Adapting to a Changing World with Intelligent Automation Intelligent automation allows businesses to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and speed up delivery. It also drives successful digital transformation. Jim Cikanek Senior Client Strategist Not many people or businesses could have predicted the incredible changes in how we live and work over the last two years. Historically, change to how companies define, develop, and deliver their products and services took a massive effort and years or even decades to complete. The pandemic forced the world to make drastic changes to these processes in what seemed like an overnight transition. It began with the evolution of remote workers and, unfortunately, led to the temporary or permanent shut down of many businesses. This one event had a ripple effect that exposed significant global supply chain management challenges, worker shortages, and rising business costs. With the onset of inflation and consumer confidence at an all-time low, businesses must find a way to make their workers and operations more efficient to reduce costs. Intelligent automation is one way for companies to reduce costs, speed up delivery, and make up for shortages in today’s workforce. What is Intelligent Automation? Intelligent automation is most widely related to robotic process automation. Replacing humans with robotics or software bots to complete repetitive tasks more efficiently and with nearly zero mistakes significantly cuts costs. When you think of this type of automation, the automotive industry immediately comes to mind. In the 1960s, the auto industry began utilizing robots on their assembly lines, replacing humans in jobs requiring heavy lifting, dangerous machinery, or toxic chemicals. The automakers immediately realized the cost-benefit of automation and began to replace line workers with robots throughout the building process. In the 1970s, industries reduced production costs by replacing workers with robots. As we would see in the 80s and 90s, this type of automation became intelligent with the introduction of the computer. Automation replaced many jobs lost in the 70s with higher-paying technology-based positions to help program and maintain this new breed of intelligent robots. Early in its development, intelligent automation was simply a robotic machine controlled by a software program written by a human to perform certain repetitive tasks. The “intelligence” was behind the machine, not the machine itself. As computers and software advanced through the 2000s, robots and other machines saw considerable improvements in their ability to understand when problems were occurring and, in some cases, learn how to solve them. This milestone would mark the beginning of what we call intelligent automation. Intelligent Automation Today Today, intelligent automation plays a crucial role in many different industries and businesses, helping to keep them working effectively and efficiently. Three separate disciplines are needed to drive the completion of various tasks. These elements include artificial intelligence, business process automation, and robotic process automation. They provide the brains, logic, and execution to streamline and simplify processes that improve efficiency. Intelligent Automation and Artificial Intelligence Artificial intelligence, the core of intelligent automation, consists of several subset operations, including machine learning, computer vision, and deep learning. Built on the machine learning subset, intelligent automation utilizes machine learning by processing complex algorithms to detect patterns, make decisions and improve themselves through experience, much like humans do. The system trains the algorithms by analyzing large amounts of data collected for a specific method or function. The machine learning system then builds a predictive model to improve the algorithm continually, thereby becoming more efficient. Intelligent Automation and Business Process Automation With the foundational knowledge for an intelligent automation system, the second critical element of IA, business process automation, can be implemented. Business process automation is a workflow automation system that creates business processes for many industries. As businesses within these industries become more complex, they need a method to improve their processes to stay efficient and ultimately improve profitability. Intelligent Automation and Robotic Process Automation The last element, robotic process automation, leans heavily on AI to execute the many processes a business needs to function efficiently. These software-based robots, or bots, complete tedious, previously manual tasks, including data searches and form filing. The bots look to the artificial intelligence element for the needed information and then follow the business process automation rules to complete the job. The Business Impact of Intelligent Automation Now that we understand how general automation becomes intelligent automation and what technologies are core to its functionality, we can look at how it is applied and where it might go in the future. As you can imagine, intelligent automation has flourished in the manufacturing industry over the years. It’s grown very common in producing consumer goods, which heavily influences production efficiency. But, where you’ll predominantly find intelligent automation is on the business side of almost any industry. Throughout the early 2000s, businesses of all shapes and sizes realized the benefits of automating their back office processes. Automation allowed them to reduce the headcount of personnel devoted to completing many repetitive tasks needed to keep a business functioning. With the cost reduction realized by this transformation, businesses could add headcount in other areas critical to the company’s growth. Intelligent automation dramatically affected business functions, including data processing, payroll, invoicing customers, and many other back office jobs. As intelligent automation matured, its effectiveness grew to include sales and marketing. Things like sales forecasting, ad campaigns, and social media monitoring took advantage of intelligent automation’s speed and efficiency. These and other digital business components like online forms, virtual assistants, and chatbots have dramatically impacted user experience, bringing simplicity and speed to what were once painful processes. Driving Digital Transformation With Intelligent Automation Over the last twenty years, MentorMate has formulated design and development methods to deliver value to our clients. Focusing on developing mobile and web applications, cloud-based systems, and back-end data processing, we’ve become a trusted partner in helping clients capitalize on the efficiencies of intelligent automation. Our experience and tested methodologies helped our clients improve efficiency, realize a return on their investment, and build the foundation to drive their digital transformation. Once a business has traversed the digital transformation mountain, methods like intelligent automation easily enable them to pivot to more robust and integrated digital business models. This new adaptive, agile ecosystem delivers value, increases speed, and allows them to capture opportunities, creating a market advantage and strong business. As businesses navigate the new normal, adapting to how people work and companies function, intelligent automation is crucial in ensuring they successfully implement digital transformation. In future blogs, we’ll examine how industries like healthcare, finance, and transportation use intelligent automation to enhance their offerings and where MentorMate can further support efforts to digitize their solutions. Tags IoTDevelopmentSystems ArchitectureDigital Transformation Share Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Share Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Sign up for our monthly newsletter. Sign up for our monthly newsletter.