machine learning. In the same way mechanized automation changed heavy industry in the early 20th century (automobiles are not made by people anymore) people will remain incorporated into the design process. As we shift people away from the manual labor of screwing in the lightbulbs, people will be involved in the design of the robots screwing in the lightbulbs.
Application Adoption Needs RPA to be Most Effective
As more applications are adopted through digital transformation efforts, the demand for robotic process automation (RPA) will rise in conjunction. Being a data transfer mechanism between systems, the increasing adoption of RPA will need data parallelization and consistency. Simply put, new digital systems will not be able to be used to their full effectiveness without RPA added into the mix. Although it is possible that RPA may not be a long-term product to rely upon, the demand now will dictate how the technology will survive in the coming years.
Worker Shortage can be Relieved by Automation
There’s no question some industries have been hurt by a shortage of qualified workers, and industries that are feeling this the most, such as supply chain and insurance, may need to consider automation solutions in order to remain operationally effective in the coming years. It’s no longer a matter of wanting to accomplish tasks more efficiently, it’s simply a matter of survival. As adoption increases in high-demand industries, it’s important to note that automation will not take workers fully out of the equation. For example, cars are built by robots, but they have to be designed by people. This concept will remain true, and as automation becomes more widespread within different industries, demand for creative and critical thinking workers will remain prevalent.
Buy-Now, Pay-Later will Raise Demand for Automation
In the next couple of years, we’ll see automation become much more involved in the payments industry. The rise of fintech we’ve seen in the past 18 months will continue as consumers want more options, and automation will play a significant role as part of this. We’ll specifically see ‘buy-now, pay-later’ become a growth focus for many financial institutions and automation’s role will grow in importance to improve predictability of revenue considering payments will be received over longer periods of time. The growing demand for this payment option will really change how we view business in a general sense and this shift in E-commerce is only the beginning of automation becoming more prevalent in everyday life.
As all kinds of businesses and industries continue shifting towards digital, we’ll see demand for automation rise in tandem. The businesses sector will continue finding new and interesting ways to apply these types of solutions to their daily operations, and in return, consumers will feel the benefits.