There has never been greater emphasis on speed. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses across the world are scrambling to adapt to, and keep pace with, rapid changes in our ways of working as well as meet the increasing digital expectations of customers.
Rapid automation deployments and scale are probably somewhere near the top of your business survival strategy tactics (well, once the factions between new and legacy systems are pacified, of course).
In the haste to automate, however, businesses could miss the golden opportunity to digitally transform and survive market conditions.
Hyperautomation is increasing
Research firm Gartner calls the 2020 stampede towards automation “hyperautomation”.
“Hyperautomation is the idea that anything that can be automated in an organisation should be automated. Hyperautomation is driven by organisations having legacy business processes that are not streamlined, creating immensely expensive and extensive issues for organisations,” writes Gartner.
Gartner describes how many organisations are supported by a “patchwork of technologies that are not lean, connected, clean or explicit. At the same time, the acceleration of digital business requires efficiency, speed and democratisation. Organisations that don’t focus on efficiency, efficacy and business agility will be left behind.”
Taking a long-term view
Focusing on efficiency, efficacy and business agility requires more than RPA alone.
“Too often IT leaders across industries do not possess a crucial long-term vision when it comes to deploying disruptive technology and automating tasks previously executed by humans. In fact, a lack of strategic thinking in the software-buying process is seen as a barrier to automation investment 30% of the time,” writes David Poole, CEO of emerging technology consultancy, Emergence Partners, in IT Pro Portal this month.
“After all, the simple truth is that technology should augment human decision making in all cases and free resources where possible, not incorporate added complexity,” adds David.
Technology must work together
Other industry experts agree.
“It is not simply a question of scaling RPA,” says Gopal Ramasubramanian, senior director of intelligent automation and technology at Cognizant in Information Age this month. “There is in fact a need for multiple technologies to work together, including RPA along with optical character recognition (OCR), process mining, analytics, machine learning, chatbots and business process management (BPM), amongst others,” he adds.
Therein lies the limitation of pursuing hyperautomation alone: RPA is best for rules-based processes, but an end-to-end business process spans across people and technology, structured and unstructured data, rules-based and judgement work. All of which needs integrating to work together.
Integrated automation unlocks digital transformation
The integration of automation isn’t exactly an industry revelation. HFS Research wrote last year hailing ‘RPA is dead. Long live integrated automation platforms’ and championing the need for technology, people and process to be integrated.
The research firm writes: “Forget about leveraging RPA to curate end-to-end processes, most RPA adopters are still tinkering with small-scale projects and piecemeal tasks that comprise elements of broken processes. Most firms are not even close to finding any sort enterprise-scale automation adoption.
“RPA provides a terrific band-aid to fix current solutions; it helps to extend the life of legacy. But does not provide long-term answers.”
The latest HFS research shows integrated automation unlocks true digital transformation – moving beyond intelligent automation. HFS Research published research this month that interviewed 20 large enterprises and 600 enterprise leaders to unveil true progress of automation across industries.
Global leaders from the likes of IBM and UniCredit reveal that, while RPA has been a short-term, tactical play, bringing various technologies together to drive scale at an organisational level is the ultimate long-term goal.
HFS found respondents believe that the combined use of emerging technologies is more beneficial than using any of the technologies in isolation.
The firm says, “There is a growing realisation that integrated tools and resources are needed to create end-to-end automations. This inclusion of ancillary technology fits with the fact that ‘data-driven’ is emerging as a basis for automation solutions to enable cognitive, self-healing workflows, and it points to the need for a platform to orchestration these technologies.”
Orchestrate your road to the promised land
Perhaps that’s why, then, that the global process orchestration market is set to witness huge growth in the next five years. The global process orchestration market is forecast to reach $10.16 billion by 2026, according to a new report by Reports and Data – an acceleration at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 15.8%.
Enate is a SaaS process orchestration platform that enables the journey to hyperautomation. Enate orchestrates processes across a hybrid human and digital workforce, enabling rapid deployment of technology from multiple vendors and providing crucial business insight through reports and dashboards.
More haste, less speed?
Inertia is not an option to keep pace with market changes: speed is a market requirement. Businesses instead need to make smart technology buying decisions that are underpinned by a long-term, flexible strategy. Only an integrated orchestration platform will provide the technological agility, process overview and business insight for hyperautomation to truly succeed, ensuring businesses more than survive in a post-pandemic world to become future market leaders.