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Intelligent Automation in 2021: RPA Predictions

Guy Kirkwood, Chief Evangelist at UiPath, joined us for episode 24 of our Automation Alliance Podcast, to share his thoughts on how the robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI) and automation market will evolve in 2021 and beyond.
While we won’t give everything away in this summary, here’s a brief outline of some key trends we can expect to see unfolding this year:

GSIs and consulting companies will support automation adoption:

As they did previously with ERP platforms, the community of global system integrators (GSIs) and audit-based consulting companies will help to drive the exponential growth of automation technologies, including RPA. They will train many people to use automation and, importantly, encourage more business leaders to realise that automation is a business imperative.
If you’re not digitally transforming a small business, then you are doomed to failure. And I don’t mean that in a flippant way. I’m deadly serious that digital transformation for organizations is no longer a nice-to-have
Guy Kirkwood

Automation is a “new frontier of competitive differentiation

Automation will help organisations remain relevant and grow market share by continuing to solve the two major challenges that businesses face: operational efficiency and employee engagement. Firstly, RPA can take on repetitive processes without forcing companies to make material changes to their business processes or the supporting infrastructure. And secondly, it allows people to focus on more inventive and productive work, which boosts morale and motivation levels, creating a working environment where employees are happier, more engaged and more productive.

A global automation knowledge ecosystem is being built

UiPath believes that RPA in general, and UiPath in particular, is creating a global automation knowledge ecosystem that will shape the future of work through an inclusive community of users, educators, and students. UiPath is helping to achieve this by making automation more accessible to everyone. For example, the UiPath Academy has certified more than 750,000 developers on UiPath technology; and the Academic Alliance is working with more than 400 academic institutions around the world.

Automation CoEs will become profit centres

Guy believes that more RPA centres of excellence (CoEs) will realise that beyond delivering benefits to their own organisations, they can offer their automation services externally (through shared services centres, for example), to create new revenue streams.
This is a radical departure from what we’ve seen previously, where automation was just a way to reduce costs and increase efficiency internally
Guy Kirkwood

Robots for the remote workforce

UiPath’s vision is ‘A Robot for Every Person’, and this includes those who work from home. Guy believes that creating an attended robot that focuses entirely on the work-from-home community is “something that is sorely needed” going forward.
We’re in the early days of a multi-year journey towards a fully automated enterprise. We’ll continue to focus on scaling automation so that we can set people free from the mundane work and unlock their ingenuity and creativity
Guy Kirkwood
Before wrapping up, we asked Guy whether he had one last piece of advice to share with our audience. He recommends that people should view automation as an opportunity to save time and “enjoy work more”.
It’s about freeing up more time to help your colleagues and your customers, or your citizens if you’re in a public sector organization. That’s why I am so excited to be a part of this journey
Guy Kirkwood

For more insights and predictions, catch our full conversation here

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