Simon Perks 29 January 2021

Five Robotic Process Automation trends to look out for in 2021

Five Robotic Process Automation trends to look out for in 2021 image

What are the key Robotic Process Automation (RPA) developments and trends for local authorities to look out for in 2021? Simon Perks, head of robotics and AI at Agilisys, shares his predictions for the year ahead:

1. The way RPA is licensed will transform

Perhaps the most important trend we'll see in 2021 is a change to the license model used by RPA vendors. Although some already claim to offer a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, their pricing doesn't necessarily reflect that. Local authorities, recognising the benefits of SaaS such as lower cost of entry, scalability and easier proof-of-concept testing, will be on the lookout for this licensing model, meaning as we move through the year we'll see more vendors truly re-evaluating their pricing structures.

2. Augmented capabilities will add to the business case for RPA

We will see RPA mature further, with augmented capabilities enhanced. By that, I mean closer alignment to services like chatbots and process mining capability. Some vendors already have this capability, but not all do, and therefore it's probably going to require a few iterations before augmented reality becomes the norm.

This is going to be a key product set that helps the software write its own process definitions, which adds to the business case for RPA, because it will make for easier creation of metrics and happy paths – default scenarios featuring no exceptional or error conditions. This in turn means getting minimum viable products in place a lot faster.

3. RPA will become ubiquitous – which is good news for end-users

2021 is the year RPA will become ubiquitous and more accessible. There is going to be so many different types of repositories, that it's then just a question of pulling down what's needed. That, I think, will result in greater focus on outcomes – the discussion will be more about how you foster the available RPA tools to make people's lives easier.

This ties into my earlier prediction about licensing models. Rather than the 'I'm charging everyone for everything to be developed freshly' approach, which is certainly what some consultancies have been doing, the cost and ease of entry can be driven down by making RPA processes accessible, repeatable and scalable. It's like what coders do with GitHub – repositories are updated and maintained by users, which will encourage adoption on a grander scale.

4. RPA will become commonplace in data and risk management

As RPA becomes more ubiquitous, I expect widespread adoption of the technology by more functions within local authorities than the bedrock of finance, HR and IT that we've witnessed up to now. Because of the need for additional information governance, data and risk management will become a core driver of RPA.

Where you can use the ability of bots to not do anything unexpected it really plays to that compliance and audit aspect. Because they're not going to deviate or do anything other than what they're expected to there's a direct risk mitigation aspect to their role. I, therefore, expect to see local authorities move tasks that could be deemed risky, and where human error could come into play, to RPA.

5. Smart use of robotics will deliver enhanced value

For me, orchestration will be a key broadening of the RPA lens. This is one of the essential factors that significantly reduces the overhead and maintenance of robots. By moving away from unintelligent schedules towards smart, predictive trend analysis fills up the robotic capacity in a way that drives greater return on investment. Some RPA vendors already allow for this and I expect more to follow over the coming months.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - Early Interventions

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
Social Worker - Early Interventions Permanent, Full Time £32,065 - £43,839 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Local Linked Support Team

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
This is a full time fixed term contract for 12 month or a 12 month Secondment.About the RoleThis is a community-based role within the Harlow area. You England, Essex, Epping
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Property and Projects Lawyer

Brent Council
£43,860 - £49,827 p.a. inc.(pro rata)
The successful candidate will have the opportunity to supervise junior staff and deputise in the absence of the Senior Property Lawyer. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Training and Quality Assurance Specialist

Essex County Council
Up to £26801 per annum
The OpportunityEssex Registration Service is one of the largest authorities in the Country, serving thousands of customers in the Registration of Bir England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Business Support Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£29,359
We have recently changed the way that we work so that we are more responsive to... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue