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airSlate 2021 Predictions: Workflow Automation - Moving Business Forward in 2021

vmblog 2021 prediction series 

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

Workflow Automation: Moving Business Forward in 2021

By Borya Shakhnovich, CEO, airSlate

This year thrust organizations of all sizes, across all industries, into a rapid digital transformation to ensure business continuity in a remote work or hybrid remote environment. Workflow collaboration apps became the everyday heroes - not only keeping teams connected when working apart, but also fostering virtual collaboration and ensuring data and knowledge sharing was safe and secure, no matter where the employees were located.

While some organizations truly thrived in this virtual environment, other more traditional industries found themselves exploring this option for the first time, unsure how to continue their business processes outside of an office or practice setting. Looking ahead to 2021, workflow automation and collaboration processes and capabilities will be essential to keeping all industries, especially these more traditional ones, afloat.

Healthcare, education, government, and legal sectors, for example, were most impacted by this shift to virtual and slower to move online. We saw the swift evolution of telehealth in 2020, online schooling, government meetings with a hybrid remote audience, and legal meetings held over Zoom. Rapid adoption became a necessity. However, these industries still require more education around cloud-based technologies - e-signature, smart PDF documentation, and traditional IT - than enterprise-centric customers, given they have rarely interacted with these technologies in the past.

As such, in the new year, I expect to see the traditional sectors turning to more flexible, do-it-yourself workflow automation and collaboration solutions that eliminate cumbersome and expensive IT processes. In 2021 in particular, much of the success of these sectors will depend on how easy, flexible, and powerful the platform they chose will be.

Enter: Artificial Intelligence.

AI will be at the forefront of digital transformation in 2021, and beyond, and its role within workflow automation will be no different. AI positively impacts workflow automation by collecting, aggregating, and analyzing data from documents and processes to build correlations that are then used to predict outcomes, advise and trigger next steps. This level of hyperautomation allows employees to focus on the areas of their job that matter most - servicing customers, driving results and contributing to business success. With AI, online PDF technology, for example, moves towards a richer user experience, away from static PDF documents and instead towards smarter PDF documents with added layers that employees can better interact with. Metadata will also be incorporated here so that bots can interact as well...further advancing the task automation process.  

The ultimate end game is to ensure solutions are not only flexible, but also end-user focused. From the most tech-savvy to the least tech-oriented, these AI solutions will meet employees at their own pace, while still empowering entire teams to work together towards a common business or practice goal. Through hyperautomation, the tedious, less efficient tasks can be absorbed to focus the team's time productively, on the tasks that are most important.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, AI capabilities were considered a "nice to have." In today's modern workforce, though, the incorporation of AI and hyperautomation will be "must-haves" for future-proofing industries and organizations across the board. Digital transformation can no longer be a directive that lives on planning decks to be explored at a later date. It must be prioritized in the interest of business continuity now and in the years to come.    


About the Author

Borya Shakhnovich

Borya created the vision for our easy-to-use, automated, end-to-end document workflow solution. He is passionate about airSlate’s products and ensuring that they meet the needs of our vibrant community of users.

He has 20 years experience developing and applying algorithms and models to drive business results and academic insights. Prior to joining airSlate, he founded Orwick, an online community for scientific research. He also was a professor of Bioinformatics at Boston University and a fellow in Systems Biology at Harvard University. He has published many research papers, including ones on the evolution of genetic structures, which he adapted to create airSlate’s exceptional growth model.

Borya received a BS in Computational Biophysics from University of Illinois, a PhD in Bioinformatics from Boston University.

Published Tuesday, January 12, 2021 7:45 AM by David Marshall
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