In this article, our AI and Machine Learning SME, Alberto De Obeso outlines the benefits achieved through hyperautomation.
Hyperautomation can start with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) at the core and expand to include other tools and technologies, including: process mining, machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), etc. This approach enables organizations to increasingly automate work that involves knowledge.
Achieving Hyperautomation through a Robotic Operations Center
Automation is high on everyone’s priority list in 2021. You may be at the beginning of your journey, looking to refine and scale automation in your organization, or trying to meet expectations for return on investment. Regardless of your current state, there is likely more to be done. And once the obvious, simple, repetitive, and rules-driven processes are automated, what next?
Gartner defines the term hyperautomation as “a disciplined approach that organizations use to rapidly identify, vet and automate as many business and IT processes as possible.” This approach includes automating complex and lengthy processes as extensively as possible with the help of various modern technologies. Hyperautomation can start with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) at the core and expand to include other tools and technologies, including: process mining, machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), etc. This approach enables organizations to increasingly automate work that involves knowledge. A Robotic Operations Center (ROC) is a key element to help link simple process automation to these other advanced technologies, and move your organization toward hyperautomation.
Mobilize RPA with a ROC
Establishing a ROC will establish a solid foundation for leveraging RPA capability. Much like a Center of Excellence (CoE), the ROC will define a use-case intake process, provide workshops for technical and functional stakeholders, and make targeted recommendations for developing, deploying, and governing RPA Bots across the enterprise. Key steps to creating a ROC in your organization include:
- Initialize – Define all components of the ROC, including roles and responsibilities, structure, career paths, operating model, and best practices.
- Standardize – Rationalize the components created during the ‘initialize’ step, ensuring alignment, creating required content to drill into these components, and defining a stable delivery model.
- Synergize – Connect the team and resources into roles, responsibilities, and a structure aligned with the ROC. Implement the operating model and create an automation factory model with a reusable components pool.
- Improve – Execute your automation factory model but bring new components into the RPA Universe (analytics, cognitive, etc.). Generate a basic model for RPA as a Service and seek continuous improvement.
To successfully push toward hyperautomation, the Robotic Operations Center must include RPA along with other advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP).
Connect the ROC with the Enterprise
The ROC alone won’t accomplish hyperautomation, but it will be the cornerstone for moving your organization in that direction. There are still many interactions and integration points between the ROC and the enterprise that will require action to help achieve adoption. Key considerations include:
- Establish governance and security over automation within the organization
- Document and maintain an automation library and create lessons learned and best practices from automation throughout the organization
- Identify the organization’s key business goals and develop an automation strategy to support those goals
- Engage leadership to remove institutional barriers, optimize the automation strategy, and help the organization achieve its key goals
- Build awareness among all employees so they will embrace the technology and participate in employee-led automation
- Create training opportunities for employees and promote citizen developer training to enhance the success of the employee-driven approach
A Critical Step on the Path to Hyperautomation
We have discussed creating a ROC and integrating the ROC and the enterprise, but that may still only get you to expanded RPA. To successfully push toward hyperautomation, the ROC must include RPA along with other advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP). Only then will your organization be able to discover automation candidates, perform complex processes, and learn as task are completed and outcomes are examined. In addition, training is critically important to empower the people who can connect the business process to the technology.
Getting the Benefits
Beyond the obvious benefits of better, faster, and cheaper production with automation, employing a ROC and hyperautomation can result in expanded advantages to your organization. Benefits include identifying the best process automation candidates, detecting exceptions and recovering as necessary, delivering more efficient processes, and producing more effective outcomes. The ROC provides the nexus between the people, process, and platform in your organization that will help you move from simple tasks to complex process automation, delivering incredible value on the journey toward hyperautomation.