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January is a great time to look at the year ahead and sketch out a few ways the automation market needs to evolve in 2019, to the benefit of both vendors and customers.

Digital Darwinism, or slowly falling behind competition as you fail to adapt to new technologies, is a real thing. And it’s a fate that has felled many companies. But business as usual isn’t an approach that incorporates the future vision required for evolution.

So here are the two biggest challenges – and opportunities – facing automation in 2019.

Getting scaling right

Many automation tools and solutions lure potential customers in with a low sticker price but neglect to give any indication of how the infrastructure, licensing and operational management costs will grow as more tasks are automated across an organization.

For on-premises installations, this can incur significant CapEx costs when scaling automation levels. This in turn can make it a harder case to take to other business units or middle management, who are increasingly key to new technology projects. Without cooperation between IT and the business, managing the necessary changes is impossible.

To counter these challenges, our automation-as-a-service RunMyJobs by Redwood® solution has a flat monthly fee and a set price per job. This means you only pay for your usage, not endless licenses and infrastructure costs as your automation plans evolve.

An increased focus on value

There’s a lot of hype around AI, and its relation to automation, but there’s little clarity to the true capabilities of many tools and solutions on the market today. If a company refers to artificial intelligence, intelligent automation or, as we do, augmented intelligence, do they all offer the same capabilities?

With a lack of agreed key definitions for these terms, it can be overwhelming for businesses to investigate and compare the different options available. Automation is supposed to reduce complexity, not increase it.

Importantly, while we think about AI in relation to automation meaning augmented intelligence, it’s not a singular aspect of our solution’s capabilities. Augmented Intelligence is simply the term we use for the collective technologies that have the potential to make automation even more efficient.

It shouldn’t really matter to customers whether that’s based on data mining, statistical analysis, machine learning, artificial intelligence or a combination of these technologies. What matters is delivering measurable value, not hype.

By focusing on highly flexible, yet powerful, process automation, Redwood solutions deliver against their promises, without adding complexity to your IT landscape. And that’s where we believe the true value lies.