Businesses are increasingly adopting and implementing automation solutions to improve efficiency, productivity, and, ultimately profitability. Research from Deloitte found that early adopters of automation observed outcomes such as “improved productivity (95%), improved compliance (93%), reduction in costs (91%), and improved data quality (77%).” But most businesses today are familiar with disparate automation tools such as workflow, artificial intelligence, or robotic process automation (RPA). Fewer have heard of the equally-as-relevant term intelligent automation (IA).
Intelligent automation is even more crucial for businesses to understand because it is the umbrella under which solutions such as workflow, artificial intelligence, and RPA sit. It encapsulates many technologies businesses can use to future-proof and stay competitive. Below we dive into intelligent automation – what it is, how it can benefit businesses, and why it’s the latest must-know concept.
What Is Intelligent Automation?
Intelligent automation is more of a practice than a technology or individual solution. Its premise is that it connects separate automation technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, analytics, mobility, process automation, and information management.
The concept of intelligent automation requires organizations to rethink how their operating models work. From re-engineering operations to empowering people to adopt new roles and responsibilities – intelligent automation is similar to digital transformation in that it overhauls the way a business works. Intelligent automation enables humans to conduct actions they would not be able to without the help of a computer. It amplifies existing human intelligence, whereas artificial intelligence on its own simply removes the need for human involvement and helps machines become autonomous for smaller tasks within a larger process.
Why Is Intelligent Automation Relevant for Businesses?
Intelligent automation can help humans better use their time, which in turn allows businesses to reduce inefficiencies. As the umbrella under which automation tools live, IA enables the automation of repetitive tasks, which enables humans to spend more time on tasks that require human-only attributes such as intuition or empathy. A combination of workflow, RPA, AI, and other tools integrate into a business that embraces IA for a smarter allotment of labor.
IA turns huge amounts of data into information that can be processed and validated with minimal human interaction. If an enterprise is changing any core applications, IA can identify which processes are going to be most affected during the change. It can help businesses prepare and get through operational shifts and help them scale. Research from the Harvard Business Review found that “Organizations believe they can now transform their business processes, achieving higher speed and accuracy by automating decisions on the basis of structured and unstructured inputs. They expect an average payback period of 15 months – and in the scaling phase, just nine months.”
What Technologies Are Involved in Intelligent Automation?
It’s worth a quick review of all the solutions that are wrapped up in the umbrella that is IA:
Robotic Process Automation
According to Deloitte, the most complete RPA tools combine step automation, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, machine learning, autonomics, and machine vision.
AI is a group of technologies that function like humans, and it enables machines to understand, operate, and learn. Through AI, businesses can see a decrease in human error, and they can remove humans from manual tasks to focus more on the ones that require intuition or empathy.
Machine learning refers to the process of automatically discovering patterns in data and allowing humans to help the algorithms decide and “learn” as part of a validation process if required.
Natural Language Processing
NLP refers to the ability of a computer to interpret human language – such as words within an email to determine the sentiment – and take resulting appropriate actions.
Workflow/Process Orchestration is the “information automation” component of information management. System and user-driven events can be initiated, you can use decision or rules-based routing to other steps/queues, and can provide approval, exception, and validation type outcomes.
With analytics, users gain increased visibility, operational insights, and they can reduce their risk of non-compliance and remove inefficiencies. Dashboards can have graphical and/or data grids that are interactive. Dashboards that represent real-time data can drill all the way down to the transaction or document with the audit trail and audit history easily available.
Mobility allows users to initiate and participate in workflow processes as well as capture, store, and retrieve documents and transactions from the following mobile devices; iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone, Android. Mobility interacts in real time with capture, data extraction, validation, RPA, and workflow/process orchestration tools to enable customers, vendors, and employees to use mobile devices at any point in a transaction’s lifecycle.
Store and retrieve documents and transactions outside of or in concert with your core systems. Compliance, audit trails, collaboration, and workflow automation all tie into the information being managed.
As more and more businesses embrace automation to revolutionize their operations, these technologies – and the overarching concept of IA – will continue to permeate the enterprise. If you’re interested in what intelligent automation can do for your business, contact us, schedule a demo, or email us at email@example.com.