One of my favorite talks at Driven 2020: David Brakoniecki evaluating market trends in our space.
The first trend: AI is Changing the Art of the Possible
Using a mail-room example, David explains how you would outsource, buy hardware, write lots of code, in order to try to automate your mailroom operations. And it would be quite expensive. But AI services from Automation Anywhere, AWS, and others have made it possible to solve these problems in "price-per-page" calculations rather than major development and R&D efforts.
More importantly, what David points out, is that it moves AI into a position to impact what tasks can be automated - and how various processes and flows can be initiated . AI is simply changing the boundaries around every box we have in our mental model.
The second trend: Task Automation is Getting more Inclusive
In other words, your bots can ask you for help when they need it, and vice versa. It doesn't replace the idea of process orchestration in your enterprise, but it does allow you to tackle more problems with just task automation complexities rather than process orchestration complexities.
This approach comes at human engagement a bit more as an after thought so there are rough edges, but the trend is there - make it easier to augment what people are doing with automation bots.
The third trend: Democratization of Automation
People can automate their own work with RPA - in much the same way developers would automate their work with scripts. Rather than waiting for IT to provide automation of specific tasks, you might use RPA to automate some of your own work to improve your flow and throughput.
It might be a bit early to "call it" - but the trend is there. It is a bit analogous to the low-code trend in general - just reducing the friction required to get value from software, or to customize software behaviors for your business.
It's good stuff, give it a listen!