Intelligent process automation brings together traditional business process automation and innovative artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotic automation technologies, enabling users to effectively take advantage of significant business benefits of the development of modern technologies and increasingly effective management of processes running in the organisation. IPA offers numerous ways to save both time and money, while directing employees’ focus, energy, competences and work to key activities from the standpoint of company’s growth, which translates not only into an increase in added value for the business, but also increased job satisfaction for all the people involved.
What is intelligent process automation and why is it important?
We have been witnessing a great change of pace of the development of technology in recent years. It is now visible in almost every area of life, and it is particularly disruptive in the business world. Intelligent process automation (IPA for short) is currently one of its most popular trends. This term denotes a set of modern technologies that aim to enable better and more comprehensive automation of business processes. For this purpose, IPA uses numerous modern technologies and innovative solutions, including machine learning algorithms (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA).
Intelligent process automation offers a very broad range of applications in the modern, rapidly developing business world. The possibilities it offers are used in order to support management of human resources, customer service, company documentation and finance. The key benefit of implementing intelligent process automation is relieving people from tedious, routine tasks and redirecting their attention to tasks that require creativity and independent thinking. Thanks to using innovative solutions from the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning, IPA aims to reproduce human behaviour as accurately and faithfully as possible, while eliminating many of the typical human constraints that are particularly evident when it comes to performing simple, monotonous, repetitive activities on large document volumes and data sets. That is why such uncomplicated and tedious tasks are usually the first to be automated away. What is more important, it is possible — advisable, even — to automate not only individual activities, but also the entire process involving the task, document and information workflows, thus ensuring that all activities and cooperation of company staff and the IPA solutions runs smoothly and in line with relevant guidelines and procedures.
Intelligent process automation versus classic automation
Intelligent process automation is a technologically advanced solution that draws its strength from technology and algorithms based on innovative and emerging fields, such as artificial intelligence. IPA solutions available on the market take advantage of a variety of tools and technologies, such as automatic text analysis and recognition, natural language processing, data mining, semantic technologies, neural networks and machine learning. One could say that intelligent process automation is the future of companies and an important direction for modern businesses that strive for continuous improvement of their operations, as well as building their competitive advantage and are not afraid to take advantage for state-of-the-art solutions that can be successfully and easily implemented in the organisation.
Classic Business Process Automation (BPA) tools are not able to make as complex and complicated decisions, as its intelligent counterpart, supported by AI and machine learning. One of the major issues with the effective use of BPA stems from handling the solution’s reactions to unusual situations — the tools used by classical automation may exhibit unpredictable behaviours or require too much support and human involvement in solving the problem. Thanks to AI and ML, IPA solutions have the ability to learn patterns, proper reactions, detect anomalies and take appropriate action, depending on the specific situation. However, due to the business context it is important to use these new technological solutions with care and exercise common sense, so as not to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater. Therefore, when you make a decision to implement an IPA-class solution in your organisation, make sure that this has been taken into account while the system was developed, and that all the proposed tools are well thought out and responsible.
What business benefits does intelligent process automation bring?
Thanks to the possibilities offered by the latest technologies, IPA tools enable the companies that use them to get on a higher, more modern level. Combining the assumptions of traditional business process automation solutions with innovations in artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotisation offers your company an opportunity to improve its performance in virtually every aspect. Implementing innovative IPA software suites will also bring benefits to employees, who will be able to focus on more creative tasks, without wasting valuable time and energy on mundane, time-consuming and usually boring activities, which can be done without error and often much faster with dedicated software.
The task of intelligent process automation is not so much to replace people, but to let them forget about tedious and monotonous works, prone to omissions and other so-called human errors. Thanks to this, employees are able to focus on tasks that require the so-called human touch — creativity, critical thinking, intuition, experience or expert competence in a given field. They are also better able to engage more comprehensively in the processes and tasks that are carried out, and thus they have more room for new ideas, innovation and optimisation.
IPA also enables effective coordination of human-machine-software cooperation, in order to achieve optimum feedback and the best possible work results. Mutual cooperation between people and innovative technologies allows to improve the quality of everyday work, increase customer satisfaction, introduce new products and services of better quality to the market faster, improve the competitiveness of the company and increase its profits.
IPA also allows you to increase the efficiency of processes in the organisation and minimise the number of errors produced. It also enables companies to innovate faster and provides opportunities for growth by increasing work efficiency, reducing the complexity of systems and operations and creating opportunities for continuous experimentation with new products and services.