According to McKinsey, 45% of workplace activities which currently rely on human intermediation could be replicated by machines (and therefore, be executed with machine efficiency). Humans are still central to this function as they are needed to identify the tasks necessary to achieve a result, and build a workflow based on those tasks. But what if the process of building automations could itself be performed at machine speed? We don’t have to imagine very hard, as the era of “intelligent automation” is already here.
Deloitte defines intelligent automation as “the combination of AI and automation.” IPsoft has been at the forefront of this movement with products like 1RPA, which use advanced natural language reading powered by cognitive AI to open the bot-creation process to non-programmers. Similarly, the autonomic IT management platform 1Desk is able to observe how human workers resolve issues and suggest new automations based on those observations which can be added to its knowledgebase.
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Just as the automation of tasks can have a profound financial impact on business operations (something we call AI2ROI), the automation of automating can result in unprecedented ROI for an entire organization. In this blog, we will describe some of the ways that intelligent automation is a key part of AI2ROI.
Automation on Autopilot
Previously, the only way to create automations to address a company’s unique needs was to dedicate a team of engineers to research business processes, and identify and describe all necessary steps to reach a resolution (and this scenario is still fairly common among some enterprises). Automation teams may consist of engineers who are educated in specific business processes or SMEs who undergo some form of engineering training (or some combination of those two camps) — either way, there is an inherent need to invest in human time and resources.
Furthermore, these automations are rarely fixed-once/fixed-forever solutions, as there are inevitably going to be process variations that need to be considered and iterated (e.g., you’ve automated the process of an employee requesting time off from their manager — but do you want to iterate the process if, say, the manager just recently left the company?). This iteration process is particularly apt when dealing with automated user engagements, which have to contend with the wide spectrum of potential human actions and inputs.
With intelligent automation, however, systems can combine analytics, cognitive AI and guided machine learning to hasten the creation of new automations. Humans are only necessary at either end of the process — at the start by setting high-level directions for the system (e.g., give the directive to observe how human workers resolve hardware procurement workflows and recommend automations based on those observations) or at the end by approving suggested automations before they go into production.
The system can then analyze the performance of those automations and report back to a human engineer or SME for oversight and assist them with refining or further-optimizing the workflows.
Intelligent Automation benefits organizations through:
- A reduction in overhead thanks to less human hours spent in the creation of new automations.
- A more efficient organization made possible through the proliferation of automations due to the hastened automation production cycle.
- More versatile and specific automations via the empowering of employees to create their own automations specific to their business area.
The benefits of intelligent automation only promise to expand as more enterprises utilize this trend for greater efficiencies and cost savings. To learn more about the business benefits of an AI deployment, be sure to download our free AI2ROI whitepaper here.