How can companies pursue the new era of hyperautomation?
Due to labor shortages and the pandemic, businesses and organizations are increasingly exploring ways to work smarter and more efficiently with the workforce they have.
There are a plethora of tasks within any business that simply don’t need to be performed by a human being. This is where hyperautomation comes in.
In short, hyperautomation occurs when an organization combines advanced technologies to automate business as much as possible. By connecting all the siled front-end and back-end applications used by organizations, hyperautomation has the potential to make businesses more efficient, reduce their margin for error, and free up time for more creative or strategic endeavors. .
Over the past year, the adoption of automated solutions has grown exponentially. In 2022, research by Oracle suggest that more than 31% of companies have now fully automated at least one function. But with a new era of hyperautomation on the horizon, the big question is: are businesses ready?
Here are three ways businesses can pursue hyperautomation.
1. Automate the Basics First
When embracing automation, the temptation is to try to solve all of your problems at once. But, more often than not, this approach ends up doing just the opposite. Instead, companies are ironically struggling to migrate and quickly revert to the slow, manual processes they once used.
Fortunately, running before you can walk is easily avoidable. Start by identifying and automating mundane tasks of low complexity and high frequency. Setting up automations for tasks and activities you rarely do doesn’t make sense. Likewise, don’t start with tasks that actually require human creativity, they are rarely straightforward. Therefore, companies must first identify the basic tasks that take time. Activities that typically fall into this category include data entry, data extraction, and sending files to the right stakeholders.
Another common mistake is falling for the AI hype. Don’t try to over-engineer your workflow with a complicated AI solution that doesn’t really work. Instead, start with automations that use deterministic logic. So when ‘x’ is used, ‘y’ appears. Some businesses will no doubt have moved past this, but in all honesty, 99% of businesses haven’t exhausted the potential of simple formula-based automation.
2. Leverage crucial data
When used and collected correctly, data can be an extremely powerful resource. Many market leaders rely heavily on data to stay informed and improve their performance. However, in 2020, a Seagate survey revealed that 68% of all data in a company is not used.
In order to transfer data quickly and efficiently, any automation requires data access. Take copy-and-paste, one of the most common data tasks; With the right access, automation can dramatically speed up this process. So your business needs those numbers before 8am, the automation will stay on all night for you. The same goes for hyperautomation, the only difference is that it needs more data from more sources.
When we talk about data, it is important to highlight the two main categories of information, “structured” and “unstructured” data. Structured data, perhaps better known, refers to data that is formatted and more clearly organized, such as numbers found in an Excel spreadsheet.
Meanwhile, unstructured data simply means data that does not contain a predetermined pattern or schema. For example, found information embedded in images, videos, and text files. While both are important, it’s the latter that organizations often struggle to leverage. Information found in files such as PDFs is generally much more difficult to extract, and therefore more difficult to automate.
To prepare for hyperautomation and make it a smoother and easier transition, companies need to adopt tools that prioritize structured data. This way, due to the readable format, hyperautomation and AI technology will be able to process and interpret larger amounts of information. This results in faster results and better insights based on historical data and trends. Data is not scary, it is essential and must be embraced.
3. Involve other teams and staff
Even if you are working alone, successful automation is likely to depend on and impact multiple parties. Therefore, it is extremely important to ensure that these people, groups or clients are included in the process.
Given the number of processes that can and are automated, the priority and benefits may vary by employee and department. With this in mind, it is essential to consider how hyperautomation will likely change and alter the responsibilities of others. This will ensure good long-term planning and ultimately facilitate and support digital transformation.
To further increase efficiency, by predicting the impact of automation, business leaders and managers can redistribute resources and even retrain staff. Organizations can then move away from manual, administrative processes and focus their attention on areas that are not yet ready for automation.
Finally, companies need to ensure that all relevant teams are embracing automation simultaneously. This will prevent fatal bottlenecks and ensure that gaps in legacy processes are addressed quickly. Only then, once an organization has been able to properly automate multiple business processes effectively, is a business ready to fully leverage hyperautomation.
When it comes to joining the dots, hyperautomation is going to be a game changer. But, for now, companies need to focus on the essentials.
About the Author
Niels Martin Brochner is the co-founder and CEO of the Copenhagen-based company Book of contracts – a contract lifecycle management platform specializing in data-driven contract automation. Backed by Bessemer Ventre Partners and Google through Gradient Ventures, Niels’ company has more than 250,000 users in 85 countries and is used by industry leaders such as TED, The Student Hotel, Mutebox and E.On. Niels is a Forbes contributor and was named one of Denmark’s Top 100 Young Talents in 2019. He also holds a Master of Arts in International Management from the University of Westminster.
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