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Looking Ahead: Reveal Group’s Top Intelligent Automation 2023 Predictions

Automate Smarter: December 2022

‘Tis the season. In the past few weeks, analysts and technology companies have been churning out their intelligent automation predictions for 2023. As businesses continue to navigate economic turbulence and uncertainty while preparing their automation strategies for the new fiscal, we thought you’d like to hear directly from technology experts who work face-to-face with customers daily. What obstacles are their CoE leaders experiencing with their RPA programs? What business processes and areas are they finding more challenging to automate, and how is the market changing to address them? We’re sharing Intelligent Automation predictions for 2023, Reveal Group Edition.

More diverse outcomes across the enterprise

Process technologies have traditionally focused on finance and accounting practices. This made sense because those activities tend to be more structured, and the data is easier to manipulate with fewer variations. Unfortunately, the key-value streams in a company tend to fall outside the CFO’s office. Recent advances in cloud, AI, ML, and analytics have enabled process discovery to be successfully deployed across the enterprise. Process intelligence will drive value across the enterprise, from sales operations and contact centers to ITSM and HR. In addition to going wider across the enterprise, process technologies are starting to go deeper into business units. Moving beyond automation to help scale RPA programs, today process technologies are increasingly seen as a critical component for everything from workflow improvement and customer experience to compliance and analytics. 

–       Jeff O’Neil, Manager, Toronto CAN

Intelligent Orchestration joins the automation tech stack

The urgency to achieve meaningful ROI and scale RPA programs will begin to drive CoE leaders toward adding another tool to their tech stack – automation orchestration. Automations break due to poor code or use resources inefficiently due to poorly defined schedules and SLAs. Having an RPA management solution, such as RPA Supervisor, will eliminate scheduling bottlenecks, reduce the total cost of ownership, and create more stable and reliable bot performance. RPA transforms organizations, and RPA orchestration may transform RPA. 

–        Joe Matuch, Consultant, Chicago USA

Adjacent technologies for the win

Moving into 2023, RPA will depend more on sound code and a robust technology ecosystem. As gaps appear in the market that can’t be addressed wholly by RPA, newcomers in categories such as Intelligent Document Processing, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing (NLP) will start to come to the fore. Complimenting RPA solutions with these adjacent technologies will allow businesses to remain agile enough to solve the ever-developing complexity of new business problems.

–       Luc Lagesse, Consultant, Nord-du-Québec CAN

Partial automation trumps no automation

In 2023, expectations for 95-100% straight-through automation of complex use cases requiring digitization of human-provided inputs will begin to loosen. Automation programs will accept that significant returns can still be achieved through partial automation combined with human-in-the-loop functionality to validate low-confidence data points. When extrapolated over a large volume of forms, the benefit of partial automation, coupled with human-in-the-loop support, is easily recognized and can reduce the overall level of effort by as much as 40%.

–       Josh Michalko, Senior Manager, Tampa USA

Operational excellence captures mind share

For decades, companies have pursued process management nirvana from BPM, TQM, CI, Lean, Six Sigma, and other frameworks. Today, there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel for stakeholders looking to execute successfully on the promise of operational excellence. In 2023, operational excellence will enjoy a re-emergence in the enterprise. The management frameworks, coupled with technological advances across both process and automation solutions, finally make true and lasting impacts feasible.

–        Jon Knisley, Principal, Washington DC USA

Process mining and task mining deliver a one-two punch

Companies will learn in 2023 that it is not a process mining OR task mining decision. The technologies answer fundamentally different questions. Process mining offers higher-level, top-down insights on core end-to-end business processes, while task mining provides granular, bottom-up detail on user activity to define task completion. Combined, it creates a 360-degree view of your operations. The integrated insights accelerate value creation regardless of whether the targeted outcome is an automated workflow, streamlined process, improved experience, or enhanced compliance.

–       Anusha Perera, Senior Manager, Melbourne AUS

Automation addresses employee experience

In 2023, companies will tackle two strategic initiatives at once by improving the employee experience by targeting more complex processes for automation. “Bad processes and inefficient systems are fueling employee burnout,” blogged Qualtrics recently. Companies have already delivered the low-hanging fruit automations. By continuing to automate manual and mundane tasks but focusing on the complicated, complex processes using IDP and NLP, organizations will shift their focus from cost reduction and hours saved to improve the overall employee experience – so that their employees can thrive and not just survive! 

–       Lana Bednarcyzk, Manager, Chattanooga TN USA

Automation combats the great healthcare retirement 

Demographic shifts have impacted healthcare supply and demand. Fortunately, intelligent automation is equipped to help address the rising patient volume of an aging populace and the shrinking healthcare labor force with a monthly 3% resignation rate. Reviewing claims across hundreds of patients requires extracting information from scans via intelligent document processing (IDP). Another example is assigning diagnosis codes to a patient note that nurses must interpret. Then the nurse sets the diagnosis code for a given claim. Fortunately, Natural Language Processing tools with embedded domain expertise can automatically extract this information for downstream processing via intelligent automation.

–       Doug Merrill, Manager, New York City USA

The IA ecosystem drives exponential impact

It takes a village of technologies and techniques to deliver enterprise-wide intelligent automation successfully. An ecosystem that works together to provide best-of-breed outcomes is essential for success. Intelligent automation requires too many moving pieces for any technology vendor to deliver a holistic solution for the enterprise. Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial (AI), and Machine Learning (ML) solutions are prominent foundational elements. Still, process technologies, workflow tools, business intelligence, low-code platforms, and other services are critical to a comprehensive intelligent automation competency. The exponential impact can be a reality, but it will require careful planning and disciplined deployment.

–       Nicolas Payeur, Principal, Montreal CAN

The one base technology advantage

At the rate intelligent automation and its adjacent technologies are evolving, it will be a great year for cloud-first companies that can implement one base technology, interacting with the wide range of technologies already present within those organizations. When these organizations need expansion in capability, they can do so within the tool or with a complementary product. Additionally, as the businesses’ underlying technology evolves, intelligent automation tools are designed to easily conform to those changes and act as a bridge to launch the businesses’ technology into the now, uplifting the remaining infrastructure.

– Jack Jorgensen, Senior Consultant, Melbourne AUS

The growth of distributed CoEs

Due to many business needs revolving around cost reduction, staffing, and resourcing, organizations will continue to expand investments in RPA Centers of Excellence (CoE). As RPA tools become easier to use, more people throughout organizations outside existing CoEs will likely develop automation solutions. Over time, user interfaces have drastically reduced the knowledge barrier for development, and now business analysts and IT personnel can develop solutions that leverage medium to low-code environments. As a result, CoEs will continue to expand and be distributed across the enterprise.

– James Pfeifer, Consultant, New York City USA 

Automation helps workforce productivity

In 2023, we anticipate an increased demand for unattended process automation in the manufacturing sector. With the growing economic pressure, the industry will need to get ahead of the labor squeeze by reducing its reliance on workforce productivity, which saw a 2.9 percent decrease across the sector in Q3 2022, to continue generating profits. Albeit eliminating millions of jobs globally, unattended process automation will bolster confidence as it adds an equal-to-greater proportion of opportunities for researchers, engineers, system analysts, and information technologists.

–       Chandler Simpson, Consultant, Toronto CAN

Start now, think big, go fast

The market is not going to slow down next year. Be sure to enjoy the holidays and get some rest. If you want to learn more about how IA can help you to win in the market and achieve operational excellence, let’s talk.

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