In the Gartner report for the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2020, hyperautomation was placed as the top new technology trend to look out for. Upon publication, this sparked a great deal of controversy, as both companies and workers debated how integrated automated technology could and should be within all aspects of their business.
However, once the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to operate entirely online at the start of March 2020, businesses began to realise how significantly the use of sophisticated automated technology could affect their profits and workplace productivity.
Furthermore, it is imperative that companies continue to understand how new technology such as hyperautomation is shaping the way businesses operate today and in the future of the workplace.
In this article, we will explain what hyperautomated technology is, why it matters to businesses, its potential drawbacks and finally, our take on whether it really is the new technology of the future.
According to Gartner, hyperautomation is an extension of automation. Automation is when technology is used to automate tasks that once were done manually by humans. Hyperautomation, therefore, deals with the integration of advanced technologies.
As Eric Tyree, the head of research and AI at Blue Prism put it in an interview, hyperautomation is “intelligent automation, or simply put, the infusion between robotic process automation and artificial intelligence”.
Hyperautomation is a strategy that can span the whole spectrum of operations within a business. It automates operations that are time consuming or complex and simplifies them. The goals of this strategy include: improving workplace efficiency, freeing up time for innovation and improving the quality of work.
The tools hyperautomated systems may use include artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), robotic process automation (RPA), low-code application platforms and virtual assistants. The key aspect of hyperautomation is that it is not simply one tool that an employer may use within their company. Rather, it is an integration tool.
The below infographic, as inspired by the great work of AI Multiple, displays how hyperautomation can make responses to emails instantaneous for businesses.
Companies like Amazon depend a lot on AI automation within their business. They use AI to target the consumer with products they know they’ll like and automation is used within their warehouses to package and dispatch the product. The next steps Amazon may take in terms of hyperautomation may include investing in driverless delivery options such as self-driving cars which will further minimise their employee expenditure.
Hyperautomation is essential to the functionality of businesses in the digital age.
The first reason is that it embraces the integration of multiple automation styles. Nelson Petracek, the CTO of TIBCO Software says that hyperautomation is the necessary form of new technology as it rejects the notion that automation has to come from “one tool or technique”. Rather, it embraces that “different automation” tools “require different approaches and technical foundations”.
Another reason that we need hyperautomation is that it can allow for more complex processes. In the same interview, Vijay Kurkal, the CEO of Resolve argued that the value of hyperautomation is how it can “help move organisations beyond the simple, task-based automations to the more complex processes.”
According to reports from as far back as 2012 by McKinsey, employees spend 1.8 hours every day, equating to 9.3 hours a week on average, searching for and gathering information. This is because there is significantly more data and information for businesses to work through and this is only increasing, with reports saying that the amount of data companies create and manage doubles every four years.
Businesses, therefore, are constantly looking for ways to accelerate knowledge discovery. With the right hyperautomated software, this time could be severely shortened and this is only one example of what hyperautomation in the business can be used to solve.
In fact, it is reported that organisations can lower operational costs by 30% by 2024 if they combine hyperautomation technologies with redesigned operational processes. In one example from Loan.co.uk where AI was used to deal with their lender offer cases, the technology could get through 100 cases in 30 seconds. For comparison, the human speed was around 20 minutes per individual case.
Hyperautomation will also greatly increase innovation in the workforce as it will free up the time spent on manual processes. It will allow businesses to operate more efficiently, and this will reduce the costs of businesses, potentially leading to a mass migration of employment to the entrepreneurship field.
When hyperautomation is eventually fully embraced by companies, it will lead to a revolution in all processes of business: manufacturing, distribution, logistics, all could be made more efficient by hyperautomation.
If there are so many clear reasons why businesses need hyperautomation, then one could reasonably ask why it hasn’t been implemented on a broad scale? There are a few challenges that businesses face when integrating hyperautomation into their business.
According to Chris Porter, the CEO OF MaxBotix, whilst the demand for intelligent automation has increased, the understanding of “which business processes to automate and the type of automation to deploy, or even the extent to which automation can help the organisation, can be challenging without the right expertise.”
Furthermore, it is less about demand and more about having the right people who know what they are doing when it is integrated into the company. Porter cites the need for organisations to have a strategy for automation and enough money for them to invest in the “suite of hyperautomation products to help them maximise the impact of the technology”.
Another aspect that may slow down the implementation of hyperautomation is that for it to work, all the automation tools that underpin the hyperautomation need to be up and running. However, according to reports, it is relatively difficult for RPA to be integrated into companies. In a survey, 50% of respondents said that RPA was harder to integrate than they had initially expected.
AI may be able to help with the process of encouraging businesses to become hyperautomated. This is because it can provide unbiased analysis of the business processes already being used, and can point out its failures or opportunities for higher efficiency.
Our beta service is able to encourage businesses to focus further on hyperautomation as it can help to improve team collaboration and organisational transparency through automated knowledge discovery between business departments. Organisations can integrate their workplace applications and create an automated and centralised data feed that displays activity updates in real time. You can find out more about, and sign up for, our beta here.
Despite the potential challenges of integrating hyperautomation into businesses, it is certain that hyperautomation will be a critical component in the future of business. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought more data online than ever before, and more open-source and sophisticated algorithms are being developed each day, and are available on communities like Hugging Face. Businesses need to act now if they want to keep up with this new technology that is already transforming many industries.
It has been reported that if the global market enables hyperautomation it will be worth almost £430bn in 2022, which is a 24% increase on the previous year’s figure. This is perhaps what inspired Fabrizio Biscotti, the research vice-president at Gartner to say that “hyperautomation has shifted from an option to a condition of survival”.
Other experts in the field share similar sentiments. Vijay Kurkal refers to hyperautomation as the “next iteration of intelligent automation” that “will no doubt transform the way IT operations adapts for the future.”
In terms of overcoming the challenges of implementing hyperautomation in businesses, it has been reported that Intelligent Automaton projects may not be reaching their full potential because of the lack of c-suite buy-in. By having more people at the top of organisations advocating for hyperautomation, a lot of the difficulties faced when trying to integrate automated processes into companies could be overcome.
Therefore, businesses must ensure that they have the right technology in their company to make way for the hyperautomated future.
Is your business ready for the hyperautomated future? What steps are your company taking to hyperautomate its processes? Let us know by sending us an email at email@example.com or send us a message on our Twitter or LinkedIn.