It’s the end of the 2010s! A decade that brought us Uber and Alexa, wearable devices and the explosion of behind-the-scenes technologies like the cloud, AI and automation software. 

With business process automation (BPA) and robotic process automation (RPA) becoming more of a necessity than a luxury for companies, we explore how automation is expected to shape businesses in 2020. 

2020 customers will have higher expectations 


When it comes to understanding how technology benefits everyday living, customers are experts. According to the latest Salesforce State of the Connected Customer, 75% of customers expect companies to use new technologies to create better experiences. 

Thanks to the IoT era, customers are living in a hyper-connected world. If their refrigerator knows their name, you better believe customers expect brands to know it too. And 84% of customers say that being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business.


In fact, Gartner reports that 81% of executives believe they’ll compete on customer experience alone in the not-too-distant future. 

But don’t expect customers to patiently wait for this not-too-distant future. Thanks to automation technologies, customers already expect 24/7 access to brands and fast resolutions to their problems. 

Automation and the Future of Work 2020


There is no denying automation is transforming the way we work. In fact, global IT leaders told us that workflow automation is now the number two employee experience initiative for IT

In 2020, automating monotonous business processes is not about replacing humans with technology, but leveraging technology to empower employees to do their jobs better – and it will touch almost every function. 

For sales leaders, automation means less time on admin and more time selling; for marketing teams, automation is a relief from manual email scheduling and a tool to get valuable insights into customer behaviour; CIOs will look to automate 10% of their IT tasks and upskill employees

But in customer service automation will have the most noticeable impact on employee and customer experience in 2020. 

According to global market research company Forrester’s latest technology report Predictions 2020, it predicts ‘agent whisper’ technologies will be leveraged to help customer service reps find task-critical information, including recommending the next best course of action they should take with the customer.

And thanks to this technology’s ability to analyse incoming cases, customers will be assigned the most appropriate service agent for their enquiry, enhancing the customer experience.


Alongside these augmented service agents, AI-powered chatbots will be responsible for powering 85% of interactions in 2020 – automating personalised messages to customers at any time. And while there will end up being fewer call centres in the future, service reps will be higher skilled and higher paid.

How you can leverage automation in 2020 


To get the most out of automation technologies in the new year and deliver the best customer and employee experience, here are the essentials. 

  • Recognise the shift in customer expectations and address it by harnessing the power of technology. 

  • Invest in the employee experience so your team is confident in using automation software and equipped with essential future career skills. 

  • Use marketing automation to enable a more personalised experience for your customers, as well as freeing up your team to think more strategically. 

  • Take the mundane admin out of sales processes and automate basic tasks. 

  • Don’t replace all the humans with chatbots, but use bots to free up your employees’ time and enable them to deliver higher quality service more quickly.

Want to get ahead of the tech trends in 2020? Download out our Enterprise Technology Trends Report