Automation will redefine the next phase of digital transformation as it delivers new levels of customer value coming from higher quality and dependability, deeper personalization, faster delivery of products, and greater convenience offerings. Robotic process automation (RPA) is growing at a fast pace with projections from Gartner forecasting that the RPA business will grow 57% over the next year. Here are the major RPA predictions for 2019 that are all set to redefine the new year and the years to come.

1. Rise of Artificial Intelligence into RPA

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) wave is here and RPA is an essential component of that change. As we prepare to welcome the new year, Artificial Intelligence will gain more prominence and RPA will slowly merge with Artificial Intelligence to deliver an integrated business value, and this will propel the rise of the Intelligent Process Automation (IPA). Estimates show that in the coming years, more than 40% of enterprises will create state-of-the-art digital workers by combining AI with their Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Industry estimates show that the RPA market will reach to $1.7 billion in 2019 and $2.9 billion in 2021.

2. Centralisation Dominates Chaos

In the years to come, enterprises will have their automation centers in place which will bring change management, unpredictability, control, auditing, and security issues all together. These trends will raise governance concerns throughout 2019 making enterprises invest in central coordination through automation centers which are designed on the basis of unifying frameworks.

3. Licences Decline and Consultancy Increase

In the coming years, licenses for RPA will decline and this will not be the main revenue driver. As the number of robotic vendors increase, expect more of free trails which will eventually cause a hit on RPA licences. While on the other hand, the RPA industry will see more of consultancy revenues, driven out from core consulting, process documentations and pilot POCs.

4. Domination of Attended Robots

Attended robots that work alongside humans and augment workforce will accelerate past unattended robots in the new year. According to UiPath’s chief evangelist Guy Kirkwood, the ratio of unattended to attended robots is increasing, from the earlier 70:30, to the current levels at 54:46; the industry is witnessing a definite rise of attended robots. This figure is poised to reach at 50:50 when we ring the new year bells as the industry is ready to absorb more attended robots for automation solutions.

5. Public Sector will Embrace RPA

Gone are the days when RPA was the toast of the MNC’s and Private industries. The coming years will see an increasing dominance of RPA into public sector as governments across nationalities have woken up to the value of RPA which is witnessing a significant increase in citizen-centric services.

6. Employee Engagement will Continue

As industries increase their automation footprint, they add more and more employees to the RPA process. This will increase the employee engagement to new heights as more and more industries embrace RPA into their on-going business processes.

7. All Eyes on Unstructured Data

RPA products will continue to focus on unstructured data as information extraction from unstructured data sources gains an upper edge. Unstructured data sources like images, mails become the next information goldmine and organisations don’t want to miss this opportunity. This is making RPA vendors deploy OCR and AI technologies to structure data from invoices or orders in general, and then let a robot automate the process to give an immediate return of investment.

8. Job market will See Changes

Automation technologies have an impact on employment figures, and industry estimates insist that nearly half of jobs will be destroyed with due credit to automation. However, the new trend is that humans and machines will collaborate in many workflows and automation economy will create new jobs in the technology domain as designers, RPA specialists who improve user interfaces of chatbots and process experts will solve business problems.

9. Investment into Centres of Excellence

Experts predict that by the end of 2019, 40% of enterprises will have automation centers in place and will invest in centers of excellence or centralized coordination centers. These automation centers analyse which automation technologies applies to various business problems while driving base practices and technical compatibility and integration.

10. The Rise of Chatbots

 As consumer use of conversational interface continues to grow, Chatbots will be the next wave of RPA. 2019 and the successive years will witness voice and chat-enabled products become a norm into the industry. The rise of chatbots will augment the use of cognitive knowledge engines that focus on the creation and maintenance of a corporate memory with the objective of providing answers to customers and clients.

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