The correct adoption of Business Process Automation tools and methodologies has a central impact on business efficiency and affects the company’s competitiveness on the market. It is easy to identify the drivers: cost reduction, reduction of inefficiencies, process simplification and time-to-market reduction. It is therefore no coincidence that Business Process Automation, understood as an approach – defined by some as holistic – aimed at optimizing business processes, is itself a driving trend of the last decade, fed by the development of increasingly evolved. According to UiPath research, over 90% of companies are already leveraging technology to automate business processes, and 73% are satisfied with the results obtained. This is why the market responds to the growth in demand with increasingly advanced and effective solutions.
From RPA to No-Code platforms: the trends of Business Process Automation
As anticipated, BPA is not a specific technology but an approach aimed at automating – using specific tools and platforms – entire business processes. Currently, the world of BPA is characterized by 5 particularly relevant trends.
Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation is a technology, or rather one of the tools with which to automate entire business processes. RPA was created to automate repetitive operations that are inevitably part of a process and which consequently affect costs. If properly implemented, RPA can be extremely effective and extend to all business functions, from IT to administrative processes, from operations to supply chain management. In recent years, the evolution has been rapid and incisive, so much so that the recent implementation of AI and Machine Learning techniques allows RPA to move away from traditional repetitive processes and acquire a – albeit limited – decision-making capacity.
AI and Machine Learning
This trend is closely connected and complementary to the previous one. The basic concept is that AI and automation (in this case, RPA) are not the same thing, since the latter brings with it the concept of rule-based activity, that is, based on more or less complex but substantially stable rules. AI, for its part, allows the extraction of insights from data, on the basis of which the company can activate a traditional decision-making process or opt for automation. For example, by constantly monitoring a process, AI could detect repetitive patterns and automate them, or suggest certain behaviors to operators, so as to speed up their activities.
Chatbot and Virtual Assistant
Another extremely interesting trend is the increasing pervasiveness of chatbots and Virtual Assistants in the context of Business Process Automation. Their ability to act as a first level contact with internal and external interlocutors within the company eases the pressure on real operators and reduces costs for the company. Although here too Artificial Intelligence is making great strides, currently the best strategy is to place chatbots alongside the human presence, which is essential for the most complex cases.
A trend perhaps less striking than the others, but still worthy of attention. No-Code platforms allow business users – therefore without technical software development skills – to create digital applications without or with a modest involvement of corporate IT. All this, thanks to intuitive editors, the strong use of drag-and-drop and the integrations already available. The connection with process automation is direct: No-Code platforms allow business functions (not IT, therefore) to easily create reusable forms, implement workflows and automate routine tasks based on predefined rules, guaranteeing excellent results on the in the face of efficiency and very short implementation times.