What is hyperautomation?

Hyperautomation uses various technologies to rapidly expand automation capabilities to any IT or business process that may reasonably be automated.

Automation is a growing business imperative, allowing organizations of all sizes and across every industry to increase efficiency, improve accuracy, and free up valuable employee resources from time-consuming tasks. But with the benefits of automation so widely recognized, businesses are now seeking to extend these advantages into previously non-automated areas. Now, more than ever, the line between what can and cannot be automated is beginning to blur. And, as digital business continues to evolve following the recent global pandemic, it’s apparent that operational efficiency, business intelligence, and the employee experience have all become key differentiators.

Hyperautomation represents the next phase of digital business, creating an environment where organizations can do more with less, while also improving operational visibility and optimizing the employee journey across every vital touchpoint.

To reach these goals, hyperautomation employs three important principles:

Business strategy

Hyperautomation is a strategic imperative that the business be automated as much as is reasonably possible to optimize efficiency. This leads to reduced operating costs.

End-to-end approach

Hyperautomation leverages an end-to-end view of processes and tasks, supplying decision makers with the visibility and insights they need to continuously improve the business and reduce operational risk.

People-first mentality

Hyperautomation evolves how people work, allowing them to make a greater positive impact while also enhancing their experience. This promotes not only improved employee retention, but also increased revenue growth.

Hyperautomation is essentially automation taken further. Both concepts involve the application of smart technologies to complete vital tasks without the need for manual, human intervention. But where automation occurs on the small scale, process by process, hyperautomation incorporates multiple automation tools and solutions—such as AI, machine learning, and robotic process automation—to create comprehensive automation initiatives.

Hyperautomation adds a layer of technology that expands both a business’ automation capabilities and the sophistication of the automations themselves.

The rise in hyperautomation is a direct response to issues plaguing business organizations:

Rising operation costs

The implementation of new policies and safety/security measures following the COVID-19 global pandemic have caused operating costs to skyrocket in businesses around the world. Hyperautomation helps trim away excess operational expenses, so that organizations may continue to function within established budgets.

Underutilized human potential

A large portion of employee time is often spent performing mundane, repetitive, yet-still-essential tasks. Hyperautomation removes these responsibilities from the shoulders of employees and gives them the freedom to focus on more-challenging work and train and develop their talents within the company.

Fragmented customer journeys

With so many options for possible touchpoints, the customer journey is becoming less linear and increasingly fragmented. Hyperautomation gives businesses the power to follow their buyers through the myriad of available channels, and to continue to guide them every step of the way.

Lack of business agility

Recent circumstances have proven that businesses must be able to respond quickly to emergent events if they wish to survive. Hyperautomation empowers organizations with the capacity to quickly scale according to new demands and requirements, making it easier for them to adapt to dynamic markets.

Hyperautomation has the capacity to streamline key processes across entire organizations, allowing businesses to run at peak operational efficiency. This means that companies which embrace hyperautomation can expect to see improvements, across the board. These benefits tend to fall into at least one of three categories:

Greater experiences

Hyperautomation grows revenue while also taking many time-consuming, repetitive tasks from employees’ plates. The result is an improved experience for all involved.

Greater intelligence

Hyperautomation and data analytics go hand in hand, allowing organizations to more closely monitor and analyze the tasks they automate. This promotes keener, more-accurate insights and forecasts, reducing much of the risk associated with modern business.

Greater efficiency

The most obvious advantage, improved efficiency affects business revenue in two ways: First, it cuts back on operational costs, helping organizations trim away unnecessary expenses. Second, it gives employees the power to accomplish more, leading to increased returns.

Although specific hyperautomation initiatives may take different forms, they all tend to include certain specific features:

Accessibility

Hyperautomation is designed to reduce complexity and ensure ease of use. As such, it is built on low-code tooling, so that those without computer-science backgrounds may still leverage business-led automation.

Co-creation

By relying on knowledge input from multiple teams and departments, hyperautomation demands increased coordination between IT and other business units.

Integration

Hyperautomation is the amalgamation of many different digital technologies spanning and integrating essentially every business system. This allows organizations to move past the limited benefits of individual technologies, and to access big-picture data and insights.

Adoptability

Due to its accessibility and the fact that it may be easily integrated throughout existing systems, hyperautomation see widespread adoption within businesses.

ROI

Properly implemented, hyperautomation solutions provide increased data insight, optimal resource deployment, and reduced expenses, for an improved return on investment.

The hyperautomation toolbox includes many advanced technologies that coordinate together to not only automate important processes, but to also help direct businesses in selecting tasks for automation and improving how those tasks are performed. Instead of siloing important tasks, organizations can apply automation solutions to essentially every aspect of their business, and manage the full complement of people, processes, and tools as they interact across the enterprise—all from a single data model.

Technologies essential to hyperautomation include the following:

Discovery tools

Discovery tools give businesses a clear idea of what existing processes and task-execution mechanisms look like and how they are performing. Visually presenting this data, these tools help decision makers determine whether established processes are functioning as desired, and can even locate new, untapped automation opportunities hidden within current systems.

