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Crystal Gaze 2021: 6 UiPath Automation Predictions for 2021

Every year around this time, I take stock of where automation, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and AI are headed. Last year, I predicted that there would a downturn in the global economy that would accelerate digital transformation initiatives with automation—a stance that proved to be unbelievably true. Though the world has changed drastically in the last 12 months, we’re still going to see the effects of 2020 ripple through the upcoming year.

As we enter 2021, we will see large shifts as the UiPath Automation RPA industry continues to mature and the global economy reacts and adapts to current events. Here’s what I expect to see:

RPA will Become the New ERP

I predict that the community of global system integrators (GSIs) and,in particular,audit-based consulting companies will inspire and train thousands of workers to embrace automation. This training will mirror the way GSIs trained employees to embrace enterprise resource planning (ERP) software in the 1990s.

I believe these firms recognize that the automation has become an enterprise necessity and see a very real opportunity to sell clients on business strategy and enablement services in the same way they did ERP.

RPA Centers of Excellence will Turn into Profit Centers

In 2021, I predict companies will begin to see that automation operations not only help them save money, but can also serve as a platform to create new revenue streams.I’m already seeing a number of UiPath Automation customers using their RPA Centers of Excellence (CoEs) to embed RPA widely and thoroughly throughout the organization, and to redistribute accrued knowledge and resources across future implementations.

The Silos of Automation will be Broken

I foresee that the industry will turn its attention to robot resilience, bridging the islands of automation. More specifically, the onus will fall to RPA vendors to help their customers avoid creating separate islands of automation operations that over time can become dysfunctional, difficult to maintain and extremely expensive. Business process management will become of utmost importance, as it is key to stopping lifecycle costs from being unsustainable.

We’ll Begin Relying on Work-From-Home Robots

As the pandemic persists, so does the distributed workforce.

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Deutsche Bank estimates the proportion of Americans who worked from home during the pandemic surged to 56%. This remote work trend is accelerating the transition from full-time employment to gig-based ways of working.

For many years now, UiPath Automation has had a vision of “a robot for every person,” allowing everyone to use, create and benefit from automation. I see that vision becoming a reality in the near future, especially when working from home.

For workers looking to boost their own productivity from the home office, these six bots can be downloaded, built and customized for free. Whether you need help with your calendar, translating files or reminding yourself about Facebook friends’ birthdays, I think they’re quite useful.

The Employee Experience Becomes as Important as the Customer Experience

In recent years, there has been an increased focus on the customer experience (CX), and we’re seeing a similar approach to the employee experience (EX).

Countless employees have been suffering increased anxiety around the COVID-19 pandemic and related market recession. Without the office, it’s more important than ever for employers to make their workers feel secure and empowered, while helping them navigate the tumultuous nature of the pandemic. The automation market can address these concerns with processes and tools to improve the employee experience. We’ve spent years discussing how to make customers’ lives easier; it’s time to do the same for our employees. Automation is a great way to increase morale, engagement and productivity.

RPA Will Become More Transformational

At this point, “digital transformation” is a business buzzword we all recognize. I believe that this is because the vast majority of digital transformation efforts in general—and automation in particular—are still too tactical in nature.

But, in 2021, digital transformation will finally start to actually be transformational.

As much as we like to think that RPA is a transformational tool, it isn’t on its own. 2021 will see a conjoining of text analytics and other tools with automation, opening the door to transformation.

Insight into these trends can give you an important advantage—thinking ahead and anticipating the rapid pace of automation technologies. Developing a digital transformation strategy that centers around an automation-first mindset will be crucial to compete in 2021 in a business landscape where only the innovative can react, adapt and lead.

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