One of the most discussed tech topics in the last 12 months has been hyperautomation. It has led to so many conversations that I now get episodes of déjà vu in the middle of meetings. This is a good thing, as organisations recognise the need for flexible innovation, rapid product development and putting customers in control of how they consume to create a truly valuable customer experience.
So it is time to highlight some critical thinking on hyperautomation. In a series of blogs and supporting activities throughout 2022, I am going to discuss why hyperautomation has become an essential focus and could be key for survival for many organisations.
I will also discuss patterns for implementing programmes, demonstrate examples with SAS® Viya® and Microsoft Power Platform and encourage your interaction.
How did we get here?
It is human nature to inquire, gain knowledge, improve and evolve. This is curiosity, a core value we at SAS hold in high regard. There is nothing new about the benefits of automating organisations. You could start with the mechanisation of manufacturing in the first industrial revolution if you wish to learn its worth.
We have seen business processes evolve their level of automation, from the use of robotic process automation (RPA), which automates linear processes, through its evolution into intelligent automation. Hyperautomation is the convergence of cloud platforms, business process management, RPA, AI and intelligent decisioning. While each of these functional groups contains significant depth and capability, hyperautomation processes contain thinking decisions.
In 2019, Gartner used the term hyperautomation widely for the first time. Today, organisations are transforming their disparate automation capabilities into an always-connected, always-on digital operating system. Gartner predicts that this new global economy for hyperautomation will be worth around $600 billion in 2022.
Why the urgency?
Digitalisation has been widely discussed since cloud platforms lowered barriers to entry, enabling new organisations to disrupt existing markets. Products and services of these born-digital organisations are only consumed through digital channels. As consumers control how and when they interact with the service, it supports a high-quality frictionless customer experience.
By adopting continuous integration methodologies such as DevOps, born-digital organisations innovate rapidly too. This both attracts and retains consumers who want to see services improve and expect ever-increasing value for money. This is why organisations need to adopt digital processes to remain competitive.
A World Economic Forum blog goes even further, describing how enterprises that survived and thrived during the pandemic were digitalised or significantly along the transformation process. Of course, the pandemic accelerated digitalisation. Disparate workforces and a rapid shift to online consumption forced many organisations to prioritise digital transformation programmes. Gartner reports that digital transformation strategies have been accelerated by five years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What makes it hyper?
A fundamental feature of hyperautomation is to support the rapid creation of digital products. Low-code and no-code development ensure organisations are not reliant on specific programming skills or elongated legacy release cycles. Organisations need to quickly test ideas and operationalise innovation in ever-faster times.
Composability is key. This will be explored further in the next blog, but it is sufficient to say that digital engineers easily take assets shared by colleagues to construct and operationalise a product or process. Hence, speed and agility to operationalise and automate put the hyper in hyperautomation.
Survive or thrive?
With great power comes great responsibility. It is my view that many narratives discuss AI in hyperautomation quite glibly. Accountability for the decisions made using AI is the responsibility of your organisation. Unintended bias is one example that can lead to reputational damage or more serious consequences. AI must be orchestrated with ModelOps and your organisation must be transparent and accountable with automated decisions.
Hyperautomation is the key to thriving and delivering a truly digitalised enterprise. Without hyperautomation, enterprise organisations will find survival and remaining competitive increasingly difficult.