Robotic Process Automation Predictions for 2018: 9 Ways Automation Will Affect You
Robotic process automation predictions for 2018 are realistically optimistic. Many recent articles have suggested that 2018 will not only continue the rise of RPA, but that RPA will spread across industry types, expand into operations, logistics, contact centres, etc. and begin to broaden its reach to medium and smaller companies. As we wrote in a previous article, RPA is becoming more than a ‘viable alternative’, turning into a necessary step that businesses must take in order to remain competitive.
This is by no means mere wishful thinking, it is a realistic perspective because it is supported by empirical data about the evolving perception of automation. For instance, over 70% of the business leaders questioned by the Institute for Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence Survey said that they plan to invest more in the implementation and development of RPA in 2018.
It seems that people are slowly but surely getting over the mythical fear that “robots will steal our jobs” — this fear being the main stumbling block for the extension of RPA use across industry sectors and geographical regions. Although most likely some reserves of this kind will remain, the fact of the matter is that the world population is aging, meaning the workforce is shrinking, so we must find some other ways of getting our jobs done. And we must do this rather fast, before we become to old to do it or to enjoy its benefits.
In the current demographic context, business leaders ought to leverage the speed, efficiency and high productivity promised by automation. Therefore, in the near future, the integration of RPA will mean adjustments to the workforce. This is a great opportunity to better use the human creative potential, both as designers of RPA and as decision makers in non-repetitive jobs.
Besides encouraging statistics about managers’ view of the topic, the ease of using robotic process automation, in particular — the fact that it does not depend on coders or programmers, increases the likelihood to be adopted by many in the near future.
In order to substantiate the bright forecast alluded to above, let us spell out some robotic process automation predictions for this year.
1. Keep moving forward, but play it safe
Alain Penel, the Regional Vice President for Middle East at Fortinet, refers to robotic process automation in terms of ‘digital transformation’. He claims that the use of software robots will continue to exert strong mastery in the realm of business in 2018.
The crux of the argument is the foreseen increase in cyber criminality, which is expected to leverage the latest technological developments in automation and machine learning. But if this is the case, then businesses have no other means to ensure digital security but to use a comparable machinery. In other words, in 2018 RPA will become a must for well-guarded enterprises. As we also argued here, the scalability of automated processes makes them better able to stay safe from security risks.
2. Leveraging success stories about ROI
In 2017, one important reason for the advance of RPA was its ability to speed up return on investments. More and more CEOs have become aware of this and therefore automation has become more visible and has built a very good reputation.
2018 is expected to take this recognition to a novel dimension because more and more real-world examples of RPA will become available and facilitate an even better understanding of its benefits. These examples will also simplify decision as to where in a company’s workflow it fits best.
3. Down to earth enthusiasm based on learning from concrete examples
The use cases will also contribute to substantiating optimistic views about the development of automation. Consequently, it is justified to expect that the extensive publicity from previous years will be backed by knowledge of concrete applications in the real world of business. More and more business leaders will have access to specific illustrations of the utility of RPA, and thus they will be more likely to actually take action for its implementation.