Automation has been impacting Enterprises in 2019, and the trends marks than for the next years will be more present in all businesses. The effect of Digital Transformation makes companies think or carry out automation projects. But this is not digital transformation. To be digital transformation, it has to happen that emerging technologies are applied to the business, creating new products and services, new business models and changes in the value chain. In another case, we will be talking about Digitalization, but not about Digital Transformation. But without a doubt, the processes and the quality of the data play a key role both in the digital transformation and in the digitalization of the value chain of an organization.
When companies think of Digitalization they are focusing on the digital automation of their business processes. Robotizing tasks or processes is not Digital Transformation. The great growth of RPA software companies (Robotic Process Automation), together with articles magnifying this software, is causing companies to consider automation projects for their processes. The global RPA services market will reach $ 7.7 billion next year and will grow to $ 12 billion in 2023, according to Forrester.
Institute For Robotic Process Automation defines RPA as “the application of technology that allows employees in a company to configure computer software or a “robot” to capture and interpret existing applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems”. The reality is that RPA facilitates in processes to automate repetitive tasks PREDICTABLE: Replicating activity on the desktop of the computer; consolidating data in standardized reports or formats; moving data from one database to another; etc. RPA assumes the AS-IS process and creates software bots that mimic human behavior for low-value repetitive tasks. As Forrester says, "RPA takes a tactical approach to isolate and eliminate pain from the process." In the processes from beginning to end, there will be human participation that makes decisions, so RPA will not be the automation solution.
Forrester has also investigated how automation will affect the future of work, predicting a general reduction in the U.S. workforce of 16% by 2030, given that a tenth of new businesses will start their lives with more digital workers than humans. But existing companies need to manage the restructuring of equipment and it is not so simple to carry out a transformation of this type, due in most cases to Unions or Company Committees, or the idea of certain managers not to lose the workforce to office. But companies will not be able to survive by having to compete in a digital ecosystem. The most successful companies in the world today operate with software and employ fewer employees than their predecessors.
Gartner's predictions indicate that automation continues to deliver on the promises of improved cost and higher effectiveness for the clients of infrastructure service providers, and by 2020, more than 50% of current manual operational tasks in infrastructure managed services will be replaced by intelligent automation services. And by 2021, intelligent automation will generate an additional 20% savings over what is achievable today, in application testing services for end users.
Bill Gates says“The first rule of any technology is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency” (Jeston, 2009)