Over the last year the world has dealt with alot, more than anyone could have possibly accounted for last year. Part of the surprise for folks I believe is that we perceived we could handle anything. Meaning that our technology, our science, our resolve had reached a level where we were accomplishing what previously was thought to be impossible. The world had many revelations in dealing with a global pandemic and among them was the massive shift of work to a remote setting. In this shift, came the realization that processes were woefully outdated and not enabled with technology.
Over the last year companies across all industries quickly scrambled to adapt and look to technologies that could help them transition and remain effective. Many discovered the technologies we would expect such as video conferencing and chat technologies like Microsoft Teams. Others however have seized this opportunity to explore the cloud for ease of application access and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to modernize their workflows. It sparks hope in this unicorn to see these companies, many who are struggling with reduced revenues and staffing issues, look to technology to help solve their issues. I believe we are at a defining moment similar to the industrial revolution, where integrating technology advances into how we do work will become the differentiator of companies that thrive and those that wane.
We saw many companies begin to deploy applications in the cloud and accelerate their CloudSuite or other ERP journeys. With these applications in the cloud, employees can access this technology from anywhere in the world, thus supporting the remote work climate we find ourselves in. Many companies were reducing their on premise footprint with lots of office space hitting the market as many companies choose to extend the work from home environment permanently. Companies such as Microsoft, who make the very technologies to enable remote work, are allowing the majority of their workforce to be remote for the foreseeable future.
The AI shift has picked up speed, reaching laggard industries such as healthcare. Many healthcare clients have begun entering this space with pilot programs and new ways to improve the patient experience. Healthcare specifically found itself having to move not only the back office operations to a remote environment but much of patient care shifted as well. They were immediately faced with quickly deploying telehealth and moving patient experiences to virtual portals. While tackling this, many have now realized that the very technology used for remote employees allows them to interact with patients in a similar fashion. While deploying these technologies many have chosen to explore RPA, OCR and data and analytics. It is this revolution in healthcare we have all been waiting for.
This last year while very difficult, was filled with hope. Hope for a vaccine, hope that we would join together and find our way back to the way things were. An additional hope I believe is that industries are now very aware of the need for technology to be integral to their operations and processes. Both employees and customers are demanding it and to remain competitive everyone has to be doing it. I sincerely believe that if you are still standing on the sidelines watching and evaluating, that you simply will be left behind. 2021 will be the year of automation and optimization. The suppliers will be overwhelmed in servicing clients standing in line to get their products and services. Maybe I am optimistic but I do believe, the time is now.
What do I think you all should do in 2021? Well when I consult my pen that I got as a Christmas gift that says “What Would A Unicorn Do” the answers are:
- Frolic Majestically
- Graze on Sprinkles
- Pose on a Windy Cliff
- Chase a Rainbow
- Race The Wind
- Believe In Miracles
Well if I were to swirl all these together using my Unicorn powers (yep not all about rainbows and sprinkles) I would suggest to:
Race into the wind to the top of the cliff where you look towards the rainbows, and believe that automation is like a miracle to your processes and you should frolic in an RPA engagement and then you can graze on the sprinkles at the celebration party.
You can’t do nothing as that is the act of doing something. Many in the industry are so happy to just talk to you and share the art of the possible. Please do something, if nothing more than get more information and explore the possible for your organization. Let’s make magic in 2021!