Navigate the Intelligent Automation Landscape in 2024 (and Beyond) with these Five Trends | Automate Smarter

Jon Knisley
Written by:
Jon Knisley

As we look ahead to the new year and beyond, AI’s mainstreaming continues redefining business as we know it. Applying intelligence to a range of emerging technologies will drive improved experiences and increased efficiencies at a lower cost. Discover the trends that will shape the future from the emergence of digital centaurs to breakthroughs in GenAI. Learn how next-gen digital operations and process digital twins will reshape strategies. Explore these five emerging trends to unlock faster, better, and more cost-effective outcomes in 2024.


#1 Extreme automation technologies drive the emergence of digital centaurs 

Extreme automation will play a critical role in driving the advancement of digital centaurs. This emerging seamless integration of human and machine intelligence is on track to redefine how businesses operate in the future. Automation technologies can handle repetitive, mundane tasks, allowing human workers to focus on more complex and strategic tasks. Adding AI’s computational power and efficiency will result in significantly more efficient operations and innovative solutions.


Digital centaurs will process and analyze vast amounts of data at high speeds, leading to faster and more informed decision-making and significantly improving data analysis, financial forecasting, healthcare diagnostics, and supply chain management. Companies must aggressively manage this transition effectively to maximize its benefits and mitigate potential risks.


#2 GenAI’s breakout year will spur adoption of traditional AI 

The interest and excitement surrounding Generative AI will stimulate the exploration and utilization of traditional AI, potentially delivering more value faster for a company at less cost. Gen AI created awareness that permitted technology leaders to innovate with AI. 40% of respondents to a McKinsey survey report their organizations will increase their investment in AI overall because of advances in gen AI.


Gen AI is built upon foundational techniques that will encourage a deeper understanding and application of traditional AI methods. Additionally, the ability of gen AI to create labeled test data addresses one of the key challenges of earlier AI programs. Executive interest in gen AI accelerated validation programs, increased budgets, and added headcount outside yearly planning cycles. Finally, the availability of complementary tools and platforms to support AI has never been more prevalent. Technology leaders will leverage this gen AI gold rush to tackle previously dismissed AI projects.


#3 Next-gen digital operations improve decision velocity

More integrated digital operations will emerge in 2024 as businesses look to streamline their product development, planning, procurement, manufacturing, logistics, and warehousing under a unified digital command center. This shift will help companies to optimize performance, enhance operational efficiency, and gain end-to-end insights into business processes. The digital command center will create a centralized system allowing real-time monitoring and decision-making. Organizations will be able to identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and risks in their operations, leading to improved performance and competitiveness. 


By combining innovative operation solutions such as AI, machine learning, and automation, these command centers will perform tasks such as predictive maintenance, demand forecasting, and inventory management with higher accuracy and efficiency. Operational costs will decrease while the responsiveness and agility of businesses will improve. Companies that can effectively leverage this trend while managing potential risks will be better positioned to enhance their operational efficiency and competitiveness.


#4 Process digital twins offer low-cost rapid business simulation capabilities 

A process digital twin creates a virtual model of a specific business process that mirrors its real-world counterpart in real-time, encompassing any operation, from manufacturing processes to supply chain logistics. As technology advances, these models will significantly drive the adoption of rapid, low-cost business simulations in 2024 and beyond.


Process digital twins allow businesses to simulate changes to their operations without disrupting their actual processes. Companies can test new strategies, troubleshoot issues, and predict outcomes without risking financial loss or operational downtime. As a result, businesses will make informed decisions faster and more cost-effectively.


The models also provide real-time data and insights, enabling businesses to continually monitor and optimize their operations. They can quickly identify inefficiencies or bottlenecks, test potential improvements, and implement the most effective solutions. This real-time optimization can significantly reduce operational costs and increase productivity. As the technology matures and becomes more accessible, process digital twins will revolutionize business simulations in the coming years.


#5 AI debt challenges and mitigation strategies

With the rapid implementation of AI systems across enterprises and industries, AI debt is expected to escalate significantly and emerge as a new challenge for IT leaders to manage. Similar to technical debt, AI debt refers to the potential technical, financial, and organizational costs that companies may incur in their rush to implement AI technologies without thorough strategizing, understanding, and management of these tools. If not appropriately managed, it will accumulate over time and burden the organization significantly.


The surge in AI debt will lead to an increased risk of model failures, security breaches, ethical concerns, and regulatory compliance issues, and these problems will result in operational disruptions, reputational damage, financial losses, and even legal consequences for the affected companies. To mitigate the impact of SI debt, companies must adopt a more strategic and thoughtful approach to their AI initiatives. AI governance and audits that promote greater transparency and explainability. By fostering a culture of responsible AI, companies can not only manage their AI debt more effectively but also unlock the full potential of AI to drive their business success.


Start Now, Think Big, Go Fast

The rapid evolution of AI-enabled automation has forced more and more companies to revisit their strategy and make deeper investments in technology. The speed at which technical capabilities increase and ongoing economic disruptions require action and strong partners. Companies that embrace intelligent automation solutions will do business faster, better, and cheaper.


To better understand how AI technology can make a difference to your automation strategy, let’s talk.

Written by:
Jon Knisley