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Blue Prism 2021 Predictions: Self-healing systems, disaster recovery planning, and AI-powered digital workers

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

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

Self-healing systems, disaster recovery planning, and AI-powered digital workers

Eric Tyree, Head of AI and Research at Blue Prism, and Jon Theuerkauf, CCO of Blue Prism, believe 2021 is the year for renewed digital transformation and cloud adoption strategies, and rethinking disaster recovery plans. 

Eric Tyree, Head of AI and Research at Blue Prism

Eric Tyree 

Larger scale automations will require sophisticated, intelligent operating models and self-healing systems

2021's intelligent automation operating models and governance will be much more sophisticated reflecting adoption of automation moving from tactical business unit scale to strategic enterprise scale. The growth in scope and size of automation programs means management and governance becoming more fly by wire where managers directly control the priorities, focus and exception handling of the digital workforce, but AI driven orchestration agents manage the detailed day to day allocation of specific tasks to specific digital and human workers to drive efficiency and utilization.

The surge in automation uptake will fuel one of the biggest improvements we'll likely see in the next year which is the automation of the automation process itself: self-programming and self-healing systems, in which digital workers will be able to write their own automation programs. Digital workers will be increasingly leveraged to write their own code based on screenshots and recordings of tasks and digital workers will automatically update their own code when the systems they are operating on are updated or changed.

AI powered digital workers will help businesses stay strategic in the long-term

Few disagree with the notion that AI and automation are essential to companies' survival going forward. However, research has indicated that most companies have not fully realized the benefit of their AI and automation investments. By linking powerful AI capabilities to business processes through the digital workforce, we'll increasingly see organizations implement AI driven automation at scale.

AI infused automation will increasingly be linked to core strategic initiatives such as improved customer focus, revenue growth, capital allocation, supply chain management, risk management, cost and operational efficiency and more. AI powered digital workers will be leveraged as primary tools for executing on corporate strategy and managing enterprise scale risks. Rapid and effective adoption of automation will increasingly be seen as an essential component to remaining competitive in markets.

Jon Theuerkauf, CCO, Blue Prism

Jon Theuerkauf 

COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformations and intelligent automation adoption as well as influenced the creation of new roles

Over the past year, many organizations have drastically shrunk 3-year digital transformation plans into 12-18 months and 1-year plans into less than 6 months. Most of these plans included investment into automation, and some of those that were the most highly impacted by COVID-19 - healthcare, government agencies, airlines - were some of the greatest adopters. As these essential organizations begin to rapidly adopt intelligent automation, skilled knowledge workers can offer valuable guidance to create effective automations as they move out of roles requiring repetitive manual work and into more people-facing jobs that shouldn't be automated, in departments like customer services.

As we prepare for another potential lockdown in Q1, we can expect to see essential organizations continue to embrace the value of automation, and with this continued integration of automation into businesses, new positions are being created that allow people to help build, run and maintain these automated processes.

Organizations will make continue making decisions differently than they were before (faster); they will be open to really reimagining how they will work and how work will get done which will open up a vast amount of new automation opportunities; more people will move from working in the process to designing the new processes, building and running the automations in these new processes. We will see the rise of the Synergistic Workforce as people and digital workers utilize technology, and collaborate to create a greater contribution than they would independently. ​

COVID-19 showed us that Disaster Recovery plans and Off-Shoring Models were irrelevant and vulnerable to business continuity in a crisis like a pandemic

While most organizations started 2020 with business continuity plans in place for what their risk models and experience would have guided them to plan for, by the summer, a majority of them had proven to be of little use given the lasting impact of the pandemic. As we enter 2021, companies in every industry are updating their crisis management and business continuity planning. The thinking will now have to include a whole new world of risks and the solutions will have to be as equally encompassing.

Organizations that use off-shoring for various reasons, will look at how they can use more automation to help off-set the risk of being shut-down during another event like this one. Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity plans will now contain entire overviews and details of what business critical processes have already been reimagined and designed with a "digital first" approach. Those fully automated processes or processes that operate with this new Synergistic Workforce approach can continue to be operated from anywhere, at any time, with teams of this new grade of retrained and qualified people.


Published Wednesday, December 23, 2020 7:31 AM by David Marshall
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