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Is Your Business Ready for Hyper Automation?

Is Your Business Ready for Hyper Automation?

The term “hyper automation” became popular overnight in October 2019, when Gartner placed it at the top of their list of Strategic Technology Trends for 2020. Since then, there’s been a lot of talk and even more confusion about exactly what this means (and when it will actually be broadly implemented, if ever).

The good news is that the path to hyper automation can be clearly mapped out in five steps of evaluated maturity, and it’s not difficult for most organizations to identify where they are in their journey.

Perhaps even more critically, those who are interested in increased automation should first identify what their goals are and how more automation will serve them. That’s where the experts at Apexon can help you determine what level of automation would best support your organization’s plans for tomorrow. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The Five-Stage Maturity Model to Hyper Automation

While discussions of the automation maturity model can quickly get highly technical, the stages themselves are fairly easy to understand:

  1. Manual Operations. Organizations that rely on manual operations still exchange paper and rely on offline tools may use some digital components, but their workflows tend to be pretty disconnected.
  2. Integrated or Native Automation. Most companies are at this stage in the automation process: they have standardized systems to a certain extent, but they necessarily rely on some manual processing of data. For example: Excel can run automations for you, but you still need a person to input the data and commands.
  3. Basic Automation: Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Organizations that use RPA are more dynamic. For these companies, some processes are handled completely by robotic tools. There isn’t necessarily artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML) involved at this stage, and not everything is automated. In fact, it’s likely that even if 90 percent of your processes are automated, as is the case with many insurance companies today, that last 10 percent is still handled by employees. In this example, perhaps the human element is still indispensable for claims disputes or complex adjustments.
  4. Intelligent Automation. In this context, organizations that rely on intelligent automation check all the boxes of both integrated and automated organizations, and they actively use models. In most cases, these organizations still require some level of administration or attention from an engineer, but this is also typically just a beachhead on the way to the fifth (and most mature) stage of hyper automation.
  5. Hyper Automation. To get to hyper automation from intelligent automation, organizations must make some level of investment in machine learning. In order to have the amount of data necessary to achieve this level of automation today, so it’s highly likely that your organization must be an enterprise in scale to achieve this benchmark.

What’s Holding Companies Back? Barriers to Going to the Next Level of Automation

There are three major factors that keep companies from increasing their level of automation: cost, education, and need.

Cost. This first barrier may be the most predictable: some organizations just can’t invest in RPA right now. Even enterprise-level organizations may not be able to afford the move, especially in highly regulated industries in which lower cost vendors may not be an option.

Education. When it comes to education, those working in the center of organizations often understand where and how RPA could improve processes and reduce costs, but these folks also see the way that automation might threaten their job security. So, the main hurdle is typically getting buy-in from the executive level on down. Without a robust understanding of how RPA can open the doors for people to take on more responsibilities and more complex tasks, it can be very difficult to get an automation effort moving.

Need. The final barrier we often see is the simple fact of need. Not all organizations and all industries are ready for automation, and not all really need to automate their operations. Whether you’re a small-scale manufacturer or a group whose processes require a high level of sophisticated interaction, increasing automation may be the wrong step.

How to Determine What Level of Automation You Need to Achieve

Hyper automation is a new phrase for an exciting and transformative idea that existed long before the 2019 Gartner Report. But it isn’t just a buzzword – it captures the idea of what marrying ML, AI, and process automation can do for entire organizations, perhaps even yours.
To get started on your own path toward increased automation, the first step for most organizations will be simple: complete an internal assessment of their needs. To begin this journey, reach out to our automation team today.

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