For organizations looking to operate faster than ever, hyperautomation may strike an appealing chord. But it’s important for strategic business leaders to stop and consider what hyperautomation means, how to embrace it with intentionality and carve a path for longterm business success.
Personally, I only recently heard the term hyperautomation. When I did, it immediately grabbed my attention. I was curious to know how that differed from those other automation buzzwords. Here is how Gartner defines hyperautomation in their Information Technology Glossary:
Making Sense of Hyperautomation Buzzwords
- RPA (Robotic Process Automation): Uses scripts (or “bots”) to mimic keystrokes and mouse clicks to automate tasks. Often used to pull information from or send information to applications that don’t provide APIs.
- DPA (Digital Process Automation): Goes beyond bots and incorporates workflow, APIs, and algorithms to aid in the automation of business processes
- BPM (Business Process Management): One step in the process of automation whereby a company defines the business process, analyzes it, then improves and optimizes it before attempting to automate it
- AI (Artificial Intelligence): A catch-all for using technology to perform advanced tasks that previously were thought to require human “thinking”.
- ML (Machine Learning): A subset of AI where a machine extrapolates patterns from data, then makes decisions requiring minimal human intervention.
What I came to realize is that it incorporates all those technologies in a holistic approach. This is a reason why I like the term hyperautomation. All of these tools are working toward a common goal: getting work done better, faster, and with fewer resources.
Each one of the individual technologies provides some level of improvement. However, their convergence is like a puzzle coming together. It’s also where we can see the biggest gains.
Why Is This So Important to The SMB Company?
In a smaller-sized company, we are continually tasked with finding ways to compete with larger companies, but with fewer resources. A large company with a huge staff can add a single employee and it might not be a big deal. But in the SMB space, adding a new person feels like a rare luxury. When there are more roles and responsibilities than people to perform them, we end up wearing multiple hats. At every opportunity, we need to ensure that everyone is working on tasks using their unique skillset, experience, and creativity. If someone has tasks that automation can do more efficiently and accurately, we need to ensure that we limit the number of resources wasted. Further, we are paying the price on what we could have achieved had they been engaged in the right activity.
Often, employees worry that automation might replace them. And, in a large company, that might be true. In a small company, however, we need every person we have. Every employee is needed to not just get repetitive tasks done. But, they are also vital in creating value, serving our customers, and working together as a team. The promise of hyperautomation is to help employees get more done with less. Employees learn and use skills that will continuously be in high demand, even in entering this acceleration economy.
As CIO of a midmarket manufacturing company, part of my responsibility is to find ways to leverage digital technology. In doing so, I aim to help us keep up with and even surpass larger competitors in ways that were previously out of reach. The technologies that comprise hyperautomation give me and my team a way to align with our company leadership. This is to bring value to our customers, maximize profits, and grow company value.
What You Can Expect
In a series of articles, I will be answering questions like:
- How can we leverage an automation platform, so that we don’t just automate one process, but lay the groundwork for automating as many processes in the company as we can?
- Why does everyone start with AP automation?
- How do we achieve harmony with the business goals, so that we are able to translate the technology into true business, process, and customer value?
- What do we look for in a partner or vendor for delivering hyperautomation technology?
Bear in mind as we get into the details: these technologies constantly evolve. With each iteration, it is getting cheaper, more accessible, and easier to use. Much of my experience has been on the cutting edge, with many mistakes made, and often doing things the hard way. I hope that by sharing my thoughts and experiences with you, we can find new ways to leverage these technologies. And, to achieve the goal of doing business better, faster, and with fewer resources.