It’s the beginning of another year in the world of automation, an appropriate moment for trend spotting and crystal ball gazing. Here’s our prediction about what will happen in the near future: automation projects for consumers will make up a larger share of the pie than those destined for the business sector. By the term ‘automation projects,’ we mean customized automation of processes using software automation tools, rather than the mass-produced thermostats that switch your heating on and off. Is our forecast based on logic, facts, intelligent guesswork – or a mixture of all three?
The Internet of Things may lead to exponential and explosive growth in connectivity and automation projects.
Who Wants Automation Projects?
Process automation is used because it speeds up operations, saves effort, cuts costs, and improves reliability and quality. Where corporations have their eye on the bottom line and customer satisfaction, consumers may want a more comfortable and care-free life. The marketing language may differ accordingly, but the same advantages apply to business and consumer sectors alike. Many enterprises started automating processes for themselves.
They had the resources to allow them to invest in sometimes complex technology. Now it is possible to use a software application that excels in both ease of use and power to make automation projects viable for any environment with an information technology component.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is a concept that is fast becoming a reality. Not only is it feasible to embed intelligence into everyday products, but many of them already have it. Chips in cars, house security systems and fridges, for example, gather information for appropriate action to be taken. When the chips are connected to the worldwide web, they can be monitored and piloted remotely too. While mass-market automation will continue (like your central heating system thermostat), this connectivity over the net opens the door to personalized automation projects provided by outside suppliers (like smarter heating operations, and remote detection of heating system problems or maintenance needs).
A Marketing Calculation
With a need and a desire for automation projects present in enterprises and private end-users, and with today’s connectivity and technical accessibility, potential customers abound. The size of an individual project may vary, but a quick comparison of business and consumer market sectors gives food for thought. Estimates may differ, but let’s take the total number of small businesses in the world to be around 200 million (small businesses make up the largest percentage of all businesses, by far).
Compare this with the total number of people in the world (7.1 billion). Although not every individual or company will be a customer, the raw potential is 35-to-1 in favor of consumers. Clearly, this estimate is rough at best. It doesn't take into account that people live together in families and share lawn sprinkler systems and burglar alarms. But you can see where it’s going.
A number of IT and consumer electronics vendors are moving towards the automation market in particular. Apple is eyeing the consumer automation opportunity with interest, as do Google and Microsoft. Samsung has already announced its Smart Home offering with its device control, home view and smart customer service apps. The flexibility and usability of the solutions remains to be seen, but their burgeoning number opens up yet another marketing window: the overall automation control of such systems by one automation solution capable of federating them and thus simplifying the lives of the people (and organizations) acquiring them. If you’d like to know how Automation Anywhere, the automation software with powerful, yet easy-to-use functionality and federation of projects of all sizes, can help you with your process automation, try a free Automation Anywhere trial.
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