By Sunny Rai, Vice-President, Automation, Ensemble Health Partners.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) allows organizations to automate repeatable rule-based processes and organizations across industries are deploying this technology to create a competitive advantage for themselves. This is a rapidly evolving space where a lot of investment is being pumped in, which in turn is accelerating the pace of change. As this space evolves, it is evolving from RPA to Intelligent Automation (IA) as the RPA vendors start to embed Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies into their products, further expanding the “art of the possible”. A lot of RPA vendors are already encapsulating Cognitive Vision into their product suite to improve the ability of their product to identify screen elements more accurately. In addition, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) are also being incorporated into these products.
This trend will make AI technologies more accessible to developers to embed into their solutions, drastically expanding what can be automated.
With all the advancement of technologies in this space, Gartner has identified hyperautomation as one of the top ten strategic technology trends for 2020. According to Gartner, “Hyperautomation refers to the combination of multiple machine learning, packaged software and automation tools to deliver work. Thepropensity to use particular types of automation will be highly dependent on the organization’s existing IT architecture and business practices. Hyperautomation refers not only to the breadth of the palette of tools, but also to all the steps of automation itself (discover, analyze, design, automate, measure, monitor, reassess).” (according to Gartner “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020,” David Clearley, et al, 21 October 2019)
“The impact of Automation on organization’s workforce cannot be ignored. Involving the business in the Automation program is critical so they can help define what the workforce of the future is going to look like. They must come along in the journey”
One other area that is getting a lot of focus is the introduction of process mining technologies to compliment the IA program. Historically, organizations have relied on process observations of SME’s or outdated documentation to identifying and document automation opportunities which is resource intensive and is not able to provide an accurate picture on how the whole team is performing the process. Process mining technologies accelerate opportunity identification, quantification of the benefit and on-going compliance against defined best practices. These tools are going to be become necessary to help enterprise scale the automation initiative. The RPA vendors are recognizing this as well and have started investing in this technology as well through acquisition or building the solutions in-house.
Automation is typically embedded within the Digital Transformation initiative. These initiatives are transforming how organizations get their work done and are challenging companies to create the next-generation operating model where humans and machines work together. Historically, companies have operated in their own silo’s. The accelerated way of getting job done is forcing companies to think truly end to end while keeping their customers in the center of all this. Also, companies are shifting to bring all the automation efforts under one roof to multiply the impact.
The impact of Automation on organization’s workforce cannot be ignored. Involving the business in the Automation program is critical so they can help define what the workforce of the future is going to look like. They must come along in the journey. At Ensemble, we have taken this approach and are already seeing resources redeployed to help reduce the exceptions instead of spending time working the exceptions. In addition, new jobs are starting to emerge as companies start to adapt to the new operation models. The future of this space is promising and will continue to have a major impact on how organizations of the future are going to operate.