If you’re considering implementing intelligent automation into your operational model, it’s wise to truly understand what it is and how it’s used, from strategic to technological applications, as well as best practices for implementing robotic process automation (RPA) tools.
Below, we’ve put together some answers to the most common questions about intelligent automation.
1. What is intelligent automation?
Intelligent automation is business-developed, no code automation that pushes the boundaries of RPA to deliver value across any business process in a connected enterprise. It connects both the human and digital workforce systems, cognitive tools, applications and technologies.
Intelligent automation makes uses of digital workers: super organized, multitasking software robots that work alongside your people to automate and transform business processes. Like humans, digital workers can develop new skills over time, getting smarter and more capable. With AI, digital workers can be trained to take on increasingly complex tasks, manage vast workloads and make critical decisions to tackle work with greater speed and productivity, becoming a force multiplier in your business.
Chatbots are a prime example of this in action. When customers enter a query, a digital worker can use machine learning to identify patterns, phrases and intent, providing end-to-end query handling. In some cases, customer queries will require human interaction. When this happens, intelligent automation can be used to filter and direct requests quickly, saving the customer time on the phone and employees time redirecting calls.
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2. What are the benefits of intelligent automation?
Intelligent automation offers a broad range of potential benefits.
When your people collaborate with a digital workforce to automate critical business processes, you’ll exceed your business goals, drive quick wins and gain all the tools your business needs to respond to ever-changing shifts in demand.
By strategically using digital workers where they’re needed most, businesses just like yours are transforming time-consuming manual processes into smart, scalable process automations that exceed efficiency goals and return millions of hours of work back to their businesses.
The ultimate effect of this is that employees can spend time on more engaging and rewarding tasks that showcase their true value within the organization. Uniquely human skills such as creativity, collaboration and emotional intelligence can be brought to the forefront when tedious and time-consuming tasks are taken care of by a digital workforce.
3. What options are there for deployment?
Whatever your unique operation calls for, there’s a suitable deployment option for you.
There are three flexible deployment solutions: SaaS, choice of public cloud and on-premises.
With SaaS offerings, you can expect immediate access to digital workers from the cloud via Microsoft Azure.
For more specialized solutions, intelligent automation can be deployed on your choice of public cloud, including AWS, Google Cloud Platform, IBM, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure or via Salesforce AppExchange. You can also combine development strategies in a way that works for you, in either a hybrid or multi-cloud environment.
Intelligent automation can also be deployed on-premises in your own data center, giving you control of the technical architecture of the automations that your business depends upon to be successful.
4. What’s the difference between intelligent automation and AI?
While there’s a strong intersection between these two technologies, they’re distinct concepts with their own definitions.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior; the simulation of intelligent behavior in computers.
When matched with intelligent automation, AI enables businesses to analyze, categorize and extract unstructured data, making it functional and improving the output of complex automated business processes.
While AI is about creating autonomous workers to mimic human actions, intelligent automation is a targeted use of technology that aims to connect human and digital workforces.
5. Do I need digital workforce maintenance?
Digital workers are the product of complex engineering. However, bad things can happen to good digital workers. Even well-designed process automations have the potential for missing a beat if confronted with an unexpected change to a process.
Maintaining your digital workforce requires capacity, scalability and expertise. Having an expert maintenance team on hand is vitally important to the long-term success of your automation project.
Intelligent automation is set to be a game-changer for business. The time savings and cost efficiency benefits offer the chance to steal a competitive edge and inspire levels of productivity that have yet to be experienced. Nevertheless, it’s still important to do your research about it before starting out on your automation journey.
6. What should I look for in an intelligent automation provider?
Is there scope for innovation?
When selecting your intelligent automation provider, you should gauge their interest in your organization and ask them in specific terms what automation can do and where it can be applied. The deeper the understanding of your organization’s workload the provider has, the greater the opportunity you’ll have to innovate processes and the greater impact intelligent automation will have on your operations.
Is the experience and design user-friendly?
If your IT staff already have a lot on their plates, asking them to get to grips with complicated automation tools will only delay the successful implementation of intelligent automation. When deciding on a provider, get your users involved and ask for their input so they can help you pick an intuitive solution suited to their capabilities and working methods.
Does the platform allow for scalability?
An intelligent automation solution needs to not only match the needs of your organization but support your growth and help your business meet its goals and ambitions. Once you set about taking on these challenges and your work volume increases, will your selected intelligent automation tools be able to cope with the demand? And would they be applicable to other aspects of your business you may seek to automate in the future?
Can it integrate with your existing systems?
If you’re looking to adopt intelligent automation, there’s a good chance your organization is going through a period of change; for example, you could be shifting to more modern systems and software, but still be partially reliant on legacy processes you’ve outgrown. Digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight, so you should make sure your chosen automation solution can aid, not hinder this transition and that it can integrate with your existing systems – even the ones you plan to replace.
Does the provider enforce the appropriate security policies?
Cybersecurity has never been more important and should be at the forefront of your digital transformation journey. It should also be a priority for your intelligent automation provider, as the processes you end up optimizing could involve financial and confidential data. Ensure they have the necessary compliance certifications and the capacity to protect sensitive and significant data.