What’s in store for the world of Intelligent Automation in 2022?

By Andy Mellor, ANZ Regional VP at Kofax

With lockdowns and COVID-19 outbreaks continuing for much of 2021, organisations throughout Australia have had to navigate a variety of obstacles. It’s safe to say hybrid workplaces are here to stay, creating new challenges for managing productivity and workflows. Meanwhile, companies are gearing up for ‘The Great Resignation’ whilst also struggling with attracting and retaining staff.

Then throw into the mix supply chain issues that don’t appear to be easing anytime soon. Ensuring revenue growth and hitting performance targets has become a challenging task, and businesses need to look to upcoming tech trends, so they’re primed for success in 2022 and beyond.

Firstly, companies need to lean on tech tools, such as intelligent automation (IA), to be prepared for what lies ahead in the new year. IA platforms powered by artificial intelligence can help a business in a variety of ways – including increasing revenue.

We’ve taken a deep dive into the top 10 ways IA, AI and data insights will guide Australian organisations in 2022:

  1. Automation Drives Organisational Convergence. As automation technology has converged, so too will business functions. IA platforms can merge different business functions under one device. This means those tasks can be headed by a single person to improve overall business productivity. IA technology is at the point where low-code devices have caught up with the marketing hype, and many technologies, in general, have become ubiquitous.


  1. AI Becomes Mainstream. Through the power of embedded artificial intelligence, organisations will achieve next-level automation. The beauty of AI-powered process automation means it can make pragmatic decisions that have historically needed a worker. With those tasks now automated, employees can move beyond transactional decisions and focus on high-value work. Through integration, companies will be able to focus on how technology solves business problems instead of on the technology itself. The built-in nature of AI—and its ability to get better and faster the more data it sees—accelerates how fast an organisation can achieve results.


  1. Automation Takes Away Jobs? The myth of automation replacing human workers will soon be dispelled. Employment opportunities are everywhere, and at the same time, technology is being used more than ever. Instead of taking over a job entirely, automation is increasing job satisfaction and improving the overall experience for workers. Automation can handle mundane work - creating upward mobility opportunities for people to perform higher-value work for higher compensation. Companies will focus on how they can use the technology to create a more supportive, collaborative and productive work environment. This will lead to greater retention at a time when seemingly everyone is evaluating their career options.


  1. Everything Is the Next Big Thing. Annual predictions tend to proclaim a particular technology as "the next big thing." Next year will be different as there’s no obvious standout. The majority of organisations will already be using a broad range of automation technologies packaged within one central platform. However, we’re expecting low-code intelligent automation to be in high demand. Success will require more than just automating processes to make them better; it's about transforming them into smarter workflows.


  1. Taming Unstructured Data Is the New Competitive Advantage. Like the past few years, organisations will continue to be bombarded by unstructured data. While data is known to be an asset, unstructured data is often forgotten. However, it can provide valuable business insights if dealt with correctly. Each company's data is unique, and the ability to harness information to provide actionable insights no one else can copy.


  1. Cloud Will Open New Possibilities for Print and Productivity Needs.  Businesses need to implement frictionless digital touchpoints instead of brick-and-mortar experiences to ensure seamless workflows. Universal print will become even more prevalent, and more organisations will shift much of their printing needs away from individual devices and onto cloud-based servers. Workers will no longer be tied to laptops or big, on-premises devices to facilitate printing. Instead, through cloud capabilities built into intelligent document processing solutions, workers will have flexibility.


  1. Integrated Supply Chains Call for Tech Investment. Supply chain issues are extensive around the world due to COVID-19. In order to adapt, organisations will need to lean on technology to ensure seamless operations. Technology will provide businesses with insights into all areas of the company – highlighting potential bottlenecks and improving workflows.


  1. Increased Data Protection. Consumers will be able to take control of their own data. They’ll be able to share what they want and will have greater visibility into what they are sharing. An example of this can be seen through Apple – they’ve allowed their customers to control their data’s destiny. This control will provide comfort to consumers and compel them to share some instead of none, allowing organisations to provide personalised services whilst being compliant.


  1. Blockchain. The most noteworthy use of blockchain technology is cryptocurrency and Bitcoin. 2021 saw the explosion of nonfungible tokens (NFTs). However, the acceleration of distributed ledgers and blockchains is upon us for things more than cryptocurrency and pixelated monkey GIFs - like the secure sharing of medical information, intellectual property rights, and original content security.


  1. Rise of Mixed Reality. Mixed reality technologies will continue to become smaller and more affordable, providing greater collaboration in a hybrid work environment. While we have only seen early adopters jump on board, we’re expecting this to grow significantly in 2022.


Businesses around Australia are looking to 2022 for a fresh start. Its important Australian businesses are ready for the new year with modern technology to combat any unpredicted obstacles on the horizon.