As automation, low-code, and artificial intelligence grow in terms of adoption the terminology, industry jargon, and acronyms are increasing at a rapid pace. Our team of process automation experts has compiled a list of the Top 11 automation terms to help you go from an automation novice to the subject matter expert in your company.
1. Artificial Intelligence
In its pure sense, artificial intelligence (AI) refers to systems which are self-aware, and capable of rational thought. However, in recent years, the term has been used more broadly to encapsulate the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially IT systems. These processes include learning (the acquisition of information and rules for using that information), reasoning (using the rules to reach approximate or definite conclusions), and self-correction (identifying that a course of action is proving or likely to prove unsuccessful and modifying that course).
Automation is the use of machinery, control systems or technology to manage the execution of activity which would otherwise require human input and/or intervention. The term automation software typically refers to solutions designed specifically for the purpose of automating a defined task, activity or process. In its simplest form automation includes techniques such as macro-routines and scripting, while in other cases automation software is designed to automate a highly specific task, activity or function. The most advanced and flexible manifestations of automation software will include those which deliver the orchestration and execution of a variety of activities and the management of their relationships and inter-dependencies.
3. Business Process Automation
Business Process Automation is means of managing and improving the performance of an organization's business processes through the automated application of applications and technology to undertake continuous optimization of business processes in a closed-loop cycle of modeling, execution, and measurement. Business Process Automation uses a defined set of methods, techniques, and application tools to design, enact, control, and analyze an organization's operational business processes which typically involves people, applications, information, and organizations.
4. Citizen Developers
A citizen developer refers to an end-user who creates new applications or programs from a corporate or collective code base, system or structure. In a general sense, this developer is not a professional developer who is paid to code applications, but an "amateur," someone who uses the tools available to him/her for building applications that his/her team can or will use during the course of their work.
5. Connected Cloud
Connected cloud is the concept of connecting all cloud-based systems and data regardless of the platform.
6. Digital Transformation
Companies are focused on pieces of a process that directly touch a customer versus the process behind the form. K2 thinks of digital transformation as processes in general, how to transform those processes and how to ensure the back-office systems are connected and tracking the effectiveness of the companies digital transformation strategy. For example: If you are requesting service, you have to find the right support person to answer the questions. This ends up being very manual and disconnected. If this isn’t done correctly it can really impact the experience for the customer if it isn’t done right. K2 focuses on the process behind the process because that is where our customers gain the most benefit.
7. Digitization vs. Digitalization
Digitization is the concept of taking something analog and converting it into a digital form. Digitalization, on the other hand, is the task of using digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue-producing opportunities.
8. IoT (The Internet of Things)
The primary drive for automation in the IoT is to significantly reduce operating expenditures when automation is applied to Internet-enabled devices. There are major advantages to be derived from the acquisition and organization of previously unthinkable amounts of disparate data. The ultimate result will be that your greatest asset – your people – will be freed up from more routine, repetitive, or administrative work so they can put their energy toward core business goals.
9. Low-Code Application Development
Low-code is a visual approach to app development. Low-code enables developers of varying experience levels to create applications for web and mobile, using drag-and-drop components and model-driven logic through a graphic user interface. Low-code platforms relieve non-technical developers from having to write code while still supporting professional developers by abstracting tedious plumbing and infrastructure tasks required in application development. Working together, developers in the business and IT create, iterate, and release applications in a fraction of the time it takes with traditional methods. This low-code application development enables the production of a full range of app types for disparate use cases.
10. Machine Learning
Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides computers with the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. This area of AI focuses on the development of computer programs that can teach themselves to adapt and change when exposed to new data. Unlike heuristics, which uses historical data to inform decisions, machine learning can include experimentation – testing various approaches via trial and error in order to “learn” what will deliver a successful outcome or the timeliest solution to a problem.
11. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Robotic process automation (RPA) refers to software that can be easily programmed to do basic tasks across applications just as human workers do. The software robot can execute a workflow with multiple steps across applications, such as taking received forms, sending a receipt message, checking the form for completeness, filing the form in a folder and updating a spreadsheet with the name of the form, the date filed, and so on. RPA software is designed to reduce the burden of repetitive, simple tasks on employees.
Download K2's Process Automation Glossary Infographic Now