Because we love stories, we very often focus on changes that have rapid and strong impacts in short term – so-called disruptions. Disruptions are very common in many businesses, no doubt. There will be many disruptions ahead of us and there is no need to guess what those will be. Time will show, as we will live rest of our lives in future.
Besides disruption, there is a less visible transformation approaching us and although its magnitude at this very moment is much lower, the digitalisation wave is closing in on us like a tsunami. At first, it’s hardly visible, but once it hits, the impact may be destructive and somewhat unpredictable. Digitalisation itself may bring huge leaps in productivity for individual process steps, but an overall impact is:
Once turned digital, easy to automate
This outcome of digitalisation – automation – influences all of us. It changes the way we work, removes certain productivity constraints, and renders some individuals’ work obsolete.
Further development and impacts of intelligent automation will be based on nine cornerstones. These cornerstones are built on top of four elements of modern era:
- Computing power
- Artificial intelligence (AI) & machine learning (ML)
As the AI and other decision engines are making a real breakthrough, we must ask ourselves, how we keep track of decisions made and reasoning behind them. We believe that in 2019 we will have cases where humans have really lost control of daily decision-making process and first decision explanations similar to Little Britain’s “Computer says no”. The importance of keeping humans in the loop is huge; humankind is not fully ready to leave the final word for machines. For Aico this means that the decision tree and interpretation of used facts must be human-readable.
Workflow and process orchestration
We have been listening to speeches about megatrends and digitalisation for a long time. Year 2019 will be a tipping point for workflow and process orchestration solutions, as we will see the first native UX designs that are equally designed for humans and bots. This means that the human and machine users are sharing information even more easily and more and more can be done natively in digital manner. For Aico this means that we don’t segregate human and non-human users and there are hooks in the application for those R2D2s.
Library of pre-built automations and robot stores
We have seen the rise of the robots and during year 2019 we will discover again that it’s not a good idea to use robots to those same silly things that we try to take away from humans. This will create demand for pre-built, well-thought automation solutions. Reusable, purpose-built automation solutions will speed up time to market and improve the quality of bots.
Process mining and automation recommenders
Computing capacity will keep growing and some systems are opening up for easier data access and this will turn process mining and automation recommenders from engineer-lead projects to a daily part of process development in companies in 2019. For Aico the first thing to implement is discovering recurrences automatically.
Algorithms will be improved and they will be more easily available and advanced OCRs for electronic formats will continue replacing the human as content translator during 2019. This will change the nature of integrations and will accelerate digitalisation even further. For Aico this means teaming up with Celaton, the world leader in this area.
SLA-based automation is one form of cost control. SLA serves prioritisation and resource allocation and optimises the return. Just like we manage humans and their tasks with Kanban or any other model, bots and platform need the same.
Year 2019 will not yet bring in infinite capacity, nor will it bring relief on license costs. However, we will see governance models become more and more important. For Aico this increases the importance of understanding schedules, resources, and their interactions.
Auto-scaling of robots
Like any other IT capacity, bots need to be fully virtualised and their use needs to be optimised and controlled. In 2019, robot capacity optimisation will become as important as the automation itself. Unfortunately, robots live under the same constraints and patterns as rest of the IT industry. For Aico this means new deployment models and ability to react on response times and bring in the elasticity to Aico platform.
Intelligent workload balancing
As systems are becoming more and more self-aware, platforms and bots will know what they are expected to do and when, bots will be able to invite an extra shift or call a colleague for help. This will be a standard feature in 2019 on intelligent automation solutions. Systems will run faster when needed and slow down when the urgency is gone. From Aico perspective, this is another form of service elasticity and resiliency.
As we have all those abilities listed above, it is easy to build systems that can detect the flaws and hiccups on themselves and prescribe the medicine needed. Humans might be still needed once a robot needs a surgery or lobotomy but they can manage the night shifts themselves without human attendance. For Aico it means increased abilities to serve modern monitoring abilities and support for fully automated resource deployment.
We at the heart of this shift naturally see the speed of change and opportunities rising in a different way compared to people who are following this from a distance. As a concluding remark:
“The future isn’t what it used to be!”
— Anonymous. Believed to be a comment made by an IBM executive concerning predicted future trends in personal computing around 1992.
And we might find out in 2020 that not all of this took place in 2019.