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FUTURE THEMES | SCIENCE

Enterprise automation: three transformative themes

We explore how automation will reshape the future of the enterprise through three transformative themes with significant investment implications.

The views expressed are those of the authors at the time of writing. Other teams may hold different views and make different investment decisions. The value of your investment may become worth more or less than at the time of original investment. While any third-party data used is considered reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed. For professional, institutional, or accredited investors only.

We believe automation will reshape the future of the enterprise — by broadening its reach across the workplace; introducing new ways of collaboration; and changing how data is stored and monetized.

Here, we explore the transformative impact of automation across each theme and assess the potential investment implications.

Bots and low code broaden the reach of enterprise automation

Recent advances in machine learning are driving the adoption of new technologies like robotic process automation (RPA), which uses autonomous software programs (bots) to emulate and automate human actions. Today, bots can complete a wide range of repetitive tasks like scanning paper invoices and processing accounts payable, and their capabilities continue to improve.

While many commentators have focused on the potential job losses resulting from the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI), we think AI-related automation is more about redefining roles and creating new opportunities as automation technology becomes more user-friendly. With bots becoming better at understanding the intent of human commands and easier to program with simple drag-and-drop steps, a broader range of workers can automate their processes without tying up already stretched IT resources. We believe this ability to program with little coding experience — so-called low code — will significantly expand the addressable market for software.

In the future, bots may redefine what we expect from software as they increasingly act as an interface between users and applications. For instance, instead of opening an application to perform a task, workers may go to their messaging app to instruct bots to complete the task. This new approach to application design can have a meaningful impact on the software industry.

Investment implications

  • RPA and low code — We believe the adoption of these technologies will generate growth opportunities for leading vendors and drive the emergence of new leaders in a fragmented competitive landscape.
  • Potential for competitive differentiation — Making software easier to use and customize with bots and low code is emerging as a competitive differentiator among software companies.
  • Democratization of enterprise automation — Companies that train their non-IT workers to take advantage of this new automation will likely develop an advantage over others that still rely on IT teams for technology implementation.

New ways of collaborating

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated innovations in digital collaboration. With hybrid work as the new normal, we anticipate a lasting effect on how workers communicate and collaborate. Video and chat applications are getting smarter, and companies are experimenting with innovative technologies to replicate more of the office experience virtually. After the pandemic, more meetings and events will have…

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