2021: Four digital process automation trends

Automation creates simplicity

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Automation is so often discussed in tandem with efficiency – finding better ways of working.  To automate something is commonly said to make that thing more efficient, whether it’s people and how they do their jobs, processes and their outcomes, or an overall business and its day-to-day operations.  After the seismic shifts of 2020 moving digital transformation into the fast lane, automation has found a new partner: simplicity. 

We looked to the year ahead to see how linking people and processes will be taking the front row in many technology trend predictions.  Our work is simplifying the way that work is done, how processes produce intended outcomes, and how a business runs.  Here are four of the trends we’ll be focusing on to assist businesses tackle 2021:

1.            Addressing the complexities of IT

In 2021, automation will be applied to remove complexity wherever possible.  This is, in part, to address the realities of remote work and a great deal of ongoing uncertainty.  However, it is also as a result of IT having become fundamentally more complex than ever.  The old computer science adage that “we are always just moving complexity around” seems to have caught up with IT teams over the pandemic.  The complexity has been exposed. The search for simplicity is no longer about shifting complexity to another stack. Simplicity, repeatability, and automation will win over being “bleeding edge” simply for the sake of it.

Investing in high-value automation with the least complexity will be the focus for most infrastructure and ops teams in 2021. Automating tomorrow’s growth is the focus for the future.

2.            An orchestrated view

Orchestration will be the overseer in 2021 for forward-thinking digital businesses.  Orchestration demands a high level of decision making based on changing conditions and requirements. Automation forms part of the strategy by helping to reduce or replace human interaction to perform tasks in order to reduce cost, complexity, and errors.  It can be enabled through a full digital ecosystem, when the two are partnered, creating cross-domain automated workflows and a more strategic level of digital transformation.

3.            Customers will dictate workflows

More organisations will accelerate their digital transformation efforts to facilitate more flexibility and agility. As customer interactions shift further to digital in the new normal, the digitisation of customer and supply-chain interactions will become more commonplace.  Industry must meet changing customer demands by digitising business processes and workflows.

The impact of digital transactions, payment innovations, and online interfaces will radically transform how we view digital transformation strategies and frameworks across the customer and supplier experience spectra. 

4.            LOB need for speed

More than half of Line of Business (LoB) tech users are frustrated at the speed their organisations’ IT department can deliver digital projects.  This ‘need for speed’ will drive low-code / no-code adoption at a faster pace than ever before. According to Gartner, 75% of large enterprises will be using at least four low-code development tools for both IT application development and citizen development initiatives, by 2024. And 65%+ of application development activity will be because of low-code application development, by 2024. These trends will enable tech savviness, demand and ability across LoB.

We have seen so much change this year.  The acceleration of digital transformation projects, remote work infrastructure, cloud adoption and more.  Our view is that this is the slowest it will get. Change will only come faster with the snowball of automation picking up momentum.

Accelerated delivery is going to be the order of the day for 2021.

Increasing pressure on costs, and renewed expectations for speed will demand that. To streamline processes in the digital ecosystem of your business, ask us about the many workflow applications and digitization solutions we have created. We do this at unprecedented speed and drastically reduced cost, both for the cloud and on-premise environments.