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Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Jumpstart Your Hyperautomation Journey, Part 2

Roland Alston, Appian
May 5, 2021

Hyperautomation is about making humans more human.

So said automation expert Arjun Devadas in the first episode of this two-part post on hyperautomation. (Read part one here). Devadas-who serves as Senior Vice President, Professional Services & Operations, Americas at Vuram, a hyperautomation services company-debunked a few myths and spilled some pragmatic tea on how to get the most out of your hyperautomation journey.

The important question, says Devadas, is how to prioritize human engagement, empathy, and innovation and augment the capabilities of human workers with technologies that are shaping the future of business automation.

Digital bots will complement human workers and not replace them, says Devadas. In fact, he urges companies to educate their workers about hyperautomation and how it will liberate them from tedious, repetitive work with super powers like AI, machine learning and robotic process automation RPA. Devadas also quashes the misconception that you can make your hyperautomation journey without getting IT involved.

To do hyperautomation right, says Devadas, you need IT involved. You need a COE (center of excellence) setup. You also need a governance model to select the right use-cases for your hyperautomation journey.

Enough said. It’s time to cue the final episode of: Straight Talk, No Chaser: How to Jumpstart Your Hyperautomation Journe:

Appian: Based on your experience, which use-cases do you think best captures the business value of using low-code on your hyperautomation strategy? That's the first part of the question. Secondly, based on your experience, do you think companies are getting more aggressive about automating business processes? Or are clients still cautious about scaling automation?

Devadas: Sure. To answer your first question, we recently built a platform for invoice processing. This was a strong use case for automation because it involved BPM and IDP. It also involved a bit of AI and ML. So, this wasn’t just a workflow tool. It was a hyperautomation solution. The customer was an investment bank, a big institution handling billions of dollars in transactions and doing much of it manually.

So, a traditional BPM platform wouldn’t work because there were no set templates for the transactions.

But with a low-code automation platform, we were able to build a solution that enabled the customer to raise their page automation rate to 85 percent and significantly reduce the need for slower, less efficient manual processes.

Appian: And what was the business impact of that?

 Devadas: Within a month, the customer was able to process invoices 55 percent faster than before. Coming back to your second question about why companies are cautious about scaling automation. I think they have a hard time figuring out the best tool for the job. The challenge for many companies is selecting the right tools for their hyperautomation journey. There are lots of tools out there. But choosing the right one is essential.

 Appian: What about choosing the right use-case?

 Devadas: Every use case may not be the right one for scaling. So, you want to select a use-case with the best potential for a solid ROI. So, picking the right use-case is critical. Next, identify organizational champions to lead change management in your organization. Change management is a critical success factor in the hyperautomation journey as well.

Another challenge to consider is that too many companies fail to adopt an Agile approach to hyperautomation. Think about scaling your automation tool kit like building a Lego project. That way, you don’t have to wait until it’s complete to find out whether you’re on the right path. In working with customers, we advise them to start small and then build on top of that. This makes change a lot easier to evangelize because you're breaking it down and making it more consumable.

So, I think these are the main things to focus on: Select the right use-case, identify internal change champions, and adopt an Agile approach to hyperautomation.

Appian: So, if you’re a senior exec in a large organization, how do you know it’s time to start on your hyperautomation journey? What are some of the signs to look for?

Devadas: As I said earlier, hyperautomation is a tool kit that you build over time. It’s not something that you can just go out and purchase. And it doesn’t happen all at once. But any organization with lots of manual business processes, lots of siloed systems that aren’t connected, and very low visibility into data across the organization needs to get serious about hyperautomation.

Let's say that I'm a C-level executive who needs visibility into critical operational data. If you have to send five emails to five different people and wait for a week to get back all the data you need, you need a hyperautomation tool.

 If your employees are complaining that they're doing the same routine over and over again every day, it's a sign you need a bot there, so your employees can do something that adds more value. And, certainly, if you’re having a hard time managing disconnected technology across your organization, it’s time to adopt a centralized tool. So those are some of the basic signs it’s time to start your hyperautomation journey.

Appian: One last question before we wrap. What would you say are the two or three biggest misconceptions people have about Hyperautomation? What myths would you like to debunk?

Devadas: I would say for C-level execs, don’t think of hyperautomation as a single go-to solution that will solve all your problems. That’s a misconception. Hyperautomation is a tool set. It’s like taking a Lego approach to automation. And low-code allows you to scale automation much faster and much quicker than you can with a Java or Dotnet platform.

There’s also a misconception that you can do hyperautomation without IT involvement. But that’s not true. You still need IT to be involved.

You still need a COE (center of excellence) setup. You still need to have a governance model to make sure that you're doing the right things. You want to make sure that you have a governance model, and make sure you're selecting the right use-case for a hyperautomation solution.

Appian: Let’s stop right there. Arjun Devadas, Senior Vice President, Professional Services & Operations, Americas. Thanks for participating in Digital Masters.

 Devadas: Thanks for having me.

Vuram's Appian Expertise doesn't end here. Check out their Appian World 2021 page to see what they are up to.