The past year has been a wild ride. From remote work, homeschooling and pets on Zoom calls, to almost everybody discovering a surprising talent for baking. 

Banana bread aside, 2020 has been a milestone year for technology. One where the world realised that end-to-end process automation, powered by agile, scalable technologies, and combined with IT and business collaboration, are key ingredients for the new decade.

So, what else do we think will be on the cards in 2021? Continuous Delivery, microservices, RPA, new emerging uses for process automation or even more uses for process audit data? Here’s a taste of the trends we believe will emerge in the coming year:

An RPA Headache is brewing

Companies like Deutsche Telekom have saved over $100 million using RPA and seen customer and staff satisfaction rise alongside. 

But there’s no getting around the fact that RPA is a highly maintenance-intensive technology, and modernizing fragmented and fragile RPA bot implementations is costing businesses billions of dollars annually to implement and maintain. 

In 2021, we’ll see smart companies begin solving this problem by orchestrating end-to-end process automation, allowing RPA teams to first incorporate and orchestrate various RPA tools, then providing the foundation to migrate them to more robust APIs that support true digital transformation. 

Hyperautomation will fall flat without investment in Software Development 

Gartner predicts that in 2021 companies will pursue hyperautomation — the strategy that anything that can be automated in an organization should be automated. In theory, this sounds great. However, be cautious: hyperautomation has major pitfalls.

The biggest mistake companies can make when they move to more automation is not investing in software development, and especially in failing to bring development skills in-house. In order to successfully implement automation, companies need to establish technology layers that can orchestrate all the different elements of a business process, be it humans, RPA bots, API endpoints, AI-powered decision making and more. Orchestration across multiple endpoints is imperative for successful hyperautomation.

End-to-End Process Automation will overtake Task-based Automation 

Task-based automation has been around for years. But companies are waking up to end-to-end process automation — automating multiple tasks across multiple processes and even moving towards automation at the business ecosystem level. And we believe process automation will move to the forefront of enterprise digital transformation efforts in the coming year. 

Why? Well, we recently surveyed 400 IT leaders and found 84% are likely to increase investment in process automation as a result of market pressures — including the rise of remote work — and nine in 10 said process automation is essential to digital transformation. 

However, many are experiencing challenges like incomplete or broken business processes, lack of insight into inefficiencies and bottlenecks, added cost and potentially loss of customers or new growth opportunities. Processes are the algorithms that define the inner workings of any organization. Successful businesses are masters in optimizing these algorithms by automating business processes that are designed precisely to their needs, by improving continuously as they gain more insights over time and by relentlessly leaving no part of a process across people, systems or devices behind. In order for process automation to truly transform their businesses, IT leaders will need to reinvent their process automation initiatives with a more open, agile and scalable approach — in order to automate any process, anywhere.

There’s more 

On December 16th, we’re putting four trend-setting Camundos the test in our webinar: Top 5 Process Automation Trends to Look For in 2021. We’ve asked them to give us data-backed predictions on process automation trends you can likely expect to see in the new year, and to share it live.

It’s completely free to attend, but if the timing isn’t quite right for you, sign up to receive the recording as soon as it’s available.

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