2020 through the lens of Intelligent Automation

No look back on 2020 can avoid Covid-19. The most overused words of the year must have been ‘’unprecedented’’ and ‘’the new normal’’, but justifiably so.

No look back on 2020 can avoid Covid-19. The most overused words of the year must have been ‘’unprecedented’’ and ‘’the new normal’’, but justifiably so.

In the business world, the disruption to private and public sector organisations alike has been nothing short of revolutionary. Forrester reported a “digital transformation surge” as the pandemic struck, as companies sought to “lower operating costs and build greater business resilience, to weather pandemic-driven disruption.”[1] Significantly, Forrester sees this digital disruption surge driven by investment in Intelligent Automation.

There are at least three enablers behind this increased investment[2]. Firstly, as consumers and workers have accepted social distancing, contactless payments and the like as a safety measure, they now more readily accept interaction via technology (for example now preferring self-service supermarket checkouts where they might a year ago have preferred a human checkout assistant).

Secondly, people have become much more familiar with technologies such as Zoom, on both a personal and business level, thereby increasing their trust in them.

And thirdly, robot use has increased during Covid-19, as they are more efficient and don’t catch a virus. For example, Walmart is using robots to clean floors[3]; “anti-epidemic” robots in Rwanda can check patients’ temperatures and deliver medicine and food[4]; and in Japan one university developed “telepresence” robots for receiving university degrees, with a computer tablet for a head, draped in an academic gown, enabling a student on a Zoom call to “receive” their degree from a university official[5].

What all these innovations have in common is an element of Intelligent Automation.  This is underscored by “the seven reasons that make Intelligent Automation a necessity for modern, connected, customer-first, efficient and adaptable organisations”, according to Procensol’s latest white paper, “Planning for the Aftermath of a Global Disruption”. These are:

  1. Intelligent Automation is an ideology, not a system sold by one vendor with a bias or strength in only one area.
  2. Intelligent Automation-ready technologies are “plug-and-play”.
  3. Modern Intelligent Automation ready technologies’ cost of entry is a fraction of monolithic, legacy systems, making it affordable to experiment and innovate.
  4. Bots decrease risk and increase productivity exponentially.
  5. Intelligent Automation-ready technologies are low-code and flexible for a rapidly changing business landscape.
  6. Intelligent Automation-ready technologies are quick to deploy and available anywhere, at any time, and on any device.
  7. Intelligent Automation-ready technologies are data analytics friendly, and out-of-the-box.

In particular, the ability to start small quickly and economically has been critical in 2020. It has been common to hear of organisations that were planning some form of digital transformation to take place in years suddenly implementing that change in a matter of days or weeks[6]. As well as finding an enforced level of organisational agility they didn’t know they had, they found a budget for small, experimental and innovative projects to help employees and customers alike.


Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission

Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) is an independent statutory body established to reduce the incidence of major crime and public sector corruption in Queensland, and to provide the state’s witness protection service. The CCC investigates both crime and corruption, has oversight of police and the public sector and protects witnesses. The CCC is run by a small, dedicated staff of approximately 50 people and is the only integrity agency in Australia with this range of functions.

Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission

by Procensol



2 pages of diverse content
FREE download in PDF format for reading anywhere
Industry leading content
Answering the big questions in Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission
By downloading you’ll be sent our regular newsletter with content based on Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission - don’t miss out!

However, the size of the projects is not proportional to their importance. They are paving the way for a changed future, and as many commentators have pointed out, there is now no going back to old ways of working. This means that Intelligent Automation must become a strategic imperative, discussed at the highest levels of organisations and embedded in organisational culture.

As we say in our “Planning for the Aftermath of a Global Disruption” white paper, “With the right set of Intelligent Automation solutions, a proper review of its Intelligent Automation-readiness across the organisation, a careful plan, and embedding innovation as the new culture one might just come out of this global disruption better than ever.”

[1] https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/17743/399177/covid-19-will-change-our-psychology-and-roadmap-for-intelligent-automation

[2] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0268401220310100#bib0135

[3] https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-52340651

[4] https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/25/africa/rwanda-coronavirus-robots/index.html

[5] https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/may/31/the-five-robots-helping-to-tackle-coronavirus

[6] https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/coronavirus-leading-through-the-crisis/charting-the-path-to-the-next-normal/coronavirus-is-accelerating-digital-strategy-formulation#

Previous Post Next Post

Related Articles

September 29th, 2021

Intelligent automation: where do I start?

When we held a webinar recently, the most frequently-asked question by the attendees is best summed up as, “Great – intelligent automation sounds awesome! But where do I start?”
March 13th, 2020

Managing the Commercial Risk of Covid-19

There is widespread fear and panic on a scale not seen before. Against this backdrop, governments struggle to create a measured response to reduce the spread of the virus and the panic it generates.
July 6th, 2022

Planning for the aftermath of a global disruption

Disruption fatigue may be real. Many rounds of organisational change, digital transformation, and restructure may have caused many organisations to automatically react to a global disruption like the pandemic with fear and caution. Government agencies are not immune to this reaction. However, if anything can be learned from past economic crises it is this – one must not “waste the crisis” but respond with leadership and purpose.
October 14th, 2020

Augmenting our people with Robotic Process Automation

Watch Procensol's recent webinar where we discuss the 10 key questions for embracing a digital workforce. The people and the organisations who are embracing the Digital Workforce are the ones who will prosper in the digital era, rather than being afraid of complementing their teams with Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence, digital leaders recognise the value they can bring to their people and the business overall by integrating a Digital Workforce into the business operations.