Business Automation Trends: What Every Leader Should Know

In recent years, we've seen a big shift in the way businesses think about automation – from a tool that eliminates repetitive tasks to an essential component of digital transformation.

Business automation has been appropriately described as the "new fabric of digital business.” As automation technologies get woven together to enhance traditional business applications, this is where vital work gets done within the enterprise.

Many CIOs credit automation as the top investment that helped them adapt to changing business conditions over the past couple of years. And looking forward, agility like this will prove essential for businesses to thrive. 

Here are four emerging trends for automation to be aware of: 

1. Embracing hyperautomation 

We’ve seen significant shifts in the intelligent automation market as the segments within it merge. Process mining, robotic process automation (RPA), low-code workflow platforms, chatbots, intelligent document processing, and artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning are no longer segmented elements, but technologies that come together as pieces of the same puzzle. 

Gartner calls this hyperautomation: a business-driven approach that organizations use to rapidly identify, vet, and automate as many business and IT processes as possible. Gartner expects that by 2024, organizations will lower operational costs by 30% by combining hyperautomation technologies with redesigned operational processes.

2. Business leaders taking control

Until recently, automation was controlled by the IT department. But things have changed with the emergence of low-code development platforms that don't require coding expertise.

As business leaders are able to manage more automation, it enables them to build cross-functional teams that can turn data into insight and action with greater speed. This also gives leaders greater visibility into how their investments are benefiting the business, its customers, and employees. 

3. The link between employee/customer experience

Companies looking to provide seamless, instinctive, and personalized interactions with their customers, need to understand the link between the employee and customer experience. Ensuring your customers have a superior experience starts with your employees. When employees feel valued, supported, and empowered, the service and experience they offer to customers is transformed. 

Automation improves employee satisfaction by allowing employees to spend more time on higher-value collaborative and creative work. In 2022, each layer of the automation fabric must work together to create an effortless experience for everyone.

4. The need for speed continues 

To keep up with the new pace of digital transformation–meaning what previously took years now happens in months or weeks–enterprise leaders must select the right AI/machine learning tools that deliver a return on their investment sooner. Another way to either speed up the process or catch up with competitors is to work with a partner that has success stories to share about transforming their specific industry or business function with automation. 

This can be particularly important for organizations just starting their automation journey. Enterprise leaders should start by assessing their automation strategy to ensure their organization automates intelligently and in the right ways for their business.

Looking at 2022 and beyond 

Beyond these four trends is something bigger – a connected approach to digital transformation that changes how enterprises operate, support employees, and serve customers. Used in the right way, automation solutions will help enterprises unlock the agility and innovation they need to thrive in 2022 and beyond.

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