Think you’re ready to start an automation initiative at your organization? Be careful how you choose to proceed. According to an Ernst and Young study, between 30% and 50% of all robotic process automation (RPA) projects end in failure. Yikes. Are those odds you can afford to gamble on?
Before you throw in the towel, though, here’s a more encouraging figure: Gartner expects that by 2024, organizations that combine hyperautomation technologies with process improvements will see 30% lower operational costs.
So how is hyperautomation different from RPA? And how can it improve your chances of automation success? Let’s answer those questions by describing how organizations use hyperautomation to solve specific business challenges.
Hyperautomation is a Gartner-coined term for when an organization combines an array of complementary technologies, tools, or platforms to automate business processes end to end. Hyperautomation technologies can include RPA, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, intelligent document processing (IDP), natural language processing (a type of AI), intelligent business process management (BPM), low-code tools, Platform-as-a-Service offerings, and other advanced technologies. Compared to deploying RPA bots one by one to automate repetitive tasks, there’s no question that the broader hyperautomation approach is more powerful.
Trying to operate without accelerators like these is almost certain to hold you back—or worse. According to Gartner Research Vice President Fabrizio Biscotti, “Hyperautomation has shifted from an option to a condition of survival.”
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Hyperautomation technologies are considered process-agnostic, meaning you can use them in many industries for many use cases. Consider these examples.
Trustworthiness is everything in financial services. And in the digital age, a super-heavy vault door or even a staff of Gringott’s goblins won’t cut it.
How hyperautomation helps: Hyperautomation technologies are becoming a modern imperative for risk management and accurate fraud detection. Financial institutions need to continually assess and monitor credit risk, operational risk, market risk, and more. By using machine learning algorithms, institutions can analyze large amounts of data and identify potential risks and opportunities, helping them make informed decisions and manage risks effectively. More specifically, hyperautomation can be used to detect and prevent potential cases of fraud, for example, during the Know Your Customer (KYC) process, which banks use to confirm a customer’s identity. With the vast amount of data generated from financial transactions, manual methods of fraud detection are often insufficient. Hyperautomation tools can automate transaction monitoring, flagging suspicious activities and alerting relevant analysts instantly. All this results in improved customer trust and brand reputation.
Here’s the story of one financial institution’s hyperautomation journey: The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) is the world's largest equity derivatives clearing house. For risk mitigation, the OCC was required by the US government to have complete control and visibility over its end-to-end processes. OCC implemented a hyperautomation platform across its legal department for regulatory filing processes, corporate actions, and new product development. Previously, the OCC processes were based on spreadsheets and email, and teams lacked complete visibility into processes. After automating, the OCC was able to provide clear documentation to auditors for process decisions and actions. The OCC now tracks processes end to end to monitor and reduce risk, even as regulations evolve.
Insurance companies deal with clients who are in the midst of unexpected and sometimes devastating losses. On their worst days, people need their insurance provider to make the claims process fast and easy. Leading insurers take a hyperautomation approach to make that happen.
How hyperautomation helps: By replacing manual human tasks with RPA bots, insurers can process claims faster, reduce errors, and free employees to have more quality interactions with customers. And with integrated IDP technology that can “read” claims documents automatically, insurers can pull out and sort important information in seconds. Using a variety of automation technologies also improves underwriting accuracy, as artificial intelligence tools analyze customer data with precision and speed beyond the capacity of humans and generate highly personalized, data-backed policies. Faster, more customized service leads to better customer experiences and increased policy sales.
[Take a shortcut: Appian Connected Claims is a pre-packaged solution for insurance claims hyperautomation. Watch the video.]
Government processes are notoriously bureaucratic—with red tape and complexity that sometimes hold back progress. This is where hyperautomation can really prove its power.
Many government activities can be categorized as case work, involving the processing of large volumes of data, complex workflows, and coordination across multiple departments.
How hyperautomation helps: Hyperautomation can support government case management by automating routine tasks such as data entry, document processing, and recordkeeping. By using RPA bots as part of a larger automation strategy, government organizations can process case information faster, reduce errors, and ensure compliance with regulations. Throw in some AI tools, and agencies are able to automatically analyze case data and gain insights into trends and patterns for better decision making. And workflow orchestration tools like BPM ensure processes are followed consistently, improving overall efficiency and reducing delays in case processing.
Hyperautomation can also help public sector organizations ensure compliance with regulations, for example, during the acquisition management process. And no one is more familiar with the necessary burden of regulatory compliance than government agencies. By using hyperautomation, these organizations can automate compliance monitoring and reporting, reducing the risk of non-compliance and avoiding potential fines or legal disputes.
Hyperautomation technologies can be applied to many processes in many industries. So with your whole organizational process ecosystem as your oyster, process mining is a great way to figure out where to start. A good process mining tool can give you a visual model of your current processes, identifying any bottlenecks or deviations that are throwing off your workflows and using artificial intelligence to highlight where adding automation could yield the greatest efficiency gains. If you already know what you want to automate, process mining can still be valuable on the back end for monitoring process performance and flagging areas for continuous improvement in the future.
[New to process mining? The Process Mining Guide eBook walks you through a successful process mining project step by step.]
There are so many hyperautomation technologies individually available on the market—but the whole point of hyperautomation is to have connected technologies all working in tandem. Investing in a patchwork of individual solutions for RPA, AI, low-code, etc. will leave you back at square one—trying to implement piecemeal automation tools in silos.
A good process automation platform will come with a full suite of hyperautomation technologies that are designed to work together seamlessly.
“Organizations are transitioning from a loosely coupled set of automation technologies to a more-connected automation strategy,” said Cathy Tornbohm, distinguished research vice president at Gartner. “In response, vendors are developing integrated offerings that combine technologies like RPA, LCAP and business process management into one, packaged tool.”
These platforms are leading the transition to hyperautomation, and attempting to take your organization there without one is likely to cause headaches later. To find out more about what to look for in a platform for hyperautomation, read our related article: 6 must-have hyperautomation platform capabilities.
Want to learn more about how to succeed with hyperautomation? Get the Gartner report: Gartner® Emerging Technologies and Trends Impact Radar: Hyperautomation Report