Gartner has predicted hyperautomation as the top strategic trend for 2022, while Deloitte has called the technology "the next frontier for enterprises worldwide." And it’s easy to see why. In today’s changing work environments, hyperautomation has the potential to transform the way businesses operate.
Hyperautomation — the business approach of automating as many processes as possible — will help organizations reduce operational costs by 30 per cent by 2024, according to Gartner. It involves the orchestrated use of multiple technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning (ML) and low-code platforms. This combination is what Gartner believes has the power and flexibility to automate where automation was never possible before.
In fact, in the words of Fabrizio Biscotti, research vice president at Gartner, “Hyperautomation has shifted from an option to a condition of survival. 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.”
By automating as many processes as possible, companies can reap the benefits of increased productivity to support growing demand, help IT teams keep up with accumulating projects and provide better regulatory compliance, as automation provides a higher level of consistency, minimizing the possibility of human error.
Hyperautomation allows organizations to eliminate unnecessary steps in a task and automates those remaining. The result is a streamlined business processes, which reduces the need for human intervention, improving efficiency and saving costs.
Hyperautomation in Germany
While hyperautomation has been deemed crucial for survival, it’s surprising that this approach has been slow to infiltrate in regions such as Germany, the birthplace of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
In contrast, Germany has a strong stance in the mechanical engineering sector, with the likes of Siemens and ThyssenKrupp AG originating from Germany, as well as the global market leader for process mining. Germany is also the most automated economy in Europe — at least, in its adoption of industrial robots.
It’s slow uptake in hyperautomation is largely down to the “trial and error” culture. Unlike fast adopters of technology such as the United States — a major industry player in AI and Cloud technologies — Germany takes more time in its approach to adopting new practices and technologies.
For many years, the focus in Germany was on hardware, and not on software. But this view has changed. Nearly every German engineering company now provides software and Industry 4.0 capabilities with their machinery, demonstrating room for hyperautomation. It’s not a question of if the country will accept hyperautomation, but when will the uptake happen.
The importance of people
There is an apprehension that automation will eventually replace all human jobs. However, companies should leverage hyperautomation to help its employees.
The world has changed in the last two years, and therefore has changed the way businesses are managed and the way employees work. However, this change has presented numerous challenges including greater global competition, acceleration of technology innovation and lack of digital skills, which companies must combat.
It’s understandable that the assumed complexity of trying to hyperautomate every task in a facility can cause companies to feel hesitant. However, to change this cautious approach, companies should lessen the focus on technology and put the spotlight on people instead.
In today’s world, workforces need to be enabled and empowered. The pandemic triggered a worldwide change to the way that people work. Now, more work than ever is being carried out remotely and this will only increase. Research from OwlLabs, which polled 2,000 business leaders across Germany, the UK, France and the Nordics found that 89 per cent plan on having a hybrid workforce post-pandemic.
This means that companies need to focus more on their workforce and how they can empower them remotely. Forrester believes forms of automation will support at least one in four remote workers, from helping employees access the information they need, troubleshoot problems, and complete tasks much faster than they could on their own.
As a result, productivity is not just maintained, but improved. Simple, repetitive tasks can instead be carried out by an automated system, with fewer errors and inaccuracies. The goal of hyperautomation is to eliminate unnecessary human intervention by automating everything possible, and only requiring human input when completely necessary. This streamlines the end users work experience by allowing remote employees to focus on more complex and critical actions, while smaller tasks are carried out autonomously from the facility.
The power of low code
The necessity of hyperautomation is even more prevalent when you consider the IT skills gap, which has widened by 150 per cent in the last six years. This is an issue that is troubling multiple industries worldwide, which cannot fulfil the IT skills needed to meet its business objectives. What’s more, is that the skills gap is predicted to grow, as McKinsey found in a study where 87 per cent of global companies admitted they already have a skills gap or will have one within a few years.
Technology is developing at a such a rapid pace that professionals struggle to keep up with the changing skills required for new technology. Along with this, the workload for IT departments has increased substantially. The 2021 Connectivity Benchmark Report by Mulesoft found the number of projects IT teams are asked to deliver has increased by at least 30 per cent year-on-year since 2017. As a result, less than four in ten IT teams fulfil all of their project commitments to business stakeholders.
So how can hyperautomation help to overcome these challenges? Integrating a multifunctional platform that can autonomously run workflows to integrate everything from the shop floor to the top floor, is an effective way.
A hyperautomation platform must be able to accommodate different machine ages and network levels that a facility contains. This will involve having the ability to integrate various data types including legacy systems, Cloud applications as well as machine and IoT data.
Crosser’s hyperautomation platform, which enables real time analytics powered by a library of modules suitable for AI and ML, is also low-code. This means it requires little-to-no coding and is therefore simple enough to be used by anyone working within a facility. It’s this feature that’s key when empowering the workforce as it enables citizen developers — a concept that involves using inhouse talent to develop applications, without needing coding experience. This ability reduces reliance on IT departments, creating availability for more jobs to be automated.
Crosser believes it’s not until the power of implementing process automation has been put in the hands of normal users that an organization can truly accelerate its digitalization efforts.
On the face of it, automating everything may seem overwhelming, but it has the potential to improve operational efficiency and save costs. When looking at the future of work, hyperautomation will be key in supporting remote workers. With a low-code platform, businesses can accelerate their hyperautomation journey by empowering employees, regardless of coding experience. Hyperautomation will be more than just a strategic trend. It will be crucial for success in today’s changing working environments.
To schedule a demo of Crosser’s hyperautomation platform, visit crosser.io