Hyperautomation was at the top of Gartner’s list of strategic technology trends for 2020.
And with good reason; as the adoption of automation is rapidly increasing, the technologies and tools available are simultaneously evolving and improving, setting the stage for a whole new era of automation – one that makes its potential in optimizing business processes and improving the lives of employees even greater.
“Hyperautomation is an unavoidable market state” – Gartner
But what is hyperautomation and why do businesses need to get on board with this trend? Read on to find out.
What is hyperautomation?
First, a definition of hyperautomation is in place. Hold on to your hats while we hurl through some technical lingo.
According to Gartner’s report on Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020, hyperautomation is “the combination of multiple machine learning, packaged software and automation tools to deliver work” and it “deals with the application of advanced technologies including AI and machine learning to increasingly automate processes and augment humans.”
In addition to extending across a range of tools, hyperautomation also refers to the sophistication, or steps, of automation (i.e., discover, analyze, design, automate, measure, monitor, reassess.)
In that sense, hyperautomation is an expansion of automation in both breadth and depth. Gartner explain it as going from thinking of automation as ‘simply’ RPA and task automation to thinking of automation as highly sophisticated, AI-based process automation to the level that organizations are building ‘digital twins’.
So what does this mean in plain English?
To put it simply, hyperautomation is the mix of automation technologies and artificial intelligence that, when combined, augment humans’ capabilities, allowing them to complete processes faster, more efficiently, and with fewer errors.
How is hyperautomation different from automation?
Where automation can be the simple optimization of task processes (where you set up a bot to perform a series of tasks) hyperautomation has an extra layer of robotic ‘intelligence’ that makes the processes even smarter.
You could say that where automation is the use of a robot’s arms to perform tasks quicker and with less errors, hyperautomation also makes use of the robot’s brain to perform those tasks in a smarter way.
This ‘intelligent’ layer can include AI technologies in various forms. For example, natural language processing (NPL), which lets bots interpret human speech, optical character recognition (OCR), which lets bots convert images to readable text, and machine learning (ML), which lets bots identify patterns in data.
When combined with automation software, these technologies dramatically expand the automation possibilities.
What can you achieve by utilizing hyperautomation?
The next inevitable questions are how the hyperautomation trend will affect your job or business and what can you achieve if you gear your business with hyperautomation technology today.
These are questions that we need to answer in order to understand the potential return on investing in hyperautomation.
Here, it’s important to first of all establish that the point of automation is to augment human capabilities, not to replace them. Hyperautomation should in that sense not be seen as a threat to the individual employee.
“Robots aren’t here to take away our jobs, they’re here to give us a promotion.”
To the business, hyperautomation should not only be seen as a potential opportunity, but also as an inevitable change. According to Gartner, “hyperautomation is an unavoidable market state in which organizations must rapidly identify and automate all possible business processes.”
Businesses who have already invested in automation will probably already know the benefits of optimizing tasks and processes through robots.
For businesses who have yet to discover the benefits of automation, it might be useful to think of automation as an electric beater for whisking eggs: It saves you from rather exhausting work, and you’ll get better results faster. Once you’ve got an electric beater, you’ll have no ambition of going back to a regular whisk, and you won’t understand how you could ever live without the electric one in the first place.
Now take that same electric beater and add an intelligent timer that will stop the beater from whisking your eggs when they’re perfectly fluffy. That’s the thought behind hyperautomation.
To the business that hasn’t yet invested, it may seem like the expensive icing on the cake that they can live without. But once they find out that all the other businesses are putting icing on their cakes, they’ll lose their competitive advantage.
How can you get started with hyperautomation?
Because hyperautomation by definition involves the mix of technologies, it’s important for businesses investing in it to select the right tools.
“Hyperautomation requires selection of the right tools and technologies for the challenge at hand” – Gartner
For this reason, the ease at which the tools and technologies can communicate with one another, also called interoperability, is more important than ever.
If you’re looking for a new tool or platform to operate with, a good starting point is to search for one that is easy to use, scalable, and works across platforms and systems. Particularly the latter is a must, as acquiring a system that doesn’t speak with your organization’s existing systems will cost you.
Finding a tool that speaks well with your people is, however, also crucial to the success of hyperautomation. Today, most teams are built up of people with many different skills and backgrounds, and finding a tool that can be easily used by all and collaborated within is important. Unfortunately, most automation platforms today require their users to be able to write and read code. Choosing a tool that eliminates this barrier can therefore give businesses a huge head start in the automation race.
This selection of the right tool is also what Gartner call “architecting for hyperautomation.” What this means is that “organizations need the ability to reconfigure operations and supporting processes in response to evolving needs and competitive threats in the market. A hyperautomated future state can only be achieved through hyperagile working practices and tools.”
LEAPWORK: the no-code automation platform that makes hyperautomation possible
LEAPWORK is a no-code automation platform that will gear enterprises for hyperautomation.
Due to its highly visual language and drag-and-drop building blocks, no coding is required, and automation flows can easily be collaborated within.
Learn more about no-code automation and how you can leverage it in 2020 in our whitepaper.