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iOPEX Technologies 2021 Predictions: Automation Trends on the Horizon

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Automation Trends on the Horizon

By Shiva Ramani, CEO at iOPEX Technologies

The age of automation has unquestionably arrived. Fast tracked by the pandemic, automation took center stage in 2020, enabling organizations to streamline tedious and repetitive tasks and processes as well as improve the overall work from home experience. Now, new developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning are driving IT automation trends and influencing change management strategies across a wide range of industries. 

But what does the year ahead have in store for this rising tech tool? Here are a few ways we think the industry will grow to meet the needs of the marketplace:

1.  Organizations will lean on Conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI). Even before 2020, digital transformation was on the rise. People were already conversing through social media platforms, such as Facebook, as well as home assistants, such as Amazon's Alexa. These applications use speech-based assistants and chatbots, also known as Conversational AI, that have recently been fast tracked by the pandemic. Now, recognizing the benefits of voice optimized responses and contextual awareness, organizations have begun leveraging Conversational AI to automate communication through text-to-speech based virtual assistants that improve customers' satisfaction.

Looking forward, companies will adopt Conversational AI to achieve efficient operations. By leveraging Conversational AI, organizations can provide personalized and differentiated experiences for their customers that ultimately build unique relationships over time. Each interaction can feel like a 1:1 conversation that is context-aware and informed by past interactions.By utilizing Conversational AI, businesses will be able to reduce costs and increase efficiency, drive sales, improve customer satisfaction and enhance the employee experience.

2.  Organizations will use robotic process automation (RPA) as a stepping stone. Automation as a concept has been a bit subsumed under the broader category of RPA. While RPA brings immediate benefits on successful implementation, it does not set organizations up for true automation success if they do not treat RPA as just a stepping stone for native digital experiences. 

RPA is quite tactical. It helps organizations automate processes and repetitive tasks which are important for the business to succeed. As the first stepping stone towards an AI driven workplace, organizations should stop thinking about the short-term benefits of RPA, and look forward to what RPA within the organization can lead to a decade from now. The right RPA implementation will mean an organization will eventually be ready to bring in solutions like AI, machine learning, predictive analytics, cognitive services and more. In 2021, RPA will be used as a starting point, but organizations will continue to build on their RPA wins and tie these wins back to the organization's broader objectives, such as end-to-end processing and data orchestration, in order to improve operations.

3.  Cloud networking will continue to grow. Moving forward, traditional enterprise networking will be disrupted by cloud networking as it will become mainstream. Businesses today turn to the cloud to drive agility, accelerate time-to-market and increase scale. 

To remain competitive, automate tasks and enable work from home from anywhere in the world, organizations are adopting a multi-data center strategy and leveraging the cloud to improve operations. Through cloud networking and automation, IT admins and cloud admins are able to automate manual processes and speed up the delivery of infrastructure resources on a self-service basis. Taking these benefits one step further, cloud automation can also be used in the software development lifecycle, improving aspects such as network diagnostics and data security.

4.  Organizations will be forced to prove the value of automation. When thinking about automation within an enterprise, the primary pain points are costs and developing a business case for an automation project. Businesses usually have trouble quantifying the value that will be delivered on account of automation.  

The best place to start when it comes to the automation journey is to think about unit tasks that make up a process and unit processes that make up a function. The ability to discover the tasks from the data flow will give an organization a unique edge in both executing automation projects and most importantly gaining buy-in for it's adoption.

Automation is ultimately enjoying sustained growth for many reasons and shows no signs of slowing down. Therefore, organizations looking to improve their testing processes should look at these automation trends closely and start adopting them to stay current and relevant in the fast-changing times.

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About the Author

 Shiva Ramani

Shiva Ramani is an entrepreneur who has been instrumental in setting up several IT start ups, with the most recent being iOPEX Technologies. Prior to starting iOPEX, under Ramani's leadership, CSS emerged as a Global 500 Technology player with a comprehensive offering of Technology Operations Management for Enterprise, Support Management Services for Consumer Technology Companies and Lifecycle support services for ISVs. Shiva co-founded CSS with the goal to create an organization that helps drive technology adoption.

Published Wednesday, December 09, 2020 7:34 AM by David Marshall
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