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Intelligent automation, which combines robotic automation with artificial intelligence, enables businesses to achieve unprecedented speed, efficiency, and quality levels. Its applications range from decision-making in unstructured document environments to directing self-driving cars through traffic.
In a recent global CEO study by Deloitte, 73% of respondents reported that their companies have started implementing intelligent automation, a significant increase of 58% from 2019. Robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, and intelligent automation are no longer just buzzwords but concrete technologies that numerous businesses successfully deploy.
Before we delve deeper into these technologies, it’s essential to understand what each of them means.
What is RPA?
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a software technology that automates repetitive and rule-based tasks, speeding up business processes. Unlike traditional robots, RPA bots are digital and do not have a physical presence. These digital workers perform the tasks accurately, freeing human employees to focus on higher-value tasks.
Defining Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to developing intelligent machines that can analyse, learn, and respond to complex data sets and solve problems like humans. AI is a broader concept than RPA, encompassing cognitive tasks requiring advanced algorithms to reason and solve problems.
AI has many applications, such as natural language processing, image and speech recognition, and decision-making, making it one of the most powerful AI Services available today. For example, AI can help identify patterns in large datasets, predict outcomes, and enable machines to make decisions based on the data analyzed. AI is increasingly used across many industries, including healthcare, finance, and transportation, to improve efficiency, accuracy, and speed in various processes, making it an essential tool for businesses looking to optimize their operations with powerful AI services.
What Is Intelligent Automation?
Intelligent automation combines the power of AI and RPA to create automation capabilities that can adapt, learn, and improve on their own. IA goes beyond RPA in that it not only completes tasks faster but it also augments human decision-making. IA can read millions of documents daily, identify issues, and recommend improving outcomes. This advanced technology is a significant step in digital transformation, enabling businesses to achieve higher levels of efficiency and quality while freeing up human resources for more complex tasks.
RPA vs Intelligent Automation
Intelligent automation is a technology that combines artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) to automate tasks and make them more efficient. RPA is great for repetitive tasks with specific outcomes, like accounting or billing, while AI can analyse structured and unstructured data, like medical reports or photos.
By combining RPA and AI, we get Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) which can work with structured and unstructured data. This allows businesses to automate previously difficult or impossible processes, like claim settlement in insurance.
While RPA is good for routine tasks, it can’t handle uncharted activities that require analysis and decision-making. That’s where intelligent automation comes in: it can think, analyse, and make decisions based on previous experiences.
As a result, more and more businesses are moving from traditional RPA to intelligent automation because it improves routine tasks and allows for better decision-making and customer experience.
The Advantages of Intelligent Automation
Intelligent automation, which combines RPA and AI, offers many benefits for businesses beyond basic automation. With IA, companies can improve decision-making in complex and unstructured situations and enhance process efficiencies.
The benefits of IA include increased agility and the ability to adapt to change more easily, as well as improved customer experiences and higher-quality outcomes. Intelligent automation also enables businesses to identify and resolve issues more quickly and efficiently and can even help them uncover new opportunities for growth and innovation.
By leveraging the power of IA, businesses can stay ahead of the competition and achieve sustainable growth over the long term. Whether looking to optimise your processes, improve your bottom line, or drive innovation, intelligent automation can help you achieve your goals and thrive in a rapidly evolving business landscape.
Why is Intelligent Automation the Future of Business Operations?
- Identifying new opportunities: IA can pick up and analyse early signals of prospect’s interest, providing qualified leads for sales teams.
- Improving customer experience: Automated systems handle service requests more efficiently, improving the experience and brand loyalty.
- Increasing process efficiency: IA slashes human errors and hugely increases accuracy, contributing to data-driven decision-making.
- Cutting process cycle time: Intelligent Automation reduces cycle time by about 50%, shortening customer turnaround time.
- Freeing up time for innovation: IA frees up human time from rule-based, repetitive tasks, allowing for more human time available for creativity.
- Reducing operational costs: This technology prevents errors and cuts operational costs, enabling more humans to focus on growth.
- Enhancing workplace morale: IA liberates humans to work on more fulfilling assignments, improving productivity and morale.
To fully enjoy the benefits of intelligent automation, it is crucial to carefully select the processes you wish to automate and understand the factors that contribute to its success. While the cost of implementing technology cannot be ignored, the positive net outcome makes it worthwhile for organisations.
Businesses deploying intelligent automation are seeing real benefits, according to various studies.
- For instance, a Deloitte study cited in a Harvard Business Review article shows that organisations with IA have reported a 21% reduction in cost, and a 9% increase in revenue, and 73% of organisations find scaling easier because of simplified processes.
- Another study by Bain reveals that managers are seeing cost-savings of over 20% using automation, with 45% of executives saying automation has freed their teams to engage in higher-value work.
- Meanwhile, a Capgemini report estimates that the increase in cost-savings could be as high as 30% or more. The message is clear: business process automation delivers results.
If you still need to start using any form of automation, starting with RPA is a good first step. However, if you already have some form of RPA in place, considering intelligent automation is the next logical step. It’s not an option, but a matter of time.