The world around us has changed faster in the past two years than in any other era in our collective lives and will most likely continue to evolve at the same pace or faster in the coming years. What was once considered ‘business as usual’ no longer exists, with the rapid pace of technology advancement, global forces including climate change, viral diseases and even political unrest causing unprecedented turmoil and opportunity for society and businesses alike.
Now more than ever the phrase “amid chaos lies opportunity” should be resonating with business leaders. This is not a time to hesitate but rather a time to adapt and move swiftly. The world has changed and those who can adjust quickly will come out on the other side stronger and with a greater market share. Herein lies tremendous opportunities.
According to the 2021 Gartner Board of Directors Survey, “69% of boards accelerated their digital business initiatives in the wake of COVID-19 disruption. Almost half anticipate changing their organizations’ business model as a result of the pandemic.” We live and breathe in a digital world. To stay ahead of the competition, serve our customers better and in the way they want, to grow market share while moving faster and more efficiently, companies must look to technology for assistance.
Robotic Process Automation is dead, long live Hyperautomation.
I say this with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the automating of simple, rule-based tasks, and is an excellent starting point in digital transformation. However, as many companies start down the path of transformation, they soon find that they need more than just the automating of tasks; they need to be able to make sense of all the data that they have accumulated and have stored in dispirited backends and repositories.
“Hyperautomation is a revolutionary approach to maximize the benefit of digital transformation to enterprises.” Hyperautomation is the application of advanced technologies such as RPA, Artificial Intelligence, (AI) Machine Learning (ML), and Process Mining to augment and automate processes, enhance the use of analytics in ways that are more impactful than traditional automation.”
Keep in mind that Hyperautomation is not just the bringing together of several technologies; it is the reimagining and redesigning of the entire business model. It is a continuous effort redefining the value you are bringing to your end user and redefining the business models that support those initiatives. In addition, according to Forbes, “Every day we create roughly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, and that number is growing at an exponential pace.” By applying technology to help you make sense of all your accumulated data you can make impactful and insightful business decisions.
Stakeholders in the Hyperautomation Journey
Reimagine engagement with both your internal and external customers. Your internal customer is the talent in your teams that help you engage with your external customers either directly or indirectly. They are the people you want to help by freeing up their time from mundane and repetitive tasks so that they can apply their creativity and insight to more high-value work. This is the core premise of the ‘digital workforce’. The common definition of a digital workforce is digital tools and technologies that enable your teams to work smarter. They are not encumbered by an office or legacy systems to accomplish their tasks and goals. Providing talent with a digital workforce that can work alongside them doing the tasks of copying and pasting data from one repository to another, as an example, will free them up and improve their productivity and morale.
Managing business processes old school—manually and email-based—can make tracing key information difficult. Executed well, the deployment of a digital workforce should result in humans refocusing their available time to pursue innovative growth strategies and finding new ways to improve the external customer experience.
As for the external customer, the journey has and continues to change at a dramatic pace. If we look at our world today, smartphones grant us access to information, forge connections and transact at the palm of our hands, live streaming has opened up our world of consuming content, crowdsourced GPS provides the fastest way for us to reach our destinations, ride sharing has transformed transportation (as will large scale adoption of self-driving technology), short term rentals have disrupted the way we plan travel – and the list goes on. The commonalities in all these examples are the instant gratification and personalization that they provide. Thanks to digital-native companies, customer expectations have changed too. Customers expect to engage with you seamlessly, with speed and simplicity. They demand a highly personalized experience and interaction with proactive recommendations and offers. If your legacy processes cannot provide that experience promptly, you run the risk of losing that customer to a savvier competitor.
Hyperautomation can enable that level of personalization by predicting customer needs and accommodate the instant gratification of information and service through prescriptive engagement – all powered by artificial intelligence.
Where to next?
It isn’t enough to simply automate existing processes. Look at that big picture and long-term view and think about how automation (today) and hyperautomation (soon after) is going to transform your business. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- What am I trying to automate?
- What types of data do I need to use today and what would I need for decision making in the future?
- Can I reimagine my business model with hyperautomation in mind? What is that vision?
Once you’ve asked yourself these questions and are on your way to creating that redefined business model, begin layering automation onto it and then introduce the concept of hyperautomation to the plan. With this long-term view, you will create additional value in your customer base and with your teams. This isn’t just about updating a legacy system; it’s about redefining and evolving your business to stay ahead of the curve.
Hyperautomation in the path ahead
Each year brings with it new market opportunities and scope for growth. The goal of every forward-thinking leader will always be to find ways to empower their talent and enhance the customer journey of their products and services with the mission of sustainable growth. Adding Hyperautomation with ML and AI to the right processes connects disparate data sets, eliminates inefficiencies, lowers lead times, reduces process times, provides greater customer insights and experiences, and results in more empowered and productive team for that brighter future.
We think it’s time to get rid of the swivel chair. Let’s talk about how we can help you on your automation journey. Explore our experience with enterprise automation and let’s accelerate your organization on its digital path.