It’s no secret that automation is the next big thing. More than 80% of business leaders stated that this technology had helped them speed up their work processes and improve remote work quality. What’s more, 34% of leaders want to expand their workforce after integrating automation.
There’s no doubt that automation is essential for the world’s digital transformation. Like any other technology, it’s continuously being explored, with innovative automation-related trends helping businesses worldwide. Some of the most brilliant minds are working on expanding the scope of automation and improving its application, which will only speed up in the future.
In this article, we’ll make a quick overview of the process automation trends 2022 that will likely become more and more important. But before that, let’s take a look at what automation looks like at the moment.
Where Are We at the Moment in the Automation Journey?
Automation has been actively developed for more than a decade, with discoveries being made all the time. Perhaps one of the most impactful developments is the merging of AI and ML with rules-based automation, which has been thoroughly explored in the last couple of years.
Many processes that we’ll present as Process Automation Trends 2022 prediction are already being explored and tested. Some of them even already have a practical use. Put differently, we’ll not talk about automation itself in this part of the article. Instead, we’ll just give you some interesting stats to help you understand how far automation has progressed in terms of adoption in the business world.
- More than 30% of all businesses have automated at least one function.
- 66%+ businesses are exploring solutions related to automation.
- The Robotic Process Automation (RPA) market was worth approximately $1.4 billion in 2019 and is forecast to grow by 40.6% by 2027.
- Employees already save 10 – 50% of time in IT companies, according to 73% of surveyed IT leaders.
- Half of all businesses already use AI for at least one function, while 25% of them are combined with process automation.
- 24% of organizations have already implemented or are working on implementing low-code automation software, with more than 29% planning to do so in the near future.
- Approximately 37% of IT leaders agree that the cost of automation is one of the main obstacles to implementing it in their organizations.
Process Automation Trends 2022 - What To Expect
Now that you have a general idea of where automation is at the moment, we’ll discuss what it will look like in the near future. Read on.
#1 – Automation Will Power A New Layer Of Engagement
Many businesses use an array of applications that employees often need to operate simultaneously to get the job done. Instead of having the apps work in unison, workers lose a lot of time and energy on grunt work, which often includes just toggling between apps and adjusting them to work with each other.
On an enterprise level, this negatively affects productivity. It also affects the overall eagerness of workers who are stuck doing repetitive tasks all over again.
One of the ways to make applications communicate with each other automatically is by adding an additional layer of automation for their app stack. Nowadays, automation works hand-in-hand with AI, so it’s possible to automate how apps work together. Technology fragmentation will be an issue in the years to come, but it won’t be as huge of a problem in 2022 as it was in the past, especially thanks to some cutting-edge automation solutions, such as Automation as a Service (AaaS).
#2 – Virtual Assembly Lines Will Emerge Thanks to Automation
An assembly line revolutionized production in the first half of the 20th century, as workers had just-in-time tasks that they had to do and send to the next person in line.
Nowadays, working in a digitalized environment is somewhat chaotic. You need to prepare tasks in Jira or similar software, complete them, keep track of them, and make many reports that are often outright boring. No matter how well-organized your processes are, you still need to do plenty of things that aren’t your line of work. It’s complex and fragmented.
However, automation is moving in a direction that will allow you to completely focus on your work without having to open and close apps all the time or lose time navigating to the right tool in the apps you’re working with. How’s that possible?
Imagine turning on your computer and receiving a set of tasks you need to do, all prepared for you to do your work, while robots take care of everything else. Imagine you’re making a tasty dish, but robots did all the onion cutting, slicing, dicing, mincing, roasting, baking, and broiling. It’s up to you to put the ingredients together and enjoy your meal.
This scenario is also closer than you think, and some businesses are already exploring it. Hopefully, we’ll get to see the expansion of this type of workflow powered by automation and robots, as it will increase the productivity of individuals and entire businesses.
#3 – Low Code Platforms Will Be Adopted
Even though no code and low code are buzzwords, it seems we still haven’t reached that destination where non-IT people could be able to make complex apps for them or their company without extensive technical knowledge. Still, we’re around the corner, and automation can help with that.
This will also pave the way for a Citizen Developer, a person who can create apps that they or others can consume with some of the accepted tools. Simply put, if a non-IT person could quickly build an app that would further automate their business processes or even their entire lives, but that level of non-business automation will probably not happen in 2022.
Still, it’s safe to say that we’ll see an increase of low code or even no-code platforms that are themselves powered by AI automation.
#4 – Adoption of Intelligence-Based Automation Will Become More Widespread
Nowadays, many automation developers need to manually program robots and tell them what they are supposed to do. These are relatively simple tasks. However, it becomes increasingly difficult to automate more complex processes as developers cannot come with such a powerful system that allows hyperautomation.
AI jumps in to help in this case. We already mentioned that AI and ML are working hand-in-hand with automation robots, but we expect this relationship to become even stronger and more widespread in 2022. In other words, we’ll move further away from the rules-based approach to developing robots and towards semantic automation.
We should be able to tell our robots what we want to be automated and have them perform the task for us. This may seem like a scenario from a science fiction movie, but we are closer to it than ever. We already covered how AI and automation work together, so make sure to check out our blog post about it.
#5 – Businesses Will Become Greener and More Sustainable Thanks to Automation
Did you know that in 2020 alone, more than 30 chief sustainability officers were appointed in Fortune 500 companies? As the world is striving towards a greener future, many CSOs discovered that new technologies could help with this. Automation, for example, can cut down on many processes and reduce the annual usage of cloud computing. Simply put, our overall negative effect on the environment will be smaller by automating our businesses.
Many business operations are still conducted via printed paper. By digitizing and automating things like invoicing and contract execution, we’ll virtually eliminate paper consumption. Of course, completely replacing paper flows with automation might not be possible in 2022, but it will definitely reduce it significantly.
#6 – The Overall Increase in Popularity and Growth of Automation and Associated Technologies
Automation is growing rapidly, and we covered just a part of it. Not only will automation boom in the future, but also many associated technologies, including software and hardware, are required to make automation possible. In addition to that, we’ll see the growth of custom app development services, integration services, and more.
Final Thoughts: How To Get Ahead
However developed, automation still has a couple of bumps down the road called mass adoption that we need to overcome to realize its true potential. To do that, we need to make it more accessible and simple.
However, the important thing is that we are moving in the right direction and already reaping the benefits in the business world. Furthermore, the automation bandwagon is picking up speed and we will see many more opportunities in and out of the business world with Process Automation Trends 2022 and for years to come. If you want to jump on the bandwagon and benefit from the latest innovations in automation, you should contact us.