14 February 2017

Trump Visa Clamp-down and Brexit – good news for RPA?

Analysts and commentators in all walks of life have expressed surprise and in some cases concern at the results of the Brexit Referendum in the UK, and the Presidential Election in the US. It occurs to me that both will be great news for at least one innovative technology.

President Trump’s recent executive order on immigration was met with dismay by some US tech companies, and his next steps could strike even closer to home; his administration has drafted another, aimed at overhauling the work-visa programs that technology companies depend on to hire tens of thousands of employees each year. If implemented, the reforms could shift the way American companies like Microsoft, Amazon and Apple recruit talent, and force wholesale changes at India-based companies such as Infosys and Wipro.

In the UK, there is a mature outsourcing market, already well along in its shift to cloud, automation and cognitive computing. Brexit has created an imperative for UK businesses to save more money and is likely to result in an acceleration of automation strategies rather than an acceleration of outsourcing. Work that has been available to move offshore has already moved, so we shan’t see an uptick in demand for offshoring. Brexit is predicted to accelerate the move to automation, which provides even greater savings than outsourcing.

All of which means that Robotic Process Automation(RPA) seems set to flourish in the IT Sector on both sides of the Pond, with software robots taking the place of ex-pat human workers prohibited by the planned US new visa program, and UK companies looking to cut costs by replacing repetitious UK tech roles with rules-based RPA.

So, an increase in domestic US and UK employment - which the authors of the measures had in mind - may happen, but it’ll be in terms of increased job opportunities for RPA-skilled people, enabling companies to focus their scarce and valuable IT skills on more strategic areas.

Bring it on!

Paul Donoghue-Parker

Mark Mannion is Managing Director of Extra Technology, specialists in enterprise automation solutions in general and RPA solutions in particular. The Extra Technology RPA team are accredited Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in Automation Anywhere RPA technology.

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