What is hyperautomation and why is it essential for the digital transformation?
According to the consultancy Gartner, hyperautomation will be one of the technological trends that will have the greatest impact in the next decade. This concept, which goes far beyond mechanising repetitive manual tasks carried out by people, refers to the automation of any business process using a combination of robotic process automation (RPA) and other advanced technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
At school, we learned that the First Industrial Revolution at the end of the 18th century used steam engines to automate the textile industry. A century later, the Second added electricity and the internal combustion engine, and at the end of the 20th century, the Third came along, with digitalisation and process automation.
We have not had long to wait for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which brings robotisation, the Internet of Things and Artificial Inteligence. A process that is pushing the advanced countries towards reindustrialisation in order to recover their ability to produce their own consumer goods in a sustainable manner. In this new context, hyperautomation, also called digital process automation (DPA) or intelligent process automation (IPA), looks like being one of the technological trends that will have the greatest impact in the coming years.
WHAT IS HYPERAUTOMATION
Hyperautomation consists of increasing the automation of business processes (production chains, work flows, marketing processes, etc.) by introducing Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). To a point where almost any repetitive task can be automated and it is even possible to find out which processes can be automated and to create bots to perform them.
In addition, hyperautomation is a key factor in the digital transformation as it eliminates human involvement in low-value processes and provides data that offers a level of business intelligence that was not available before. It can become a key factor in building fluid organisations capable of adapting rapidly to change.
THE KEY POINTS OF HYPERAUTOMATION
Hyperautomation is not based on one single technology but on integrating a number of them, including:
Robotic Process Automation
Robotic process automation makes it possible to configure software that allows robots to perform repetitive, structured tasks in digital systems.
Machine Learning is the technology that uses algorithms to teach computers to perform complex tasks by themselves without the need for additional programming by human beings.
The purpose of Artificial Intelligence is to create machines that are capable of making decisions and solving problems by emulating human logical thinking.
Big Data is a set of technologies that make it possible to store, analyse and manage huge amounts of data produced by devices in order to identify patterns and create optimal solutions.
Cobots are the prime example of collaborative robotics, in other words, robots that share tasks with human workers and are revolutionising production processes.
Chatbots are systems based on AI, ML and Natural Language Processing (NLP) that can hold a conversation in real time with a human being using text or speech.
HOW DOES HYPERAUTOMATION WORK
According to Gartner, RPA enriched by AI and ML becomes the core that makes hyperautomation technology possible. By combining these technologies, power and flexibility can be added in places where they were not possible previously. So, tasks that previously could not be automated now can be, so that human capabilities can be focused on tasks with a greater value, such as decision making, interpreting data and using critical thinking.
Gartner, ITC consultancy
Hyperautomation involves combining a variety of tools, such as robotic process automation (RPS) and artificial intelligence (AI), in order to improve business decisions
Hyperautomation platforms are varied and can be implemented on top of the technologies that companies already have. The main platform, as has been said, is RPA, but there are also intelligent business process management suites (iBPMS), integration platforms as a service (iPaaS) and information engines. Hyperautomation can also help to create a digital twin of an organisation (DTO, Digital Twin Organisation), which is a virtual representation of a product or work flow that can simulate how processes interact and show where value is created in real time.
ADVANTAGES OF HYPERAUTOMATION
Hyperautomation has numerous advantages, both for the performance of a company as well as for the well-being of its workers. These include:
The integration of disruptive technologies, such as AI, ML, RPA and NLP, into the day-to-day workings of the company, allowing it to perform processes more quickly and efficiently and reducing errors.
Increased employee satisfaction, as they are operating in a smart working environment and do not have to waste their time on tedious tasks that add no value, and it enhances the ability of the workforce to increase productivity and competitiveness.
Organisations can transform digitally, aligning their business processes and their investment in technology.
Reduction in the operating costs of organisations. According to Gartner, by 2024, combining hyperautomation technologies with redesigned operating processes will cut costs by 30 %.
Big Data and AI technology mean business information can be extracted from data and decisions made more effectively.