Could Your Organization Benefit from Hyperautomation?

When even automation isn’t fast enough to keep ahead of the competition, it’s time to consider moving to hyperautomation. Here’s what you need to know.

John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author

December 14, 2023

4 Min Read
Concept of multitasking robot to illustrate hyperautomation concept.
Tatiana Egorova / Alamy Stock Vector

At a Glance

  • Hyperautomation can boost efficiency in an organization.
  • Businesses need to fully understand their needs and goals before hyperautomation.
  • The technology behind hyperautomation is changing rapidly.

Hyperautomation is a concept that aims to automate as many business and IT processes as possible. Taking advantage of multiple technologies, tools, and platforms, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), robotic process automation (RPA), and analytics, hyperautomation promises to give adopters a tactical market advantage.

Hyperautomation elevates automation’s scope, extending it beyond repetitive tasks to provide intelligent insights, decision-making assistance, and advanced interaction with data and processes, says Alex Manders, a partner in emerging technology and innovation at technology research and advisory firm ISG in an email interview.

In essence, hyperautomation is “a culture of automating everything that can be automated,” observes Nick Rahn, automation lead at management consulting firm Centric Consulting via email. “Hyperautomation consistently tells itself to not do the same thing twice and, instead, automate that task.”

Hyperautomation’s fundamental goal is simple, says Patrick Tyne, vice president of products with intelligent automation firm SS&C Blue Prism via email -- using people wherever you should and automating whenever you can. “It’s only with this mindset that you reap the full benefits of automation.”

Related:How to Avoid Security Concerns While Implementing Automation

Manders offers three examples of how hyperautomation can benefit adopters in specific industries:

  • In banking and financial services, processes ranging from regulatory reporting, marketing, sales, and distribution to bank servicing, payment operations, lending operations, and back-office operations can all benefit from hyperautomation.

  • Insurance sector firms can benefit by automating claims processing -- a critical yet routine task -- ensuring more efficient and accurate claims handling.

  • The retail sector can employ hyperautomation in various areas, such as order management, payments, transportation, warehousing, inventory, and supplier management.

Getting Started

There’s no set rule for deciding whether or not to deploy hyperautomation. “Wherever there are vast amounts of repetitive and mundane work, inefficient data usage, and ineffective processes, hyperautomation has its place,” Tyne observes. Typically, however, hyperautomation is associated with large enterprises, he adds.

The journey into hyperautomation should begin with a full understanding of specific business needs and goals, thereby laying a solid foundation for identifying a few manageable use cases that can demonstrate hyperautomation’s potential value. “Creating a roadmap is a critical next step, providing a clear pathway from initiation to implementation, and setting the stage for launching pilot projects,” Manders says.

Related:Robotic Process Automation: Is Your Job at Risk?

A good starting point is demonstrating potential ROI in several high-value tasks, Tyne says. “You can simplify the identification of these key areas with process mining,” he notes. Process mining reads unstructured data to create an insightful picture of current processes, providing valuable insights into inefficiencies and opportunities. “It examines routine processes to find the processes suitable for automation and helps you identify the processes that will maximize the returns to your business by delivering the highest value outcomes.”

Addressing Challenges

Building a sophisticated hyperautomation ecosystem requires a significant technology investment, Manders says. “Additionally, the integration of multiple technologies and tools, inherent in hyperautomation, can usher in increased complexity, making ecosystem maintenance a challenging endeavor.”

Failing to establish clear goal and governance guidelines can also create serious challenges. Automation without governance could lead individual departments to create their own automation processes, which may conflict with other departments’ processes. The resulting hyperautomation silos could lead to some departments failing to take advantage of solutions fellow departments have already deployed. Additionally, every time an organization transports data to another process or platform, there’s the risk of data leaks. “If we don’t follow best practices and ensure that data is secure, this information could fall into the wrong hands,” Rahn warns.

Related:AI and Cultivating an Automation Mindset within Organizations

Hyperautomation may also lead adopters to dependency on a particular vendor’s ecosystem of tools and technologies. “This dependency could pose risks, especially in scenarios where vendor support or the continuity of services is crucial for the organization’s hyperautomation framework,” Manders suggests.

Final Thoughts

Automation teams should make an effort to communicate with enterprise leaders and other key stakeholders to let them know what they can expect from a digital workforce, including hyperautomation plans for boosting efficiency and the final ROI. “The best way to get the most out of your digital workforce is not to consider them as a separate entity,” Tyne advises. Instead, think about the long-term value provided by a potentially infinite workforce -- both the people and their digital counterparts. “This means being prepared to onboard, train, develop and manage your new digital workforce just as much as you do your people-based workforce.”

Hyperautomation is evolving rapidly, with new technologies and methodologies regularly emerging. “Staying updated on the latest developments, best practices, and industry standards is crucial for organizations looking to adopt or advance their hyperautomation initiatives,” Manders says.

About the Author(s)

John Edwards

Technology Journalist & Author

John Edwards is a veteran business technology journalist. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and numerous business and technology publications, including Computerworld, CFO Magazine, IBM Data Management Magazine, RFID Journal, and Electronic Design. He has also written columns for The Economist's Business Intelligence Unit and PricewaterhouseCoopers' Communications Direct. John has authored several books on business technology topics. His work began appearing online as early as 1983. Throughout the 1980s and 90s, he wrote daily news and feature articles for both the CompuServe and Prodigy online services. His "Behind the Screens" commentaries made him the world's first known professional blogger.

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