2022 was undoubtedly an interesting year for automation, which we’ve recently recounted in this article capturing major events and trends in intelligent automation. Now that we got that out of the way, it’s time to look toward 2023 and what we can look forward to.

These are our top six predictions for what’s to come in intelligent automation and RPA over the course of the next year.

#1 - Microsoft Power Automate will become the undisputed RPA and intelligent Automation leader

In 2022, Microsoft Power Automate once again found itself the leader in the category of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Robotic Process Automation. As a relatively new entrant, their ascent to the top has been nothing short of remarkable, but what else would you expect from Microsoft considering their history of entering new enterprise software segments?

Power Automate has routinely been touted as a debutant in the world of automation, but the truth is, Microsoft Flow was originally introduced in 2016. The fact that this product is often labeled as a recent entrant is understandable considering that some of their competitors have had their legacy products in the market going on 10 years now.

While Power Automate itself was unveiled in 2019, the product began to make waves when Microsoft acquired and integrated Softomotive in 2020 to have an integrated desktop-automation solution.

Now that the product has caught up and matured, it’s ready for prime time with large-scale deployments. We expect that 2023 is the year Microsoft dethrones all the other leaders and takes its place at the top as the undisputed automation heavyweight.

Microsoft Power Automate now offers a solution that is simply better than much of the competition. They deliver automation at scale because of Power Automate’s ease of use and everyone’s familiarity with Microsoft products and their UI. They offer increased compatibility with the Microsoft stack which the vast majority of enterprises already use.

Power Automate is also cloud-ready and a true intelligent automation platform with an AI Builder capability and AI-enhanced workflows. What also sets it apart from competitors is that adopting Power Automate positions companies to expand their automation practice beyond RPA to the entire Power Platform. Process automation can be broadened to business applications/apps with PowerApps and intelligent virtual agents using Power Virtual Agent for example.

The most eye-catching benefit? They offer the most cost-effective solution on the market when compared to other RPA leaders according to Forrester’s report, Total Economic Impact of Power Automate.

Total-cost-of-ownership-RPA-vendors

For these reasons and others we’ve documented on this blog, 2023 will see Microsoft Power Automate become the de-facto leader in automation.

#2 - Automation Anywhere’s Automation 360 matures and delivers on its potential

Close behind Microsoft Power Automate’s heels is another automation leader—Automation Anywhere.

While the last few years have been bumpy for Automation Anywhere—they unveiled their upgraded solution: Enterprise A2019, now rebranded as Automation 360 had experienced a number of growing pains—those growing pains are now over and A360 is ready to shine.

Automation Anywhere’s Automation 360 is an example of a next-generation, cloud-native, and web-based intelligent automation solution. Built from the ground up with all the learning that was amassed from Automation Anywhere’s legacy product – Enterprise 10 and 11 – A360 was designed to run on cloud infrastructure with a host of benefits including:

  • Reduced lower cost of ownership for automation
  • A more intuitive UX to make automation design and delivery accessible to the average business user, enabling scale
  • A shift to API-centric automation
  • AI and machine learning built into the platform
  • 1200 pre-built bots, packages, and digital workers from the Bot Store

And that’s just a snippet of all the benefits Automation Anywhere’s Automation 360 has to offer. With that in mind, that’s why A360 will take center stage in 2023 as the mature, sophisticated, and robust intelligent automation solution it is, promising to attract its fair share of automation estate migrations, leading us nicely into our next prediction.

#3 - 2023 will see even more automation estate migrations onto next-generation intelligent automation platforms

In 2022 we predicted the year would witness numerous competitive account transitions between RPA vendors. The year didn’t disappoint. Many companies took the leap in switching RPA platforms to reduce costs, leverage better features, and enable scale—and Blueprint witnessed it first-hand as the engine that powered a lot of those migrations and re-platformings.

Expect this trend to only get bigger and pick up steam as more and more organizations look to leverage benefits, increased capabilities, and reduced OpEx (operational expense) that cost-effective and powerful intelligent automation platforms like Microsoft Power Automate and Automation Anywhere’s Automation 360 have to offer.

According to Blueprint research on automation migrations published in 2022, Microsoft Power Automate was the most likely destination for organizations in the process of or considering switching RPA platforms.

RPA-platforms-organizations-are-replatforming-to

Download the report here  to see all the insight Blueprint collected on RPA migration and re-platforming

We anticipate this percentage to only increase as Power Automate attracts more suitors and companies realize there are cost-effective and quick solutions to help migrate entire automation estates instead of taking it on manually.

#4 - The use of Digital Twins will start to be applied in automation

Digital Twins have traditionally been used mostly in the manufacturing and engineering sectors. Those sectors have realized a lot of value in maintaining a digital representation of a process, service, or physical object that’s updated with real-time data to enhance improvement efforts.

Automation leaders now have their sights set on that same application for their automated processes.

Maintaining a digital twin for an automation in a separate repository solves many of the challenges automation programs are encountering. They also have the potential to deliver incredible benefits like dramatically accelerating the continuous improvement cycle for improved effectiveness and better returns.

For more information on how digital twins can be applied in automation and the benefits they can produce, download the Digital Twins whitepaper.

Digital Twin Whitepaper | Blueprint

#5 - There will be increased application of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to realize intelligent automation

Arguably still in its infancy when compared to its close cousin in Robotic Process Automation, intelligent automation will continue to get bigger in 2023 in terms of both application and importance.

While it’s still early days, companies are incredibly eager to automate more complex, end-to-end business processes that are decision-based instead of just rule-based tasks that RPA tackles.

With next-generation intelligent automation platforms like Microsoft Power Automate and Automation Anywhere providing built-in AI and machine learning capabilities to automate more complete business processes, 2023 will be a year that catapults automation into its next evolution: intelligent automation.

#6 - Automation will continue to grow, but also be hypercharged with the looming recession in 2023

We’re not going out on a leg in predicting that automation will grow in 2023. For years, the projections on automation’s total addressable market (TAM) have indicated exponential growth well into the future. However, 2023 will see unforecasted growth accelerated in great part by the anticipated global recession analysts see coming in early 2023.

In the face of crisis, automation has been a solution organizations have relied on to address novel and spontaneous challenges. That was true during the pandemic and will be the case in the face of a recession to combat a contracted workforce brought on by forced cost reductions. Automation delivery will accelerate and grow to deal with the burden of absorbing operational business tasks that don’t have the manual bandwidth to be executed.

If the world of automation showed us anything in 2022, it’s that it doesn’t stay still for long. For more great resources like whitepapers, datasheets, and webinars on all things automation, visit the Blueprint Resource Library and watch this space as we continue to bring you news on the ever-evolving world of intelligent automation.

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