There is certainly no shortage of trends for us to keep up with within the technology space – for better or worse. Over the past number of years, my job has had me in the thick of a few of them – with the latest being hyperautomation. For the purposes of this piece, I ask if it’s worth the hype.
Let’s start with the definition of hyperautomation:
“A business driven, disciplined approach that organisations use to rapidly identify, vet, and automate as many business and IT processes as possible. Hyperautomation involves the orchestrated use of multiple technologies, tools, or platforms” – Gartner
Automate everything, everywhere
Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
For clarity’s sake, I think it is important to acknowledge that hyperautomation is an umbrella term which encompasses many different types of technologies. I see the distinction from traditional automation coming from the need to now take different technology stacks and bring them together.
Think chat bots as the data entry point from your customer – which then talks to an RPA solution – which then makes decisions based on your machine leaning algorithms – looping back to the customer with personalised information and all manual tasks completed. A financial services firm might use hyperautomation to analyse market trends and make investment recommendations, while a retail company might use it to optimise its supply chain and reduce costs.
The benefits of implementing hyperautomation are numerous. It can lead to cost savings by reducing the need for manual labour, as well as increased efficiency by automating repetitive tasks and reducing errors. It can also free up time for employees to focus on higher-value work, such as analysing data or interacting with customers.
Expleo’s report ‘Hyperautomation: From Incremental Benefits to Exponential Outcomes’ highlights how according to McKinsey, 2.6 trillion hours of work are automated in the United States alone each year, so plenty of opportunity.
However, implementing hyperautomation is not without its challenges. It’s important to have a clear strategy in place and to carefully consider the potential impacts on the workforce.
The report also highlights that by 2024, 40% of all businesses will have a strategy in place for the implementation of automation that will fill in infrastructure operations gaps. (Gartner)
Upskilling your workforce will be key to take full advantage of what hyperautomation can bring to your business. Ensuring that employees can work effectively alongside new technologies will be a differentiator as organisations adopt new solutions. Expleo’s ‘Business Transformation Index 2022’ report found that 76% of firms identify technology skills as one of their top transformation challenges.
Think Long Term
From my experience, and from the projects in our pipeline, hyperautomation at its core is about changing how we create solutions. It’s about how we work and how we service our customers. It’s about using technology in whatever form that takes, to alter how we do things at speed and scale.
I think that before you get bogged down in the enormity of what automating everything might mean for you – you should look at your organisation, your teams, your people, and decide what it is you are trying to do. What is the vision? What do you do well and how can you do more of that?
I have seen many projects over the years fail – RPA, OCR, AI – due to a distinct lack of understanding of what good looks like. There is often an over-reliance on short term outcomes, with little or no regard to longer term objectives.
This needs to change. When taking on a task such as ‘automating everything’, you should be thinking long term.
So, is it all hype?
Time will tell. However, I believe that a change in how we think about problem–solving can create long lasting and meaningful change in your organisation. The principles behind making hyperautomation successful will stay the same, even if the name doesn’t.
The world around us is changing. The expectations of our people and our customers are changing. In my opinion, it would be a costly mistake to think you don’t have to change too.