Automation is like a speeding train that can't be stopped. In fact, the market is expected to grow from $9.8 billion in 2020 to $19.6 billion by 2026. So the question is not whether to adopt automation into your business operations but rather which business process automation trends you should be looking at next.
We told you about our 2022 digital transformation trend predictions at the start of the year, and many of them held up. These automated functions were a new way to save time and money for your human teams.
More companies are learning what automation means since becoming more comfortable with automation tools during the pandemic. While your staff may still be worried about an expected recession and job loss, process automation can protect them from work burnout while improving their productivity. Management can embrace the benefits of sales automation while communicating a positive message about these processes to staff and even using automation to attract new talent.
There are some amazing things on the horizon for 2023 to be aware of, whether you're just starting with business process automation or already using it.
Here are our top predictions for automation in the coming year, in no particular order:
1. Increased hyperautomation—a newcomer to automation trends lists
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) was one of the biggest buzzwords in automation for 2022, and hyperautomation will share this honor in 2023.
An RPA automates a simple process, such as sending a reply on Twitter as one of our many Wrk Actions. But hyperautomation uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to expand what an RPA can do based on what it is told and how it acts.
Hyperautomation can unlock the power of RPAs working together to complete a more complicated task.
2. More use of chatbots
Automated customer service has become a more common way for companies to talk to customers at any time of the day or night without the help of a person. Research shows that about 40% of customers prefer interacting with chatbots to virtual agents. That's why they are still on our list of automation trends.
These chatbots use AI and other technologies to answer questions and solve problems before your human Customer Support team needs to step in.
Our Customer Success Wrkflows can simplify some of your customer interactions while also ensuring no inquiries fall through the cracks.
3. Low-code and no-code automation
AI technology underpins codeless automation testing solutions, while visual modeling enables the rapid production of test cases for automation, leading to faster results. Testers can design test scenarios without extensive technical expertise while saving time by automating repetitive tasks.
Some advantages of no-code automation in 2023
- Because the test cases are generated without code, they are perfect for non-technical users who can review results efficiently.
- Test cases can be created and constructed by those unfamiliar with computer languages or coding.
- Because the learning curve is lower, creating test cases is extremely quick, making the automation process quick and easy.
4. Rise of the cobots
Robots have long been a part of what automation means to people. Robots have taken over some of the repetitive tasks of humans in an automotive plant, for example.
But while actual robots with specific functions may have led to some automation job loss in factories in previous years, collaborative robots (cobots) present a different opportunity.
Humans and robots have not worked side-by-side in the past due to safety concerns, but cobots bridge this gap. They are actually designed to physically interact with humans, with some of the movements automated and others fine-tuned by a person.
As Forbes points out, "Instead of replacing humans with autonomous counterparts, cobots augment and enhance human capabilities with super strength, precision, and data capabilities so that they can do more and provide more value to the organization."
We now find Cobots in manufacturing and in medical procedures. Like business process automation, cobots are meant to extend the reach of humans, not replace them.
5. More use of predictive maintenance.
What if you could use technology to identify issues before they cause costly downtime? Well, you already can, but this technology is getting more popular in 2023.
Predictive maintenance (PdM) is like having an artificial eye that continuously looks for anomalies. PdM examines your current and past data to "see" problems before they get out of control. This technology is often applied to devices connected to the internet (the Internet of Things) and can detect strange vibrations, overheating, and other oddities.
The cost-benefit is that instead of performing routine maintenance on all equipment, you can rely on PdM to perform maintenance when the machine actually needs it. Of course, it can also save you money in more costly breakdowns and lost productivity.
6. Greater IT security through automation
Data security is of the utmost importance to companies, as cyber-attacks are on the rise. While we often hear about cyber attacks on large corporations or even governments in the news, many smaller businesses are at risk too. And they can be very expensive to remedy.
Statistics from 2021 show that 41% of reported attacks on small businesses cost $100,000 or more to fix. Meanwhile, many businesses do not have a budget allocated for cybersecurity. However, you don't necessarily need an IT team to safeguard your operation.
Automated security is always on guard, so people don't have to be involved as much (and make mistakes). Security automation makes use of AI and ML to streamline security processes. It also uses software to detect and address cyber threats using predetermined strategies.
7. Digital twins
We're not talking about the trend of using AI imaging software to make computer-enhanced selfies. Digital twin refers to creating a digital "copy" of your business that's updated in real-time using data from your real-life operations.
This can help you test new products and predict how they will perform on the market. You can also use a digital twin to improve your supply chain and find holes in your internal operations. You can use them with business process automation to solve complicated problems and reduce risk.
The digital twin market is expected to explode in 2023 and beyond—to a valuation of $96.5 billion by 2029, up from $8.9 billion in 2022.
8. More industries will adopt business process automation
While the automotive and healthcare sectors (among others) are already using automation, this year we'll see more industries discovering what business process automation can mean for their bottom line.
BPA can automate tasks far beyond customer support and Human Resources Wrkflows. For example, a report from Gartner notes a finance department can save 25,000 hours of manual work per year using process automation (which translates to almost $880,000 in annual savings.)
In 2023, more banking, IT, retail, and education employers will likely use process automation to increase productivity. This means that automation trends are likely adapting to the new reality. You can use RPAs to work with education systems to eliminate or speed up tasks that used to be done by hand. These tasks cover everything from handling paperwork to keeping track of progress. These automated processes can even detect plagiarism in your blogs. Or they can detect discrepancies in personal and secure data.
The Wrk Platform is the bonus entry to the new automation trends list
Our unique Wrk Automation Platform connects you with the latest advances in automation without the need for advanced technical expertise. You only pay for the services you use. And your business benefits from automation working alongside a team of humans (which is our hybrid model.)
Contact us today for a quick chat about our services and how they can save your resources!