The five distinct business trends shaping self-service automation this year
The past year saw an explosion in the capabilities and possibilities of self-service automation. Consumers demand self-service options. Microsoft’s 2018 Global State of Customer Service Report found 88% of customers expect an organization to offer a self-service portal.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) highlighted a bright future for enterprise-level self-service technology. Adoption of these emerging technologies didn’t sweep across industries the way some expected in 2018, however.
“Driven by a push for speed and simplicity, 2019 will see consumers, corporations, and automation providers focusing on self-service automation with a purpose.”
Businesses see the potential of self-service automation and automated services, but CxOs are wary of big forklift upgrades to their IT infrastructures and the hurdles that would have come with massive projects. 2019 will be the year self-service begins making significant impacts in businesses, but automation won’t mean completely replacing human workforces. Corporations across various industries will begin using purposeful self-service automation because of five distinct trends in business operations:
- Purposeful Automation
- Drive For Speed & Simplicity
- Untangling IT Ecosystems
- A Focus On Real Business Drivers
- Proactive Instead Of Reactive
Finding A Purpose
This year will be about self-service automation with purpose. The purpose of every new upgrade will be to add speed and simplicity to business processes. That will mean making human agents more efficient — not replacing them wholesale. Businesses will find ways of automating interactions to add the speed well-built self-service options provide, but only for straightforward processes where automation is practical. For more complex interactions, the power of agents’ expertise will be necessary. In these more emotional and nuanced interactions, human agents provide a faster and more direct path to a successful resolution. To allow for the most efficient path in 2019, self-service and automated solutions will learn how to transition smoothly from bot-driven interactions to agent-driven interactions when needed.
Speed and simplicity aren’t just the governing rules for interactions between businesses and consumers; they’re important for business-to-business interactions as well. In 2018 most businesses avoided big, comprehensive overhauls to their IT ecosystems. While many corporate IT systems consist of complex layers of various solutions, untangling these webs will take time.Business leaders, like consumers, don’t want massive, complex solutions. Instead of these large system-wide overhauls, businesses in 2019 will opt for fast, simple upgrades. These speedy, less cumbersome solutions will focus on the issues that really matter to businesses. Corporations will follow the 80/20 rule — 80 percent of results can be attributed to 20 percent of causes — to determine what aspects to focus on first. By upgrading the parts of their businesses that create the majority of issues businesses will see speedy results with the simplest solutions.
Driven by a push for speed and simplicity, 2019 will see consumers, corporations, and automation providers focussing on self-service automation with a purpose. Instead of sweeping upgrades and a dive into the deep end of automation, companies will begin implementing proven solutions like Robotic Process Automation to compliment and improve the solutions they are already using in an effort to create the best ROI quickly and effectively.