Experts at Blue Prism believe that many firms in Asia are continuing to adapt and change to new ways of working because of the pandemic and that intelligent automation (IA) maximises the workforce’s potential if positioned as a strategic imperative, not a tactical fix.
“2022 will see further convergence between previously disparate areas of automation – including basic and advanced forms of process automation (RPA, iBPMS – Intelligent Business Process Management Systems, Low Code Workflow tools), Intelligent Document Processing, Rules-based and Artificial Intelligence (AI)- based Decision engines and others,” said Dan Ternes, chief technology officer, APJ, Blue Prism.
He opined those organisations will continue to look for easier integration while finding the “sweet spot” across these technologies to support greater efficiencies and improve business operations.
Ternes stated that enterprises across Asia Pacific continued to show greater interest in IA and there are still some gaps to be filled as the industry starts to mature.
“For Blue Prism, educating and engaging with our target audiences is key to facilitating a stronger understanding about IA. Blue Prism’s IA solutions empower enterprises to kickstart and accelerate their automation journey,” he said.
Other trends identified by Blue Prism in IA and the deployment of what is termed “digital labour” or digital robots include:
IA will help companies become more sustainable
Automation has a huge (yet unrealised) potential to further reduce the need for travel and to increase efficiencies of overall processes. This reduces a company’s carbon footprint and will optimise the use of IT systems.
Digital labour also means that enterprises can reimagine the way of delivering existing or new products or services. Standardising the go-to-market product or service through digital labour provides a far reduced cost approach.
In the case of sustainability, in-region / in-language services can be offered without the carbon footprint, offerings can be more easily trailed without the investment leading to a lower business burden.
Hybrid working will usher in more digital robots and AI
Hybrid working is leading to an increased demand for real-time computing and decision-making. Given the wide adoption of public and private clouds, colocations, and edge, challenges, such as latency and full-time manual management emerge. AI and machine learning (ML) will be critical to optimising the performance of these networks.
Greater penetration of digital robots
Many organisations fail to adapt and scale digital robots to support business operations. As more use-cases demonstrate how scaling automation leads to improved business outcomes for specific target markets and industries, greater penetration of digital will be expected in the coming year ahead.
Organisations will look to these digital workers to benefit from cost reduction, increased quality and compliance, enhanced customer, and employee experience, as well as improved organisational scalability and agility.
“Automation needs to be positioned as a strategical imperative, not a tactical fix,” said Ternes. “With automation integrated as a key component of organisational culture and strategy, organisations are likely to benefit from their transformative potential of automation.”
Greatest adoption of IA in Asia
Top sectors include Healthcare, Energy and Utilities, Financial Services, and Insurance. It is hard to pick one single industry as many of the core processes IA can assist with are in fact cross-industry be that quote to cash, HR, financial reconciliation etc.
Of the industries where gain can undoubtedly be made utilities, health and government are exciting areas where you can see not just singular companies or organisational units being able to make huge gains using IA but in fact collaborations across different organisation’s utilising common Digital Exchanges (DX).
In Hong Kong, 77% of organisations believe that they have huge potential to leverage on automation, citing the ability to refocus resources on value-adding tasks, increased efficiencies, as well as reduction of errors and costs.
Benefitting the most from IA post-pandemic
Employee onboarding and offboarding are the immediate automation requirements, especially considering that most HR departments are experiencing similar levels of churn, exacerbating the situation. Beyond that, IA helps decrease the amount of training required for new hires.
Continued evolution of digital robots
Access to more intelligent decisioning technologies will increase the capabilities of digital robots to address non-deterministic or predictive challenges. Self-healing will be established as a way for these workers to adapt to changing environments and applications.
Access across a broader range of technologies and more complex processes will also introduce a more collaborative and dynamic landscape.
Greater security when implementing and scaling IA
GDPR compliance ensures that all automation implemented is auditable and traceable. Instilling data and process governance would be essential for organisations looking to implement and scale intelligent automation.