Business process automation (BPA) has made business more resilient during the COVID-19 period. Besides, it has empowered more employees to work remotely—a trend that was brought by the pandemic. And, we expect the strategies and technologies backing BPA to evolve in 2021 as more businesses target long-term digital transformations.
We can all agree that the urgency and importance of business process automation has substantially grown over the past 12 months. As businesses were forced to abandon on-premise systems and in-office operations and adopt remote work because of the COVID-19 pandemic, business productivity was questioned.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to an increased demand for digitization, as more businesses leak for ways to simplify their processes, and create adaptable and resilient systems. This is an indication that some BPA trends will mature in 2021 as more enterprises continue to adopt digital transformation.
BPA automation trends to expect in 2021
Businesses across different industries, like financial services, retail, healthcare, and manufacturing are gradually implementing new technologies and tools to help them adapt to new virtual modes of reaching clients and doing business. The pursuit of delivering improved customer experience in 2021 will be inspired by new digital development and frequent innovation.
By leveraging cloud services, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), and data, organizations will be able to increase their competitiveness in their respective industries. Therefore, we should expect to see the following themes in terms of BPA trends in 2021:
- The increase in data and new data sources will push for the adoption of new storage and computation technologies like cloud computing.
- An increased speed of BPA adoption as more businesses develop fully-automated value chains.
- People in technology leadership posts are focusing more on simplifying operational processes and improving customer experience.
With that said, let’s look at the top BPA trends in 2021
Robotic process automation and automated bots
Also known as RPA, robotic process automation has had a big impact in value proposition this year. RPA has played a major role in the healthy sector, as it has helped to address the issue of healthcare personnel shortage, and reduce in-person contact.
As more businesses switched to removing working culture because of COVID-19, there was an increased demand for RPA adoption and workflow automation without code bots. Bot automation enables small and medium businesses to drastically cut down recurring tasks, manual work, and reduce operational costs by delivering a better ROI. On the other hand, no code bots automation has become an essential part of today’s enterprise solutions. This helps to set the pace for the human capital development movement. Besides, it helps to improve the capability of non-technical employees in automating business workflows.
This is the automation of knowledge-based processes in businesses using Artificial Intelligence and the robotic process automation model. However, you should note that hyper-automation doesn’t rely on bots. Rather, it involves machine and human interactions.
In 2021, we’ve seen most businesses shifting from random automation solutions to more customized automation technologies. A survey conducted by Gartner revealed that agnostic software will allow hyper-automation of a variety of IT services for small business processes by 2024. The software facilitates the mapping of tools and enhances business processes.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, most employees had to schedule in-person meetings in hard-to-find conference rooms and try to find time to connect with others in person. However, with most people working remotely today, new automation technologies have made it easier for team members to have face-to-face meetings, increasing business productivity.
Most platforms, like Slack, offer unmatched collaboration features, which allow employees to share and discuss issues. Other tools allow employees to edit images and video files—regardless of their location. And the best thing is, it’s very easy to export documents to project management solutions, which saves time that would have been used to translate them into resources or action items.
The technologies for cloud automation are designed to remove the challenges of manual labor and the time that employees spend to access and manage cloud workloads and services. Besides, cloud automation delivers exceptional business value in reducing operational costs, consistent deployment, security, and overall resilience. Cloud automation also improves the back-end processes in business workflows.
A report released by Flexera in 2021 revealed that 92% of businesses had adopted multi-cloud storage solutions, and 61% of these businesses are looking for ways to optimize them.
Nowadays, Artificial Intelligence plays a significant role in business process automation services, and more businesses continue to invest in AI models for both external and internal functions. However, enterprises must develop effective strategies to ensure sustained performance and scalability for their systems. By doing this, businesses will be able to get the total value of AI in their processes.
By identifying your key areas, it’s possible to simplify and improve your business processes and workflows through business process automation. BPA can help to improve the overall consistency, productivity and maximize your business profits. It’s recommended that you choose a no-code model for your BPA, as it can give you the flexibility you need to develop new products, create better collaboration, and automate workflows. Besides, it can help you to improve the overall efficiency and performance of your business workflows.