When automation emerged as a transformative force in the business landscape decades ago, it was met with skepticism and anxiety from some corners. Today, automation has revealed itself to be a great enabler of efficiency and productivity, allowing employees to move away from rote tasks to meaningful work, and helping businesses achieve untold amounts in cost savings. If automation was ‘act 1’, then hyperautomation can be considered ‘act 2’. As an emerging technology, it is already creating a tremendous amount of buzz. Hyperautomation enjoyed the no.1 position on Gartner’s list of top technology trends in 2020 and 2021. However, history is repeating itself. A transformative technology has arrived and misconceptions and myths surround its adoption, leading to hesitation on the parts of many. Some of the concerns are all-too-familiar and seem like a déjà-vu effect. In this blog, we will tackle some of the false assumptions about hyperautomation.
This is a familiar misconception associated with many cutting-edge technologies, although it is usually contrary to the truth. Hyperautomation is not meant to destroy jobs. It is designed to enhance them. It allows intelligent automation to streamline most of the repetitive and mundane aspects of business processes, leaving the meaningful ones to be handled by employees. This will allow employees to focus on creative, strategic and innovative work, making day-to-day work more interesting and improving job satisfaction. Contrary to destroying jobs, hyperautomation will likely lead to the generation of new jobs that leverage the technology to add more value. In the field of robotic process automation (RPA), we have already seen this with the rise of roles like RPA analysts. The efficiencies created through hyperautomation will lead to enhanced finances for companies and this will also enable them to scale and expand, creating further opportunities for recruitment. It is imperative for organizations to educate workers about hyperautomation, allay their fears, and create an actual understanding of what the technology entails.
Hyperautomation is the collaborative convergence of several intelligent technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). This collaborative ecosystem creates seamless networks of automated tasks that require minimal supervision. This means that much of the work is automated, reducing the workload of employees across IT and other functions. If anything, hyperautomation has the ability to free up IT personnel from their existing backlogs. The integration of ‘low-code/no-code applications’ means that hyperautomation enables citizen-driven development. Various aspects of the technology are integrated with drag-and-drop functionality, one-touch deployment and built-in connectors, reducing the need for specialized technology expertise to harness its capabilities. Hyperautomation allows process gaps to be identified automatically and remediated equally fast, again saving precious time and resources that would go into manual and error-prone process-mapping workshops.
However, taking the 'low-code/no-code' idea to the extreme, some also believe that hyperautomation can be handled without IT involvement. This is not true either. A center of excellence (COE) and a sound governance model is crucial to maximizing the impact and payback of hyperautomation solutions.
Like all technology and infrastructure implementation, hyperautomation does carry a significant initial investment cost. But the ROI far outweighs this cost, especially over the long term. Contrary to popular belief, the time-to-value for hyperautomation is surprisingly quick. According to Gartner, by 2024, organizations will lower operational costs by 30% by combining hyperautomation technologies with redesigned operational processes. With hyperautomation, your organization can achieve end-to-end digital transformation and real-time intelligence of operations to identify opportunities for cost savings as well as new business opportunities. By enabling automated discovery of process gaps and deploying intelligent technology to remediate them, hyperautomation offers cost savings across the board.
Furthermore, in the ever-evolving business and technology landscape, it will be far more expensive to not adopt a pivotal technology like hyperautomation when your competition is leveraging it to streamline processes and improve efficiencies end-to-end. It is increasingly shifting from a nice-to-have technology to a must-have.
Some hesitate to adopt hyperautomation because they fear that it is a massive undertaking that must be implemented correctly in one go, after which one must simply hope for the best. However, its scalability is one of its key benefits. Companies can start small, and leverage it in use cases that they are curious or concerned about. The great thing about hyperautomation is that it offers quantification of business process efficiency and the costs of errors. This means that you will not only be able to apply hyperautomation and improve efficiency in a use case, you will also have extensive data about its benefits and ROI which will help you get stakeholders on board. Once everyone is aligned, hyperautomation can then be scaled across the enterprise as one sees fit in various incremental stages.
The impact of this technology over the coming years will be far-reaching. It will improve job satisfaction for employees, achieve faster time-to-market for businesses, improve synergy across functions within an organization, improve relationships with stakeholders, and more. With its intelligent and automatic way of remediating and streamlining processes, some of its benefits may even be imperceptible to the human eye. But it will be improving experiences for workers, managers, IT personnel and other stakeholders across organizations.
Hyperautomation already finds extensive use in industries like healthcare, retail, manufacturing and more. In the coming years, we can expect it to find widespread adoption across sectors. The day will not be far off when we are all beneficiaries of hyperautomation in some capacity. But being early to the game will bestow your business with early-mover advantages that will be hard to ignore.
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