Today, most organisations have transitioned a proportion of their operations to be digitalised, although it can be surprising how many enterprises are still reliant on processes under pinned by the manual completion of excel spreadsheets.
To understand the challenges of trying to enhance existing digital systems with data analytics, AI and RPA we need to look at the realities of an organisations’ processes.
How processes operate:
- Processes are sensitive to their context.
- Each Process run may be different depending on multiple factors, such as,
- Time of day
- Related products or Services
- The process is driven by decisions relying on external environmental data
Watch the Process Automation video here.
In contrast, tasks, which are performed by RPA, are independent of context and can be simply defined. Typically, organisations have action tasks documented.
What they don’t have is:
- Not why to do them
- When not to do them
- What to do when an exception arises.
Watch the Task Automation video here.
The missing analysis rules and decision heuristics required to run a process are in the heads of the operations staff and not written down in a formalised way.
Basic automation tooling only captures the standard functional ways “you” act. Work analysis studies have shown this is less than 25% of the operations performed and typically less than 12% of the effort required. As processes are context-sensitive you need technology that will help you start and evolve your automation journey rather than needing to capture everything in advance.
More analytical information from the new generation of AI tools ignores the context of your customer and your business. It can show general trends in large data sets but not reliable decisions for specific situations.
RPA + AI does not equal Intelligent Automation.
End-to-End Process automation and orchestration achieve outcomes beyond success/fail criteria. By looking to RPA (Action) and AI (Analysis) you are missing two of the four fundamentals of Intelligent Automation, two of the four quadrants which enable closed loop automation. Analysis and Action tooling also require additional technology capabilities for sensing and decisioning to be applied as shown above.
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