The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word automatic as, “having a self-acting or self-regulating mechanism.” This definition extends to the concept of automation—in theory, automated systems and processes should be wholly independent, self-acting, and self-regulating. In reality, for automation to yield the desired results, it requires a boost from process orchestration and machine intelligence.
Intelligent automation—a perfect blend of robotic process automation, intelligent business process automation (BPM), and artificial intelligence (AI)—is the unequivocal need of every enterprise on a digital transformation journey.
Where RPA, AI, and BPM Meet
The original automation technology, robotic process automation (RPA), has experienced widespread adoption and exponential levels of popularity over the past few years. In fact, according to Gartner, RPA ranked as the fastest growing enterprise software category in 2018, and it is projected that, “within the next two years, 72 percent of organizations will be working with RPA,” Similarly, AI has long been a buzzword across all industries, picking up even more steam in recent years. From 2018 to 2019, the deployment of AI tripled across all industries—rising from 25 percent to 37 percent and growing.
While both RPA and AI are robust and cutting-edge technologies, they have significant limitations when implemented on their own. RPA as a solo tool is reduced to automating repetitive tasks and aggregating data. When deployed alone, RPA also creates “islands of automation”—isolated processes which can only be connected by human intervention. Conversely, AI is a powerful tool, but without a source of digitized data, is rendered obsolete.
RPA, when paired with BPM, enables end-to-end automation. AI enables enterprises to convert captured data into insights and actions. The combination of RPA, BPM, and AI helps in automating mundane tasks as well as providing cognitive decision-making intelligence, thereby enabling continuous process improvement and agility. It additionally allows for the support of structured and unstructured processes.
In moving toward the future of automation, the marriage of these three technologies is a natural fit.
The New, Intelligent Age of Automation
While processes powered by RPA can only repeat the same task on a loop without variation, implementing intelligent automation gives those same automated bots insight into the tasks they are performing. This means that without losing speed or accuracy, automatic processes can run differently every time by adapting dynamically to the context of each singular task.
It’s Time for Businesses to Embrace Intelligent Automation
Beyond preserving the accuracy, speed, and cost reductions promised by intelligent automation, additional business benefits, including:
- High quality customer experiences
The implementation of intelligent bots ensures that not only are customers served 24/7, they are also met with high quality, intuitive interactions and an unparalleled continuity of service as bots pull information from a centralized data source and generate real-time context for each interaction.
No matter how high the demand, intelligent automation enables bots to provide dependable, intelligent, and continuous customer experiences.
- Increased productivity
Intelligent automation-enabled processes run quickly and intuitively, processing a range of different types of transactions at extremely high speeds. This reduces the burden on knowledge workers, thereby freeing up their time and energy for more complex issues and reducing the dependence on IT altogether.
Additionally, intelligent automation is extremely user-friendly and does not require technical skills to deploy intelligent bots for specific processes, making it the ideal application for knowledge workers across all industries.
- Flexibility and scalability
Not only does intelligent automation reduce organizational spending in the way of reduced turnaround times and cheaper, round-the-clock work, it also effectively enables organizations to operate on a transaction-by-transaction basis—negating the impact of process volume on costs. This allows businesses far more flexibility and scalability in their operations, from daily fluctuations to large-scale, enterprise-wide changes.
The Future Lies in Intelligent Automation
Intelligent automation takes RPA one step further—carrying out tasks and processes with human-like levels of intuition and awareness. Furthermore, intelligent automation retains the scale, repetition, and breakneck speeds that RPA introduced to the market without compromising on data-driven optimization. Intelligent automation is automation in its purest form—embodying the idea of a self-acting, self-regulating mechanism with the power to think and perform independently of human intervention.
Varun Goswami, Global head – New Products COE, Newgen Software