It’s only been three years since Gartner coined the term “hyperautomation.” But a lot has changed since then, both in global events and technological developments.
While automation has a long history, it’s evolved rapidly in the digital age. Businesses in every sector – including warehousing, health care, banking, agriculture, insurance, and recruitment – are leveraging data-driven automation.
It’s helped to create new tech-first companies and enabled others to transform their operations so they can do more – faster and more accurately. For example, marketers can get better results from their campaigns with tools like ad retargeting. Banks can provide near-instant decisions on loan applications, and fulfilment companies can offer next-day (or same-day) delivery.
All this is possible only because they’ve automated labour-intensive or complex processes like customer verification and credit checks in financial services or picking in a warehouse.
Automation has dramatically changed consumer expectations, and businesses know they must keep pace. Otherwise, they’ll get eaten up by their competitors.
From automation to hyperautomation
Data-driven automation has moved from robotic process automation (RPA), which automates linear processes, to intelligent automation, where artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms improve decision making.
Hyperautomation is the next step in this journey, bringing together multiple business processes, RPA and AI on a cloud platform to make better-informed decisions at speed. Organisations may have used automation in isolation, with a relatively small data set, to solve one or two challenges. But now, they use it to combine data from across the business in an always-on, always-connected system.
More data and the use of AI enables faster and more intelligent decision making that drives efficiency and unleashes innovation.
Insurance is just one sector where firms see the potential of hyperautomation. According to our recent poll of leading insurers, 83% believe it provides a real opportunity for the industry, and 67% have implemented it or are planning to.
Like any new technology, there are different degrees of awareness, understanding and demand in sectors. The most competitive and consumer-centric sectors – retail, banking, fulfilment and insurance – are most likely to be the early adopters. They tend to be further ahead in their digital transformation journey, having already embraced artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies in recent years.
It’s the case with sectors, but it’s also true of countries. Whether they operate nationally or internationally, hyperautomation could give them a significant advantage over their competitors.
To determine which countries are leading the way in awareness of hyperautomation and where demand seems to be growing fastest, we analysed online search data for 24 countries.
Who’s talking about hyperautomation?
The word may have only come into use in 2019, but search data for “hyperautomation” and related keywords revealed a growing awareness in many countries worldwide.
Our research found that awareness is highest in Finland, with 4.5 out of every 10,000 people searching for the term online. Just behind is Sweden, with just under 3%. But who else made the top 10?
Top 10 countries for hyperautomation awareness
|Country||Annual total searches (2021)||Potential reach||General awareness (% of potential reach)*10,000|
At No. 12, the UK fell just outside the top 10, with just 1.25 people in every 10,000 searching the term. Sitting around the middle of the table, it’s ahead of countries such as the US, France, Spain, Italy and Japan, which were all in the bottom 10 out of the 24 countries we analysed. But UK firms are still in danger of falling behind their counterparts elsewhere if awareness and interest levels are comparatively lower.
A matter of survival
According to Fabrizio Biscotti, research vice president at Gartner, hyperautomation is no longer optional but a “condition of survival.” He added: “Organisations will require more IT and business process automation as they are forced to accelerate digital transformation plans in a post-COVID-19, digital-first world.”
“Organizations will require more IT and business process automation as they are forced to accelerate digital transformation plans in a post-COVID-19, digital-first world.”
David Shannon, Head of Hyperautomation at SAS UK and Ireland, echoed his comments: “Many firms have been amassing data from their business software for years, which has enabled them to automate more tasks, but they’ve only scratched the surface.”
With the application of hyperautomation, they can accelerate efficiency and performance with more data and faster processing capabilities – combined with more intelligent decision making made possible by AI.
“It’s happening right now,” Shannon says, “and the pace of change is so fast that failing to leverage the technology will clearly put businesses at a disadvantage. Staff will only get bogged down with labour-intensive work, instead of channelling their skills into developing new strategies, improving customer experience, and devising innovative products and services.”
Where is demand growing fastest?
As well as looking at awareness, we also analysed search data to see where interest in hyperautomation grew fastest between 2020 and 2021 to predict where demand could be highest in the coming years.
The results paint an interesting picture. Both in the top 10 for awareness, Sweden and Germany were leaders when it came to demand. This suggests they could be the early adopters and pioneers of this technology. Yet countries such as Turkey, Spain, Italy and Poland – which appeared in the bottom 10 for awareness – conversely appeared in the top 10 for growth in demand.
Could it be that while awareness in these countries is concentrated in relatively small pockets of the population, their appetite for change is big? Below are the countries where search has grown fastest.
Countries where search has grown fastest:
|Country||2020||2021||YoY Growth (%)|
Languishing further down the list is the UK, in position 18, with a relatively modest rise of 20.4%. Again, this could signify that UK firms are not moving as quickly as those in other nations and are at risk of being left behind. However, Ireland fared much worse – bottom of the list with -25.2% – suggesting that firms will need to build hyperautomation sooner rather than later.
Search data can’t tell us everything. But it’s a helpful barometer to test the mood and maturity of various countries. In just three years, awareness and interest have risen sharply in some countries, giving us a snapshot of where adoption could grow fastest.
Hyperautomation brings all the benefits of automation, only faster and smarter. Operational efficiency, innovation, resilience, and agility are all key to success in the modern world – and all four can be achieved with hyperautomation. You can find out more about hyperautomation here.
Using Google Keyword Planner, we looked at thousands of searches for 40 hyperautomation-related keywords in every country to discover which locations are searching the most for hyperautomation.
Data correct as of March 21, 2022.