Gartner and Forrester’s Take on Automation Predictions for 2020

October 31, 2019


In its new report ‘Predictions 2020: Automation’, Forrester predicts that more than a million knowledge-work jobs will be replaced by software robotics, RPA, virtual agents and chatbots and ML-based decision management. The report also forecasts that around 3,31,500 net jobs will be added to the US workforce by next year. Such jobs will be with a human touch requiring intuition, empathy and physical and mental agility.

Highlighting the concept of ‘automation paradox’, Forrester predicts that after years of falling, MTTR will increase. MTTR or Mean-Time-To-Resolution is the time taken to resolve an IT failure, for example. This comes as the outcome of automating repetitive tasks, leaving the more complex and time-consuming problems for humans to fix.

According to Forrester, most organizations have automated at least 20 percent of what the service desk has traditionally done and that some have automated up to around 80 percent. The research firm also predicted that the global market for RPA services will hit US$7.7 billion next year and is expected to grow to US$12 billion in 2023.

The automation market is about to see a shift from point solutions to enhanced and comprehensive offerings by next year. Such offerings will address integration challenges while enabling the best-in-class features required by the enterprise. As per Forrester’s prediction, around 80 percent of enterprises will identify the threat of automation islands and determine that they are no longer sustainable. Consequently, these enterprises will establish automation strike teams along with a new organizational approach with novel roles, skills, and jobs.

Another report by Forrester named ‘Beware the Automation Paradox’ quotes that automation can be hazardous if lies in untrained hands.

Gartner too included automation in its 2020 technology trends. One of its trends is named ‘hyper-automation’ which is the combination of multiple ML, packaged software and automation tools to deliver work, referring to all the steps of automation (discover, analyze, design, automate, measure, monitor and reassess). The major focus of hyper-automation is to understand the range of automation mechanisms, how they relate to one another and how they can be combined and coordinated.

Additionally, Gartner included ‘autonomous things’ in its 2020 trend list which uses physical devices along with AI to automate functions that were conventionally performed by humans. Some of the common and most recognizable autonomous machines are – robots, drones and autonomous vehicles/ships. Their automation employs AI to deliver advanced functioning to interact more naturally in the surroundings and with people.

The promise and potential challenges possessed by automation may take a long time to manifest themselves, says another report about automation.

All of the above predictions project that the industry is not expected to see dramatic job loss or replacements over the next 10 years although there might be a shift in the content and quality of jobs while adopting the latest technologies.