Sitting comfortably on the list of Gartner’s Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2022 is one that has made significant waves over the last few years: hyperautomation. First introduced in 2019, hyperautomation has evolved into more than a trendy catchphrase: it’s slated to perform 69% of work currently performed by managers by 2024.
What is hyperautomation? This supercharged automation strategy flings a fresh burst of energy into your existing initiatives, powering your businesses with even more sophisticated tools and technologies like:
- No/Low-Code Platforms
- Business Process Management (BPM) Platforms with Automation Workflows
- Process Mapping Tools
- Integration Platforms (iPaaS)
- Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
- Intelligent Document Processing (IDP)
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Hyperautomation prompts organizations to take a hard look at their processes, leaving no stone unturned when it comes to finding creative opportunities for automation. The above list is just the tip of the iceberg. Analysts predict that the industry will skyrocket to a staggering $46.4 billion by 2031, meaning this decade will debut even more possibilities we have yet to explore.
The 6 hyperautomation trends you must know for 2022
Some organizations are deep in the trenches with hyperautomation, while others are still dabbling on the edges, testing how it can best affect their organization. Over the next two years, experts forecast that every organization will actively use at least 3 out of 20 central processes that underpin hyperautomation.
Whichever side you’re on, now is the time to prepare your businesses for a future fully immersed in this suite of powerful technologies. Here are the top trends to consider when brainstorming your strategy.
Hyperautomation goes mainstream
As with most new technologies, hyperautomation burst onto the scene amongst a handful of early adopters, mainly large enterprises ready to experiment with significant capital. But as the technology evolved, costs slipped downward into the grasp of more budget-conscious SMEs. To meet the demands of small-to-medium businesses, hyperautomation providers are stripping services into more affordable mini tools.
What used to be pie-in-the-sky tech reserved for the likes of Tony Stark and George Jetson, hyperautomation tools like robotic process automation (RPA) can now be found in consumer operating systems and smartphones. iOS 15 can extrapolate text from a photograph. Windows 10 includes Power Automate Desktop for free, giving everyday PC users the tools to build powerful IFTTT automations. RPA has become so ubiquitous in some sectors, that vendors now use it as a free lure to bring in clients and hook them into other paid services.
The commoditization of robotic process automation
As RPA becomes an increasingly “entry-level” product, vendors are flipping their focus over to bulking up their top-tier offerings.
They’re racing to offer a comprehensive hyperautomation catalog to give customers a one-stop-shop for things like analytics, process mining, machine learning models, and more.
For BPM users, the future is fruitful: this consolidation of services will enhance both the quantity and quality of hyperautomation tools available to slide into your workflows. These “mega offerings” will skew towards low-code trends, making it easier than ever to integrate remarkably innovative hyperautomation services into your tech stack.
The commoditization of RPA doesn’t only improve access for smaller enterprises. Larger organizations can hop on this trend to diversify their hyperautomation portfolio, using the big guns for large-scale processes and engaging low-cost tools for more menial tasks.
“Low-code” will continue to trickle down into hyperautomation skills
Just as “citizen developers” are now at the helm of technology initiatives, “business technologists” will lead the charge amongst non-IT personnel taking on hyperautomation projects.
Gartner defines this new cohort as one with the “skills, interest, motivation and job scope to conceptualize, design, develop, test and produce technology, as well as data and analytics solutions.” Business technologists now make up 41% of the workforce, a growing number that showcases how in-demand hyperautomation skills are in today’s organizations.
This squadron of enthusiastic technology leaders will need the tools and training to succeed. Hyperautomation vendors will up the ante on low-code AI tools giving casual business users greater access to machine learning models. Organizations will set forth more standardized training for teams of business technologists. Low-code tools will jump from a handy competitive advantage to an industry norm: by 2024, wielders of these easy, code-free tools will handle nearly 70% of development activity.
Hyperautomation will usher in a new era of “digital twins”
In the manufacturing industry, 65% of decision-makers expect to use hyperautomation to build digital twins of their operations in the coming years. The concept harkens back to the Apollo program, where NASA constructed exact replicas of the lunar module here on Earth. While one hurtled toward the moon, this twin stayed in the lab as a precision engineering simulator.
A digital twin duplicates your operations in the digital realm. You can see how a slight change to a process will impact the ones that come after it, test how increased production would wear on machinery, or simulate how setting different speed limits for field representatives would affect fuel costs. Digital twins require a wealth of information to properly match real-world conditions, and hyperautomation is just the right data glutton to fuel the trend.
Business leaders are preparing for the future of automation by reimagining teams
Automation kept many businesses afloat during the toughest days of the pandemic. As workers return to normal operations, many feel perturbed by the increased presence of bots performing duties that used to belong to human staffers. True, their hesitations are not entirely unfounded—automation is expected to take over one in three jobs by 2025.
But on the flip side, artificial intelligence is expected to generate more jobs than it upends. Gartner estimates that AI will create two million net-new jobs by the same year. These new positions will sprout on both ends of the spectrum: in both highly skilled, vision-driven upper management and at the entry-level.
Smart organizations are revisioning responsibilities to prepare their teams for the sea change now. Instead of seeing the hyperautomation software suite as a threat, Gartner also suggests organizations start to train “fusion teams.” These hybrid teams bring together technology with the business domain expertise of a human staffer.
Automation that looks beyond routine tasks
Automation has been a boon for boosting efficiency amongst repetitive, routine tasks, but executives are exploring how hyperautomation can work alongside human thought leaders in non-routine tasks as well. Instead of mourning the loss of mundane, routine tasks to a bot, they’re encouraging their teams to start thinking about the big questions they can pursue with the help of AI.
A well-oiled back office that can invoice, analyze, and report autonomously creates new opportunities for sales, client success, hospitality, and other roles that thrive with face-to-face communication. Using the newly found time to cultivate warmer and closer relationships with customers leads the conversation in many boardrooms. AI activity shouldn’t be viewed as an adieu to human workers, but a way to infuse the human skillset with intel and insight impossible to glean through manual methods.
This should serve as a wake-up call for organizations taking their time implementing hyperautomation. It’s no longer something reserved for the technorati; it’s becoming a mainstream strategy available to organizations of all sizes.