Hyperautomation Exponentially Advances Data Processing and Accelerates Business Workflows
Bringing as many automation tools as possible to accelerate data analysis and intelligence
In 1936, Alan Turing birthed computer science when he presented a hypothetical machine that could compute any problem that could be described by encoded instructions on a paper tape.
Before this breakthrough, computers were people. They spent hours compiling tables, crunching calculations, and postulating probabilities. The first computer could perform the same calculations in seconds, which some say helped turn the tide of World War II.
When we compare this automation to processes today, we still look for tasks that robots and computers simply do better than humans, whether that’s crunching data, testing substances or chemicals, and lifting heavy objects. And by automating these processes and embedding capabilities like business process management, analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML), you take things to the next level with what is known as hyperautomation.
An emerging, explosive capability
Many assume hyperautomation is the next major evolution of automation technologies. Think of it as a Turing Machine cranked up to 11. In fact, Fabrizio Biscotti, research vice president at Gartner, said hyperautomation is a “condition of survival” for organizations. Gartner also named hyperautomation the top strategic technology trend of 2021. Needless to say, this is a significant mover and shaker for the future of digital transformation.
Hyperautomation is a methodology that enables organizations to rapidly automate as many processes as possible using robotic process automation (RPA), AI, and other emerging technologies. One of the technologies we use specifically at SAIC to enable hyperautomation is called MetaSift. MetaSift processes and manages customer data, from capture through to archiving, by using AI and ML capabilities, thus accelerating data analysi[node:title]s. This enables companies to get real-time intelligence and analysis of their data. MetaSift is one tool in SAIC’s Hyperautomation domain. My colleague, Jim Tuson leads SAIC’s Hyperautomation domain to utilize RPA, Business Intelligence (BI), Business Process Modeling and Notation (BPMN), and User Experience (UX) methodologies with DevOps teams to rapidly deliver solution to our customers.
It’s common for skeptics of RPA or hyperautomation to assume these technologies will result in scaling back the workforce. There may not be as many number-crunchers as there were back in Turing’s day, but today, there are problem-solvers and decision-makers who use data to move their organizations forward.
Analysts shouldn’t be wasting their valuable time and energy on processing data that a machine can. They should be studying those data outputs to discover trends and nuances that machines can’t identify.
I’ll give a quick example. Analysts at a microbrewing company were reviewing data from the previous year’s sales and noticed periodic spikes in the Northeast U.S. They analyzed the dates, crosschecked it with some analytics, and uncovered that more beer was sold, and even stocked out, when there was severe weather. Because of that analysis, the company was able to prepare its supply chain for higher demand during forecasted storms, thus increasing profit and satisfying more customers.
Today’s analysts have to be trained to find trends and shifts in data to move in the direction of actualizing hyperautomation. Obviously, someone has to input all that data into the system, but once those automated processes come into play, hyperautomation creates those analytics, not people.
Hyperautomation is ultimately a companion to top-rate analysts who can interpret and infer analytics to change how their organization operates. Hyperautomation transforms business processes just as much as it augments repetitive tasks.
One of our customers had a seemingly routine bookkeeping issue and found itself unable to process invoices as fast as it was receiving them. This customer almost hired $1 million worth of contract bookkeepers. Instead, we built four programs that processed invoices at the speed of automation. This customer saved millions, which allowed them to divert funds to other arms of their organization that were facing other budgetary constraints.
The opportunity costs of hyperautomation are not always as easy to put into picture as this use case. But as hyperautomation reengineers an organization’s processes, the organization can focus on improving decisions, saving money, and in many cases, saving lives.
Future and application of hyperautomation
What really excites me about the components of hyperautomation is that they’re all proven technologies. There’s no need to do a proof-of-concept and there’s no ongoing research, which means the next step is finding applications of the technology.
Hyperautomation is the future because of how the automation industry has advanced to a transformational point. Multiple tools working together are brought in to improve an entire system, which improves multiple aspects of both the processes and data simultaneously. That then naturally leads to improved efficiency, productivity and most importantly, decision making. The nature of hyperautomation is to enable and encourage teams to collaborate and work together, by providing transparency and near real-time feedback which enhances workforce communication and knowledge sharing.
The biggest advancement in hyperautomation will be the continuous, gradual integration of AI. By introducing AI incrementally into our customers mission processes, hyperautomation helps solve mission problems that our customers are not able to focus on today allowing them to transform their mission goals and outcomes.
To learn more about RPA, MetaSift, or any other capabilities in SAIC’s hyperautomation domain, contact Rich Dugdell or Jim Tuson.
Written with Jim Tuson, Solutions Architect Master