Automation tools

As the name suggests, hyperautomation incorporates various automation tools, such as workflow automation, low code apps, integration, RPA, and document processing. This allows businesses to approach manual or inefficient work with fit-for-purpose technology, capable of addressing the issues in question while also accommodating the technical skill of the user.

AI tools

Hyperautomation leverages artificial intelligence (AI) specifically designed for automations, making possible a range of capabilities, including intelligent models for decisioning, virtual agents, document data digitization, natural language processing, and assisted app development.

Machine learning

Often used in conjunction with AI tools, machine learning (ML) employs computer algorithms to allow systems to automatically improve in accuracy and functionality over time. ML helps ensure that hyperautomation not only remains effective, but actually becomes more effective with continued use.

Optimization tools

Even the most advanced automation must be measured and evaluated. Optimization tools allow businesses to track the performance of their hyperautomation solutions and compare it against pre-established KPIs to identify process inefficiencies, performance issues, and untapped opportunities. These tools include performance analytics, process optimization, and continuous improvement management.

As previously stated, hyperautomation could conceivably be put to work in most industries and many use cases. More specifically, hyperautomation has seen wide implementation in the following areas:

  • Supply chains
  • Banking and finance
  • Retail
  • Insurance
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Public Sector
  • Life Sciences

Although the advantages of hyperautomation (improved customer experiences, increased business intelligence, and optimal operational efficiency) are significant, this approach also brings with it certain challenges. Here we address possible issues that any business should be cognizant of when considering hyperautomation:

Resources/skills

It’s common for automation efforts to be met with trepidation, and hyperautomation is no exception. Employees might fear that they are being replaced, and organizations may not feel as though they have the right experience, resources, or high-quality data they need to effectively implement automation on such a large scale. Businesses can address these concerns by offering training programs designed to prepare everyone involved and share best practices for successful hyperautomation deployments.

Product choice

With the need for automation steadily growing, the IT market is likewise showing an upswing in automation products. As a result, many businesses feel as though they are drowning in options, with no clear indication as to which ones they should commit to. Although frustrating, this issue is one that will likely resolve itself in time, as mergers and acquisitions refine the number of available products, leaving those that are best suited to specific tasks.

Buy-in

Any hyperautomation initiative is going to require buy-in from top management. Unfortunately, when the C-suite isn’t convinced, then that can create a seemingly impenetrable barricade. Taking a top-down approach, and starting by garnering support from management, can help resolve this issue early on. The returns from initial hyperautomation programs will then help create positive perceptions throughout the organization.

Forecasting

Given the many proven benefits of automation, it’s not difficult to surmise that a move to hyperautomation will result in potentially-significant returns. What can be difficult for a business is accurately calculating specifically what those returns will be, both in terms of tangible and intangible returns. One approach to calculating hyperautomation returns is to consider each task individually. Take the current cost of performing the task over a given length of time, then calculate how much it would cost to set up and operate an automation solution to handle that task for the same timeframe. Comparing the two numbers should provide a clearer picture of potential ROI.

Hyperautomation is the adoption of automation throughout an entire organization, enhancing essentially every process being performed. This makes hyperautomation a large-scale endeavor, with all the potential hurdles and pitfalls that such a project entails. Here are several tips to help ensure a successful transition:

Clearly identify business goals

Without a clear understanding of the why behind a business’ switch to hyperautomation, there’s little motivation to drive digital transformation. Taking the time to identify and document exactly what they hope to achieve, organizations can then more effectively plan for hyperautomation and ensure that the resultant returns are in line with their objectives.

Thoroughly research available solutions

There are many hyperautomation solutions currently available, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that every option is the right answer to every use case. Before committing to anything specific, companies must be thorough in conducting their research. This should include not only vetting individual tools, but also researching industry competitors to see what they are already leveraging.

Plan for future growth

An organization’s hyperautomation solution is something that should be capable of scaling and evolving along with it. When selecting tools, consider how effective those tools will be not only in meeting current needs, but also meeting anticipated needs following future growth.

Take the human-centric approach

At its core, hyperautomation isn’t about machines or programs; it’s about people and how they work. With this reality in mind, businesses need to place people at the center of their hyperautomation initiatives, focusing on augmenting human activities and giving employees the right support to perform better and accomplish more.

Hyperautomation is poised to introduce a new era in business capability. But while this era may be powered by intelligent technologies, it will be built around people.

ServiceNow, the leader in enterprise service management solutions, is at the forefront of this revolution. By providing comprehensive low-code automation solutions, ServiceNow empowers the people who are the experts, and places automation innovation into the hands of those who can do the most with it. Simply put, we’re democratizing digital transformation, opening the driver’s seat to more than just professional developers, and giving everyday employees the capability to focus on improving the work they love.

Built on the award-winning Now Platform®, ServiceNow is the ideal partner in achieving successful hyperautomation. Use digital workflows to connect vital processes and technologies, and keep your people where they belong: right at the center of it all.

See how ServiceNow can help drive your digital transformation.

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