Automation already plays a standout role in digital transformation. Going forward, the scope of its application in business will continue to expand as smart new technologies enter the mainstream.
As more organizations have moved away from slow, outdated manual ways of working, they have used automation technologies to digitize, optimize and accelerate their business processes. Now, with intelligent technologies becoming more accessible and affordable, companies are introducing artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities into their automation environments.
This new approach to automation, known as intelligent automation (IA), allows enterprises to build smarter, more complex digital solutions to meet their process transformation needs. Building business process management (BPM) applications and workflows within in an IA framework allows these organizations to push their automation capabilities forward, in order to manage a wider range of data-driven and digital tasks – much faster, more consistently and with greater accuracy than before (i.e. when these tasks were executed manually).
With the inclusion of AI capabilities like machine learning, computer vision and speech-to-text conversion, organizations can deploy process automation solutions that can replicate human actions on a range of routine, data- and content-heavy tasks. While some may view this as a major threat to human job stability, others are seeing this new level of human-machine collaboration as an opportunity to build a true competitive advantage. When intelligent, automated systems support – and, in turn, are supervised by – humans, this creates an environment where exciting new levels of productivity, quality assurance and risk mitigation are possible, among numerous other business benefits.
This new, intelligent approach to automation is ideal for businesses that want to:
Free skilled workers from mundane tasks
When mundane rule-based tasks are executed by systems rather than humans, this allows business leaders to redeploy their human talent. In many situations, skilled and experienced workers can be given more time to focus on higher-value work.
Optimize end-to-end processes
When automation platforms are augmented with AI, employees have fewer process steps to handle. In some cases, processes could be automated from start to finish.
The technologies that work together to create an intelligent automation environment allow for seamless integration and agility. As new technologies emerge, organizations can pull these into the IA environment with minimal effort.
The technology components that power intelligent automation
When businesses are able to combine the strengths of the following technologies, they can create an intelligent and future-proof foundation for process transformation.
Robotic process automation (RPA)
Rather than assigning easily repeatable digital tasks to human employees, companies can configure RPA software robots to manage these tasks using the same IT assets that humans would use, at the same user interface. This helps to save time and reduce human error without impacting the existing IT setup.
Low-code development platforms
Many companies need to redesign or refine their processes first, before introducing robotics or artificial intelligence. In order to achieve this, it’s ideal to add a low-code application development platform into the technology stack. In the low-code development environment, teams can custom build applications with digital forms and automated workflows that pull in data from line-of-business systems and leverage the capabilities of RPA platforms and AI services.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
AI is a broad term for technologies that mimic human cognitive abilities, such as ‘understanding’ natural language, working with unstructured data and finding patterns in data without being explicitly programmed to do so. With AI embedded in the automation platform, companies can gain greater value from data, support better decision-making, serve customers more efficiently and so forth.
When these technologies are combined strategically, they can address a much wider range of business pain points than they could on their own.
Your organization could use intelligent automation to:
- Push customer service and support processes to an entirely new level by increasing the existing team’s capacity to serve customers 24/7, more efficiently.
- Run a more comprehensive and intelligent fraud detection process that has the capacity to reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions and minimize false positives.
- Streamline legal research processes by intelligently managing content from multiple sources in a range of formats, including scanned documents, emails and pure digital data.
- Provide financial advisors with smart virtual assistance during complex tasks such as the processing of retirement rollovers and the opening of new accounts.
- Streamline and connect marketing technology stacks to improve visibility and provide a platform for powering marketing processes with automation and AI capabilities.
Check out our ‘Intelligent Automation Playbook’ to learn more about how implementing RPA, low-code and AI together will drive process automation.