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NICE 2019 Predictions: Robots Will Identify New RPA Opportunities for Other Robots to Develop and Execute

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2019.  Read them in this 11th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Oded Karev, General Manager, NICE Advanced Process Automation Solutions

Robots Will Identify New RPA Opportunities for Other Robots to Develop and Execute

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has been top of mind for many companies throughout the past few years, but it's gaining even more momentum with the help of Gen Z. This younger generation depends on technology for all facets of their life - from commuting, ordering food to accomplishing tasks at work. By 2020, Gen Z will account for 20 percent of the workforce, making it important for companies to continue investing in technology to attract and retain young talent. Additionally, RPA will contribute to new business analyst positions in 2019 as companies need dedicated employees to oversee RPA operations and ensure companies are automating the right processes for optimal success. We detail these three emerging RPA trends below:  

Gen Z Will Expect Automation and Employers Must Meet that Expectation:

Companies must appeal to this generation in order to successfully recruit and retain them. A recent Deloitte study found that 92 percent of Gen Z are concerned about the generational gap that technology is causing in their professional and personal lives. As such, organizations are starting to redesign entry-level jobs in a way that can both attract and engage Gen Z, while ensuring that entry-level jobs continue to serve as the necessary training ground. The good news is that Gen Zers who crave work that offers a layer of strategic thinking will have the opportunity to do so. Bringing together attended and unattended automations will help streamline repetitive tasks and allow Gen Z the freedom to focus on more value-add tasks, ultimately leading to their happiness at work. For organizations that already invest in RPA or virtual assistant technology, they may expand their process automations to include more cognitive technology (i.e. chatbots, machine learning, unstructured data analytics etc.).

Companies Must Stop Automating the Wrong Processes in Favor of the Right Ones:

Many automation projects in 2018 failed because they were targeting either very complex and/or niche processes to automate. For niche areas where usage is minimal, it is not likely to achieve the desired impact or ROI. For example, a financial organization had automated a process of  obtaining exchange rate data from a number of external applications on a weekly basis. Due to the infrequent nature of the process and coupled with  the added complexity of connecting to a number of external exchange servers, too much maintenance was needed in order to ensure continuity of the process automation. The combination of high infrequency and high maintenance made this particular process a poor candidate for RPA.  In 2019, companies must assess what parameters should be taken into consideration - things such as the number of users for any given process, handle time and complexity (i.e. number of apps involved, type of actions conducted etc.). If these elements are factored in, this will help ensure that the processes being automated will yield a significant ROI for the company. Automating the wrong processes will only lead to frustration and halt an organization's journey towards achieving  successful RPA deployments.

Robotic Automation Will Bring More Jobs - Not Take Them:

With the onset of Robotic Process Automation (RPA), new roles are being developed within organizations. Where companies once looked for traditional developers, they're now looking for business analysts to oversee RPA operations, shifting from programming-based to analytical functions. In 2019, we will see more companies develop new positions to help employees understand RPA best practices and how to integrate automation into their everyday workflow. The C-suite is no exception, as we've already seen leading enterprises adopt new roles such as ‘Chief Robotics Officer.' Other roles that are appearing on the job scene include automation developers, automation business innovation specialists, RPA architects, RPA implementation specialists, RPA practice leads, RPA transformation leads and RPA technology directors (to name a few).

Robotic and Cognitive Automation Will Bring Us Closer to Human Intelligence

The next phase of RPA, Robotic and Cognitive Automation (R&CA), will bring technology even closer to human intelligence over the next few years by combining both robotic and cognitive capabilities. Enterprises will be able to move from a product-centric mindset to full customer centricity, in addition to keeping employees engaged. For instance, a banking customer could use R&CA to open up an account by working with chatbots and using robotic/desktop automation to verify credit and background checks. These types of seamless touchpoints will not only benefit the company, but it will increase customer loyalty. Further down the line, we foresee NICE automation robots obtaining the capabilities to not only enable other robots via sourcing automation opportunities, but to also automate the design and development of process automations with a single touch of a button.

In a study from ADP Research Institute, 55 percent of respondents are excited about what the future of automation will bring, so it's important to take a look to analyze how RPA (and R&CA) can support this evolving trend. Whether it's filling in forms, making repetitive calculations or processing orders, it's important for organizations to put a plan in motion that helps alleviate these tedious tasks in favor of improved accuracy and more value-add projects.



With extensive experience in corporate strategy and operations, Oded leads NICE's global Advanced Process Automation line of business, covering the full spectrum of robotics solutions. Prior to his current role, he served as Director of Corporate Strategy at NICE, leading some of the company's key growth initiatives. Before joining NICE, Oded specialized in delivering multi-channel strategies, operating model designs and digital transformation projects for Accenture. Oded is a respected industry thought leader and key note speaker in the field of Robotic Process Automation and is frequently quoted in global media.

Published Monday, January 14, 2019 7:28 AM by David Marshall
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