In 2019 we saw advances in AI and martech, the rise of low-code platforms, and watched the RPA bubble start to burst. What’s in store for 2020? Operations becomes exciting again and relationships are more important than ever. Read our predictions below then watch our webinar to get all the details and insight.
1. Digital transformation goes to the core of operations
The term “digital transformation” has been floating around for a few years now, and many organizations have begun some type of project to digitize and automate a task or workflow. In 2020 we’ll see larger, enterprise-wide projects focused on transforming mission-critical operations at the core. These DX projects will improve the overall operational backbone and support a new level of real-time collaboration between leaders, IT, and employees, helping enterprises work at peak efficiency.
2. Low-code scales up
This is the year low-code transforms from rouge business tool to an enterprise-essential capability. IT leaders will embrace full-featured low-code platforms for the ability to create enterprise-class software quickly and at scale. And C-suite leaders across all industries will adopt a low-code mindset, encouraging business users and “citizen developers” to contribute their knowledge and skills to a range of enterprise operational apps, algorithms for data science, and real-time UX design systems. As end-to-end low-code usage increases, IT’s leadership role will be essential in establishing guardrails and governance that keep all collaborators and contributors on the same page.
3. RPA moves beyond bots to fully intelligent automation
Enterprise leaders who have learned the hard way that RPA alone does not equal digital transformation will move toward more strategic and intelligent automation platforms. We expect to see a growing number of enterprises “retiring” their bots and replacing them with modern, unified architectures that connect the front- and back-offices, bring together critical capabilities like process orchestration, AI, and case management, to enable platforms that automatically present the right tools or services in an as-a-service operational structure. However, interest in and use of attended RPA will continue to grow as enterprise leaders learn that the combination of bots working side-by-side and in concert with humans can optimize operations plus create amazing outcomes.
4. Tech plugs the gaps in customer experience
As the power of the digital consumer expands, easy, intuitive, frictionless customer experiences continue to grow in importance. We expect both enterprises and consumers will look to digital technologies to fill any CX gaps. Consumers are already using digital personal assistants like Google Assistant to schedule appointments or make dinner reservations. Expect these task requests to become more complex. Enterprises that once worried about interacting with consumers on multiple channels now also need to plan for interacting with their bots. And as more devices come online it’s going to get more complicated. Seamless experiences when switching across multiple channels – phone, email, self-service website, text, social media, or the next big thing – will make or break consumer decisions. Enterprises that apply intelligent automation to orchestrate consumer experiences will be able to ensure that promises made on the front-end are promises kept on the back-end. In short, organizations that get customer experience right will build customer loyalty. The ones who don’t risk losing customers … and their data.
5. Marketing shifts from sales to authenticity
Marketing continues to shift away from “spray and pray” campaigns and offer-centric communications to the delivery of individual memorable experiences. Building on the one-to-one capabilities of intelligent marketing platforms, digital tools are that once recommended next-best-offers are evolving to present next-best-conversations or interactions that are tangible and meaningful to the individual consumer. These AI-based tools will continue to help marketers make sense of consumer data and context to determine the most empathetic and ethical way to engage with each person. Enterprises who take advantage of these smart, automated tools to connect in authentic ways will build greater customer loyalty.
6. AI applications get practical
Artificial Intelligence moves out of the science lab into very specific and practical technologies like machine learning, decisioning, and natural language processing. The result is AI will be more distributed throughout the enterprise, helping to build meaningful operations, engagements, and solutions that are focused on impacting customer and employee experiences. This growing adoption and application of AI will, in turn, create new challenges for training and governance. According to Shelly Kramer, our special predictions webinar guest and senior analyst and partner at Futurum Research, “that’s the biggest challenge that we see when it comes to the integration of technology like RPA and intelligent automation in the workforce.” To define and manage how AI is used empathetically and ethically, plus determine the best way for an enterprise’s AI-based tools to work together more effectively, and in partnership with human workers most effectively, enterprises will need to establish Centers of Excellence. The most successful COEs will take the time to understand how their implementations of AI technologies are impacting people.
What trends do you see?
Do you think we got it right or did we miss the next big thing? Watch our webinar for the full conversations on all of these topics … plus a special bonus prediction! Then share your thoughts and reactions.
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