Automation is one of the top technology trends worldwide according to McKinsey . In Germany, too, more than 70% of all companies already use software robots in at least five processes. Almost as many companies are planning further investments in the next twelve months, according to a recent IDG study. Against this backdrop, the experts at UiPath therefore see four major trends in automation for the coming year; three of which pertain to new tasks at the C level of companies.
Chief Information Officers (CIO) and Centres of Excellence (CoE) take control
The more automation used in the company, the greater the need for central process monitoring and control as the only way to ensure security, quality and compliance. In 2022, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) or the Centre of Excellence (CoE) must provide answers to the following questions:
- How can automation be standardised further in companies?
- Which organisational capabilities need to be optimised?
- In which sequence and with what priority should the automation options be implemented in companies?
Chief Sustainability Officers (CSO) discover automation as a sustainability factor
The economy can escape neither digitalisation nor the trend towards more sustainability. Accordingly, companies are appointing Chief Sustainability Officers (CSO) whose tasks include in particular assisting the CIO to make companies greener.
Quick success can be achieved on this front with automation in 2022, for example through less paper consumption or an intelligent and utilisation-oriented power supply for large data centres. Furthermore, automation has a positive impact on workplace and cloud management, but also on artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Chief Human Resource Officers (CHRO) reorganise employee qualifications
Software robots and employees work hand in hand. This also entails new tasks for the Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) and his team. They will decide in the coming year how various teams will be further trained in digitalisation and automation and where new employees or teams are needed.
Automation is successful only if employees are involved from the outset and take an active part in the process. Companies therefore need to train staff accordingly in dealing with the technology as well as in soft skills such as leadership, critical thinking and adaptability.
“Insofar as automation affects all employees in the company day in and day out, a new distribution of tasks is required in the boardroom,” explains Annette Maier, Area Vice President Central & Eastern Europe at UiPath. “The new roles of CIO, CSO and CHRO will lead to increased cooperation by and between these functional areas, and thus also influence the CFO’s and CEO’s spheres of responsibility.”
Semantic automation will Revolutionise RPA
From a technical perspective, automation in 2022 will be driven primarily by the increasing development of semantic automation. Whereas the many steps of a process to be automated still had to be described individually and thus laboriously up to now, in future developers and also employees in the specialist departments will be able to formulate in natural language which tasks in the workflow are to be taken over by robots.
Software robots with semantic intelligence know what is on the screen. They place documents, processes, data and applications independently in the appropriate context. They recognise repetitive tasks and processes and can then emulate them independently – without any manual step-by-step instructions. Developers and users can thus initiate the development of automation by instructing the software robots to perform a task or complete a workflow.
In 2022, leading automation solution providers such as UiPath will incorporate the spectacular advances in AI and ML as well as pattern recognition into their products. CIOs should therefore definitely keep an eye on these new, revolutionary possibilities.
Sebastian Seutter is Global Manufacturing Lead at UiPath