As a blend of robotics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence (AI), automation takes care of the mundane tasks we’d rather not spend time on, the work we don’t want to mess up with human error, customer interactions that require instant responses – and so much more.
While automation has been evolving at lightning speed over the last few years, it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down. So what does the future of automation look like? We’ll cover that and more in this article.
9 Automation Trends to Watch in 2022
Automating High-Value Actions
Prioritizing Marketing, Sales, and Success Alignment
Automation as a Vital Part of CRMs
Automation for Greater Personalization
Automation Across a Company’s App Stack
Business Chatbots as Full-Time Agents
AI for Automated Decision-Making
Automating Data Collection and Reporting
RPA Helping Businesses Become More Productive
1. Automating High-Value Actions
Right now, the low-hanging fruit for automation is boring repetitive work. Automating front-office functions may be more challenging harder but it’s becoming more common.
While today’s businesses mostly use live chat to facilitate real-time conversations between consumers and business representatives, more companies are setting up chatbots.
With bots, companies can provide answers to frequently asked questions and even resolve issues without a team member’s involvement. Increasingly, the best chatbots serve as full-time customer support agents.
The key to a bot’s success is intelligence, which still has its limitations, but is improving fast.
In the future of automation, bots will become more useful, more intelligent, and may soon incorporate voice functionality.
7. AI for Automated Decision-Making
Decision-making is tiring.
You need the right data at your fingertips, to look beyond your biases and get agreement from other stakeholders. AI will increasingly provide a solution to this, delivering high-quality data that can help inform the best decisions.
RPA, also referred to as ‘robotics’ or ‘robots,’ is defined as the automation of rules-based processes with software that utilizes the user interface and which can run on any software, including web-based applications, ERP systems, and mainframe systems.
This could include opening emails and attachments, moving files and folders, or filling in forms.
Going forward, RPA is likely to become a more standard part of our workflows, whether via stand-alone tools, features of the tools we’re already using, or integrated apps.
Is automation changing work as we know it?
The short answer is yes, but for the better.
A 2021 PWC survey found that 61% of people globally believe that automation is putting people’s jobs at risk. However, the truth is automation is not removing employment opportunities, it’s redefining roles.
The role of automation is to take care of the tasks that machines can do better than us, removing human error and allowing for scalability.
One common misconception about automation is that it’s a set-it-and-forget-it approach. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
While it does free up time, that time is used to feed and optimize to produce better results. So, automation doesn’t mean losing the human side, it means empowering workers to focus on more impactful work.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in Oct. 2021and has been updated for comprehensiveness.