Artificial Intelligence Goes Mainstream

Artificial intelligence (AI) has gone mainstream. It’s a key piece of nearly every part of our lives — embedded in areas you may not even realize. That solicitation email that gets automatically routed to your Spam filter? A result of AI. Are you still commuting to a physical office in a quasi-post-COVID world? Hopefully, you’re using a traffic guide app, whose algorithms and mounds of data help you get to work on time thanks to an AI engine. 

Yes, AI is all around you, and it’s also already a key part of one emerging trend that hasn’t quite gone mainstream yet — but will soon, and similarly will impact many parts of our lives.

Hyperautomation, a “business-driven, disciplined approach that organizations use to rapidly identify, vet and automate as many business IT processes as possible,” per Gartner, is heavily influenced by AI — and many other key emerging technologies that are impacting enterprises.

It’s also a buzzword that’s only growing in popularity in the business world. The “hyper” part, which specifically refers to an enhanced level of automation in an enterprise, indicates the pace at which automation is implemented should be even faster, and the depth to which automation is deployed should intensify.

Simply: A hyperautomation strategy is crucial to enterprises looking to not only keep up, but also stay ahead of the accelerating pace of change.

How does hyperautomation drive that change more rapidly? It involves several different key technologies that, when combined, can help an organization achieve end-to-end automation. Those technologies include, of course, artificial intelligence, but the list goes on to include machine learning (ML), robotic process automation (RPA) and more as essential digital building blocks that automate tasks and create a data-driven culture.

But how do these technologies work — and work together?

The Emerging Technologies and Trends Impact Radar: Hyperautomation report from Gartner, highlighted key emerging technologies in hyperautomation based on time to adoption. Of the more than a dozen technologies the firm predicted will make an impact in the next decade, four were vital in the eyes of digital transformation experts.

Four ways to win with hyperautomation

Here is how we believe this trending tech will help create the most impact and value for organizations in the coming years.

Low-code development

If you need a quick app build that bypasses costly and time-consuming custom coding – while avoiding engaging your overburdened R&D teams – low-code platforms may be the answer.

They make it quick and easy to build applications through visual design elements (think point-and-click and dropdowns) that, in a business context, accelerate the delivery of vital applications such as enterprise content management, business process management and case management tools.

Low-code is important for digital evolution for these reasons:

By lowering the bar in terms of technical knowledge for end users, it gives the necessary flexibility to configure applications when needed.

It reduces time and resource pressure for IT departments, freeing them up to work on more high-value projects.

It reduces development cycles significantly so you can rapidly design solutions and achieve ROI faster.

Process mining and discovery

Process mining identifies processes that are happening by examining event data and applying pattern recognition techniques to create workflow models.

Process discovery highlights how the processes are happening, bringing together digital applications with the human element to model how processes and people interact.

Three reasons process mining and discovery are important:

  • They show actionable information about the history of your organization’s processes and highlight the potential you can unlock with process improvements.
  • Together they give you a perfect view of what’s happening in your process, including where bottlenecks are causing issues.
  • They enable your employees to better weather disruptive changes and black swan events.

Intelligent document processing (IDP)

What good is a ton of data and content if it is in the wrong spot or unable to deliver insights to the appropriate teams? Intelligent document processing (IDP) harnesses the power of machine learning, optical character recognition (OCR) and intelligent automation, thus unlocking the true potential of your content and ensuring it gets to the right person at the right time.

IDP matters because:

  • It finds and extracts crucial data from incoming documents automatically.
  • It accurately captures data, even from unstructured formats, allowing it to move efficiently through your organization.
  • It speeds up data capture.
  • It reduces input errors that arise from manual data entry.

Cloud ERP suites for product-centric enterprises

Cloud-hosted solutions provide teams with secure access to all the critical information they require to do their jobs. With products that leverage distributed cloud data centers, the most up-to-date data you need is always available when, and where, you need it.

Cloud accessibility matters because:

  • It powers hyperautomation engines by hosting essential technologies in a decentralized space, allowing them to integrate and interact.
  • It provides the flexibility to change solutions, upgrade or downgrade depending on your needs.
  • It gives you the runway to achieve true business agility and scalability because you’re not weighed down by a particular solution.

How hyperautomation pays out

As you read above, the benefits of hyperautomation are clearly seen in how it improves processes. But it’s not limited to only that benefit. Hyperautomation also creates a better experience for all involved in the process. Most importantly, it improves the day-to-day for your employees and customers.

Increased job satisfaction: Hiring and retaining top talent is an incredibly important piece of today’s business climate. Leaders have had to go over in great detail what leads to higher levels of employee retention — especially as, in today’s world, an increasing number of factors are leading to attraction and recruitment challenges.

According to Pew Research Center, one of the top two reasons given for the mass exit is lack of career progression opportunities. Hyperautomation can ameliorate this situation by empowering employees to move from low-value to high-value work. Hyperautomation provides them with increased opportunities to be a more integral part of an organization’s success.

Greater resiliency within the organization: Now that technology is taking on the manual, repetitive tasks that were once being done by employees, you can focus on improving the resiliency of your processes. Hyperautomation ensures key, everyday business activities run seamlessly as your organization changes and evolves.

Improved customer experience: Employees stuck with unrewarding, unchallenging and repetitive work often experience dips in morale and engagement. That’s bad for business and for your team. Hyperautomation can eliminate or relieve these types of dead-end work, driving up team happiness while creating meaningful efficiencies. A survey by ABBYY revealed that “six in 10 (61%) employees say their job is made more difficult through trouble accessing data in documents, and nearly a quarter (24%) lose a full day of productivity per week searching documents for information they need, to serve customers.”

Hyperautomation has the potential to give employees, and organizations, that time back.

Even if data is scattered across multiple systems and different departments, employees can retrieve all the information they need that pertains to their customers. Hyperautomation enables quicker response times and more productive interactions, leading to your ability to make your customers feel more valued by your organization.

Creating a hyperautomation strategy

Many organizations already have some automation technology in place. In this case their hyperautomation strategy should not overwrite what they’ve already established. Instead, that strategy should push their processes to the next level.

Here are the foundational steps you can take to get started with hyperautomation.

Identify business goals: What processes will benefit most from automation? Automation doesn’t have to be implemented across an entire organization in one fell swoop. Instead, focus on the low-hanging fruit that can provide quick wins. You can start finding these processes by pinpointing which are critical to achieving organizational goals.

Automate discovery with process mining: What’s happening on a process and people level? Once a hyperautomation project is identified, leaders should talk to their staff to understand the current situation. They can complement this with process mining tools to automate the discovery process, allowing them to know precisely what processes are happening and how employees interact with them.

Create a workflow map: How do processes and people work together? Look at how processes interact and what information should feed into each stage. This gives a view of the type of tasks that are currently being run and where the most likely potential obstacles will crop up.

Connect resources together: What needs to change and how do you handle that change? It’s important to make sure everyone understands how the technology works and what benefits it will bring. Change is challenging, but effective communication can help build the foundations so that teams can manage more complex tools and take on larger automation projects.

Review outcomes:
Have you achieved goals? Hyperautomation isn’t about how much more advanced your modernization strategy is. It’s about achieving success. Leaders should set checkpoints to review whether they hit the goal they set out and why (or why not).   

Ken Payne is Product Manager for Automation, Hyland.