Two innovation trends that affect digital tools in the enterprise are Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and microservices.
Robotic Process Automation
- Even though it is not new, Robotic Process Automation has been growing in popularity with large enterprises around the world. RPA has seen a transformation in enterprises where tools and processes are being re-evaluated in order to automate more processes and scale.
- A driving force behind this trend is AI. IDC predicts that in a few years companies will spend more on AI-enabled Robotic Process Automation than non-AI-enabled RPA.
- Experts expect a lot more changes and maturation with RPA which will drive it to the forefront. Enterprises are expected to widen their knowledge and use of automation.
- In 2016, 15% of companies said their RPA program was ingrained into the wider processes of the company. By 2017, that number had risen to 64%.
- RPA companies, such as UiPath and Blue Prism, have grown due to this trend's growing influence. Blue Prism is one of the fastest-growing UK public software companies, as its revenues has grown by 82% with a 99.3% customer retention.
- A company that takes part in this trend is Cisco. They use RPA to let workers focus on more skilled tasks.
- With microservices, complex enterprise software and tools are broken down into smaller and more manageable pieces.
- According to a Lightstep study, about 60% of enterprises have adopted microservices in some form, and 92% of those businesses reported an increase in the number of microservice instances they have running.
- Eighty-six percent of companies say that microservices may become their default application architecture within the next five years.
- Microservices have been preferred over the traditional server architectures, because it increases performance and the portability of web applications.
- An example of a company that has utilized microservices is Amazon. Because of microservices, Amazon has been able to develop, test, and produce an estimated 50 million deployments per year, which allow them to iterate on new features in a matter of hours instead of months. For years this had set them apart from other retailers, because of this, more retailers have begun to transfer their legacy applications to a microservice infrastructure.
Our process of selecting trends started by searching for innovation trends in the enterprise that affect digital tools. We found many sources that discuss innovation trends and their relation to digital transformation on sites such as Forbes, Deloitte, Silicon Angle, and other publications. We ensured that the innovation trends affected the digital tools at enterprise-level organizations based on keywords used in each article. For example, we chose microservices because websites such as Silicon Angle described them as services that help break down complex software into more manageable pieces. According to an official definition, digital tools are programs, online resources, or websites "that can make tasks easier to complete." Also, we chose them as trends due to them being mentioned often on reputable websites. We also looked for quantitative proofs to show that they are trends.