Automation solely to reduce costs is not transformation. This is an optimization. That’s fine if you’re only interested in short-term gains, but leading businesses—the ones that beat natural digital competitors, retain customers, and delight shareholders—go beyond cost cutting and involve long-term success.
How is intelligent automation different from RPA?
Robotic process automation (RPA) follows the rules for automating work without modification. When you log into your email account, you enter your username and password each time. RPA is great for such repetitive tasks that are often bundled into one simple business process such as: login, click, move a file from point A to point B, log out.
However, issues of scalability and ROI in automation processes quickly arise when changes are made. How often does your business process change? What part of the high-volume work that tires your team involves unstructured data? Humans adapt, but software bots that only follow rules don’t.
This is why AI-based intelligent automation outperforms rule-based RPA. Intelligent Automation combines all the power of RPA and also adds process automation capabilities that are only possible through bots that learn and adapt to real-time data.
According to the Everest Group report, here are some of the important features of what they call «Intelligent Automation»:
- “Machine learning, computer vision, text analytics, and natural language processing” process unstructured data, automate tasks that require evaluation, and detect and adapt to constant change.
- Predictive and prescriptive analytics helps leaders plan resources and set achievable KPIs, and help ensure optimal operational results.
- «Self-managing, self-healing robots» handle exceptions and reduce bot management.
To create a sustainable competitive advantage through artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled business process transformation, it is important for enterprises to adopt a long-term process automation strategy that aims to implement intelligent automation solutions that combine the power of RPA and AI.
In banking, finance and healthcare companies, regulatory compliance has pushed margins down, and faster and more dynamic digital competitors have more room to change profits. Cost reduction is a critical benefit, no matter how strategic the enterprise is.
The difference between intelligent and robotic automation in terms of cost reduction is simple: IPA automates more and automates more efficiently than RPA because IPA processes unstructured data, handles exceptions, and constantly learns. In short: intelligent automation delivers significantly greater cost savings.
Implemented implementations of RPA in disparate business processes can provide enterprises with a short-term win in terms of immediate cost savings (mainly in transaction processing and document processing), but cannot significantly improve business outcomes.
In addition: rule-based robotic process automation does not significantly reduce human effort. Analysts can eliminate repetitive work, but then they have to spend time managing and retraining RPA robots.
Intelligent automation helps complex organizations enforce quality and compliance.
And let’s not forget the customer experience, which is the most responsible factor for increasing revenue. By automating many mid-office and back-office tasks related to customer inquiries, companies can reduce “average processing time”, process inquiries with greater accuracy, and increase customer satisfaction.