Automation has taken much of the business world by storm. For a good reason – it presents the continuum of the digital transformation journey transition that transforms process-focus to data-focus. Human workers also need assistance to ensure they can move from repetitive, rule-based tasks to activities requiring higher-value insight. As a result, automation becomes a requirement. However, now we have moved up to hyper-automation – listed as one of Gartner’s Top 10 trends for 2020. But, what is hyper-automation, and how is it different from RPA?
Defining Robotics Process Automation
According to Gartner, “Robotics Process Automation is a noninvasive integration technology used to automate routine, repetitive, and predictable tasks through orchestrated UI interactions that emulate human actions.” There are also two distinct classes of RPA: Assisted and unassisted.
- Assisted: Bots are deployed on each desktop portal where the human worker does execute specific activities while the bot performs the more complex and repetitive aspects.
- Unassisted: A managed and centralized server deployed bots via scheduling for automating workflows.
How does Intelligent Automation (IA) play a role?
While RPA tends to focus on automating repetitive and, many times, rules-based processes, intelligent automation incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) technologies like machine learning, natural language processing, structured data interaction, smart document processing.
RPA is designed to manage and automate rules-based and repetitive processes. So then, IA increases the technological capacity by adding artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, intelligent document processing, and structured data interaction. AI mimics human intelligence; therefore, it can incorporate analysis, reasoning, judgment, and decision-making.
What is hyper-automation?
According to Processmaker, “Hyper-automation refers to the use of advanced technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and robotic process automation (RPA), to automate tasks that were once completed by humans.”
Hyper-automation incorporates all the tools, including Robotics Process Automation (RPA), Intelligent Process Automation (IPA), Intelligent Business Process Management Suites (iBPMS), iPaaS, and decision management systems together. Hyper-automation is the ultimate automation toolbox- it can use AI to fine-tune cognitive functioning to surpass basic task automation to intelligent orchestration, which then induces adaptive decision making, predictive insights, and guided recommendations. The only question is where to start extending your current automation technology footprint with hyper-automation.
What’s the main difference between hyper-automation and RPA?
Cross-functional collaboration. Before RPA, complex coding was required to drive automation. Today, RPA has simplified execution with robots. However, RPA is restricted to the automation of predefined and repetitive tasks. To institute hyper-automation, cross-functional collaboration is necessary. Hyper-automation takes RPA to the next level by facilitating intelligent and adaptive processes that recommend the next course of action instead of executing the same activities until told to stop.
In fact, hyper-automation breaks through inter-functional boundaries. Instead of RPA repeating the same monotonous activities, hyper-automation uses intelligence to decide the best strategy for performing those activities.
How does hyper-automation feel?
Hyper-automation provides digital workers who are interactive and responsive. Human workers can ask these digital workers questions as well, such as “where may I access that critical report?” Hyper-automation creates an environment where human workers can find what they need to improve productivity and efficiency. Also, interaction uses natural language processing that can respond to complex and long-form questions, for instance, “Would you find out which customer service agent worked on the highest number of tickets for Client A23GB684 in 2020? Next, would you ask the sales department at what percentage did they meet their 2020 quota?”
As you can see, this type of question requires a more profound understanding than merely asking what time is the next conference call. Further, some information is sensitive. Yet, hyper-automation provides the tools to get the right answers so human workers can make data-driven and more informed decisions. If a bot can understand natural language, then any human worker can ask a wide variety of questions – it’s akin to having a personalized company-based search engine. Human workers can also get the answers they need on a timely basis.
If your company already utilizes RPA, then hyper-automation is the next step in the automation journey. Nonetheless, it is crucial to consider whether a hyper-automation platform can support all the components you desire for driving end-to-end automation. Hyper-automation takes RPA out of the back office and into a client-facing environment. Invariably, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the demand for an always-on, digital society.
As an award winning intelligent business process management suite, ProcessMaker can help your organization find the best opportunities for hyper-automation. Leverage RPA bots inside your processes thanks to ProcessMaker’s out-of-the-box connectors with popular RPA vendors such as Automation Anywhere and UIPath. Get a 7 day free trial or view our demo videos.