by Nischay Mittal, Principal & Global Head – RPA, Zinnov; Vansh Kukreja, Project Lead, Zinnov
With the world going digital, UiPath’s Reboot Work Festival from December 15th to 17th, wrapped in a fresh and unique digital format, emulated actual festival grounds. On the heels of confidentially filing for an IPO earlier today (IPO expected in early 2021), CEO & Founder, Daniel Dines appeared composed, oozing his usual confidence as he went about his keynote session.
Key Automation Trends
We attended the three days of the festival, comprised of invigorating keynotes and discussions, out of which emerged interesting points of views and customer success stories, along with key automation trends. We have laid down some of the prominent ones below.
- Automation emerged as the most pivotal technology during COVID-19, helping enterprises improve operational efficiencies and business resiliency. Lots of enterprises amplified their automation focus and brought their investments forward, during the pandemic. In fact, automation emerged as the starting point to embark on their digital transformation journey for a lot of enterprises.
- Employee Experience (EX) is poised to become as critical as Customer Experience (CX). Automation is empowering employees, making them more productive and positive, which in turn is enhancing CX.
- The democratization of automation is leading to the vision of “a robot for every person” becoming a reality, with a massive focus on human-bot collaboration. Today, even citizen developers are able to seamlessly build robots using low code design and development. Going ahead, enterprises need to think about how to manage their robotic workforce, which would become as large as their human workforce.
- Process Mining has emerged as the most critical and strategic area of focus within automation. As enterprises continue to struggle with inefficiencies and bottlenecks, it has become imperative to leverage scientific tools to identify such bottlenecks and optimize them. Process Mining will continue to gain importance as well as critical investments from both the demand and the supply side ecosystems. As Bobby Patrick, CMO, UiPath rightly put it, “Process Mining has emerged as the superhero of automation.”
- The biggest challenge that automation is solving for is Fragmentation, i.e., the myriad number of applications, databases, and systems spread across the entire enterprise, with employees wasting time navigating through these fragmented systems. This is where automation comes into play, by acting as an interface between the employees and these fragmented systems. API integration alone cannot solve for such fragmentation challenges; hence, the way ahead for enterprises is to look at a combination of automation (or UI automation) and API integration.
- In addition, as enterprises continue to invest in multiple automation initiatives across globally dispersed locations, process orchestration and BPM (Business Process Management) are emerging as critical tools for enterprises to “bridge the automation islands” within an enterprise and enable them to run automation programs at scale.
The above automation trends are all baked into UiPath’s recently announced platform 20.10, and their vision for a Fully Automated Enterprise. A Fully Automated Enterprise is a digitally transformed enterprise that leverages RPA and AI to solve for the ever-pervasive problem of fragmentation by weaving automation into enterprise processes and operations seamlessly. The Fully Automated Enterprise is built on the 4 pillars of – automating all back-office processes, a bot for every person, democratizing app development for citizen developers, and applying AI to every facet of work.
To enable citizen developers, they also launched UiPath Apps, which is their low code, browser-based platform to easily build apps. In addition, there were enhancements made to their “a robot for every person” vision through UiPath Assistants which provides users with a curated set of configurable desktop automations. Their picture-in-picture capability now lets humans and robots to work in parallel on the same desktop for a deeper collaboration. In addition, there have been many more enhancements to the product, including the ones made to StudioX and Automation Cloud among others.
6 Key Dimensions that Enterprises need to focus on
In all the keynote sessions and customer narratives, it was evident that there are 6 key dimensions that enterprises need to focus on, in order to scale their automation (and in turn, digital transformation) initiatives.
1. Partner with Scalable Platforms – engage with a “future-proof” platform that has an architecture that allows new platform services and third-party services to be easily integrated, and the enterprises are able to extend the platform on their own. In addition, enterprises want flexibility in deploying automation, either on-prem or on Cloud, especially on the public cloud of their choice.
2. Focus on Targeted Outcomes – aim for faster time to value and ROI, which is possible through low code approach, and accuracy to emulate humans very quickly. There is a need to move beyond proofs of concepts (POCs) and focus on proofs of value (POVs).
3. Convergence of Technologies – combine RPA with other modern technologies such as AI, Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Computer Vision (CV) to unlock new avenues of growth and efficiency.
4. Structured approach to Use Case Identification – adopt a scientific process to identify use cases for automation, by leveraging techniques such as Process Mining and Task Mining. This will ensure a healthy pipeline of use cases, beyond the low hanging fruits of automation.
5. Invest on an Automation Center of Excellence (CoE) – Enterprises need to invest in building an automation-specific CoE to manage, govern, and stitch together all automation efforts across the enterprise. Going ahead, these CoEs are expected to start generating revenue and drive profits for the enterprises.
6. Focus on Automation Talent and Change Management – dedicated investment in building an automation-capable workforce by not only onboarding new talent, but also focusing on upskilling existing talent is not just critical but imperative. In addition, enterprises also need to instill innovation and automation as a cultural value across the organization for effective change management.
All of the above allude to the fact that we are clearly in an era where RPA as a standalone technology is not sufficient. We need to look at a confluence of technologies – right from AI/ML, NLP, Intelligent Document Processing (IDP), Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Process Mining, Task Mining, BPMS, etc. – in conjunction with RPA to derive the maximum business value from automation. This new philosophy – which we call Hyper Intelligent Automation (or HIA) – is the way forward for enterprises and the automation market alike, and the narratives over the last three days of the Reboot Work festival further emphasized this philosophy.
Finally, it was also inspiring to hear about the new announcement of UiPath’s Workforce Readiness Program to provide automation skills to young adults across the Autism disorder spectrum. After all, it is all about what we can give back to the society.
As we near the end of 2020, with the pandemic slowing down thanks to the promise of vaccines around the corner, the new year is bubbling with untapped potential and an even greater focus on automation!
To know more about the exciting possibilities of Hyper Intelligent Automation and all that it has to offer an enterprise, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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