Hyperautomation topped Gartner's list of Strategic Technology Trends for 2020. Partly because of this, the topic has gained significant traction in the market. But what exactly is hyperautomation and when does it prove useful? Is it something your organisation should consider? Read on to find out.
Hyperautomation beyond the hype
In a way, the discussions surrounding hyperautomation are similar to the blockchain hype we saw a few years ago. Everyone was talking about blockchain, but its definition and use cases were elusive. Something similar is now also happening with hyperautomation.
In order to properly explain what it is, we must first understand what automation itself means. So, let’s start there. Automation, in the context of business processes, is often referred to as Robotic Process Automation or RPA. Simply put, it’s the automation of repetitive actions.
Let’s review an example of how automation is used in the financial sphere. One of our customers provides loans to entrepreneurs. In order to determine risk scores, entrepreneurs must upload their financial administration to a system, using an XAF file. To determine credit scores, our customer needs a different file format. In the past, our customer would do the format conversion manually, but this was not scalable as the business grew. This is a simple rule-based process that can be automated by using a robot, this is automation, but it is not yet hyperautomation. Hyperautomation supports human actions by automating more “smartly.”
Let’s imagine something we are all familiar with: doing laundry. Doing your laundry by hand takes a lot of effort. That’s why we have a trusty robot (the washing machine) that does it for us. This is automation: you just put it in the machine, add some cleaning detergent, choose a program, set the time and come back when it’s done. Much better than the manual alternative, right? Yet, you still need to set the right program, choose the right amount of detergent and so on. Hyperautomation would go one step further. It can detect the quantity and type of clothing to determine exactly how much and what kind of detergent is needed. It can even choose a program automatically. Now, it’s even easier. You can truly do laundry with the press of a button. This saves you some time, but it also helps you save on detergent (the machine will only use exactly what it needs) and you don’t need to worry about choosing the wrong program.
Hyperautomation is the disciplined approach of automating business processes in a smart manner to support people in doing their job. For the technical people among us, hyperautomation combines state-of-the-art technologies like process orchestration, machine learning, and AI-based process decisions to understand unstructured data and automate repetitive processes.
As we explored in the laundry example above, Hyperautomation can have many compelling benefits. Let’s turn to some business use cases.
What can you do with Hyperautomation?
In our view, the customer support department is the perfect place to implement hyperautomation. By classifying the text in a support email, it’s possible to see what the question or issue is about and determine how to act on it. Note that a question can be asked in hundreds of different ways. This cannot be tackled by simple automation, but we can address it with hyperautomation. Instead of having a human sift and route support requests, robots are used to handle tickets and questions from customers. In many cases, the robot is so advanced that it can respond appropriately. A good side effect is that your team’s mailbox will never be full. They can focus on more meaningful work, instead of repetitive routing tasks.
The same principles can be applied in the public domain. For example, a municipality may request proposals from citizens to improve parts of the city, like placing garbage containers on an area that lacks proper garbage disposal. They could use hyperautomation to perform rule-based checks that judge if large volumes of proposals are eligible, instead of having someone that scrutinizes them.
Another important feature in this domain for hyperautomation is that the data that is generated in customer support can also be analysed. Through AI, patterns can be discovered to improve the service. This way, feedback can be processed more efficiently. For example, you can find out what the impact is of certain methods of communication to a customer, what is his response rate, and is he happy with the chosen method. Fine-Tuning to specific customer demands will increase overall customer satisfaction.
Should your organisation consider hyperautomation?
Hyperautomation is interesting for organisations that handle large volumes of requests and are looking to cleverly automate rule-based processes which currently involve a lot of manual tasks involved.
With hyperautomation, your team can go from doing manual, repetitive work to extracting value from the insights provided by smart AI tools. For example, implementing improvements using insights from the customer service example above.
Consider the structure of your business processes and how many applications are involved in the process as well. If your data is structured, you might be able to implement automation to streamline the process. If it’s not (as in the case of support requests), you can use text classification to bring structure to the data and classify it (a perfect example of hyperautomation).
Visma Connect will make you ready for Hyperautomation
Our Hyperautomation solution is designed for easy and dependable integration into any business process. We support your complete implementation. We identify the processes, train the robot to use the data and integrate your existing systems. Contact us for an introduction and to do a Hyperautomation pre-scan for your business.