Many organizations believe that disruptive digital tools, such as artificial intelligence (AI), are out of their reach. Fortunately, they are wrong. In the modern business process automation environment, it’s possible to benefit from new technologies in an effortless and agile way.
Automation technologies like robotic process automation (RPA) and low-code application development platforms play a key role in digital transformation. These solutions make it easy for companies to run digitally led processes that provide accurate, consistent results every time, without the need for expensive IT overhauls that disrupt business-critical legacy systems.
But what if organizations want more than this? As the business environment grows more complex, there’s a need to re-evaluate tried-and-tested automation strategies. Right now, technologies are evolving fast and companies must be confident that their process automation systems are both innovative and agile enough to keep them at the competitive edge.
Towards intelligent automation
Today, the way that many organizations are thinking about automating their business processes are changing—and a lot of this is being driven by developments in the field of AI. Capabilities such as machine learning, computer vision, and natural language processing are much more accessible today than they were a few years ago.
This means that organizations have the tools at their disposal to solve a broader range of business problems through a more intelligent approach to process automation—but are they harnessing these tools as effectively as they could?
While there’s no doubt that many organizations are exploring the potential business value of AI and RPA, it’s not always easy putting plans into action. Too often, different departments are tempted to adopt new technologies that meet their immediate needs, rather than thinking about how these products fit into the holistic intelligent automation environment.
This fragmented approach, where process transformation tools can’t communicate, is unlikely to have any substantial impact on overall corporate performance or customer experience.
Bridging the gaps
One way to avoid technology silos from hindering rather than accelerating digital transformation is to establish an overarching intelligent automaton strategy that’s managed through one central system. An ideal approach is to use a business process management (BPM) suite that provides a sound framework for developing, deploying and monitoring a range of different business processes.
A low-code development platform like K2 can provide a modern, agile BPM hub for the enterprise. Multiple technologies can be integrated into the business process applications that are built on this platform, which helps to connect fragmented systems, as well as provide visibility and control over all processes.
Faster application delivery
Low-code development platforms have been used by a great many organizations to streamline the application creation process, so the IT department can use its resources more optimally and deliver solutions faster. Everyday business users can also get more involved in the creation of custom process automation solutions, including those that leverage intelligent technologies.
Through drag-and-drop user interfaces, user-friendly form builders and other customer-grade tools, users can build powerful process applications rapidly, with minimal code. And once these solutions have been deployed, they can be re-purposed in other areas of the business or reconfigured quickly to reflect user feedback and accommodate new business needs.
The ability to build applications in a rapid, repeatable and scalable way helps to speed up time to market substantially. This gives companies the agility to explore new intelligent automation projects across the enterprise.
K2’s low-code development platform offers deep integration with other technology systems, including existing company software and data sources, as well as third-party services. All this is possible without the need for huge development teams.
This means that applications can seamlessly loop in RPA resources, AI tools, and cognitive services to create a truly intelligent automation environment. For example, K2 offers native integration with UiPath, a leading RPA vendor, providing businesses with the flexibility to use software robots to start or update K2 processes, or fully automate tasks.
This approach helps to accelerate the adoption of intelligent automation technologies in a way that is holistic and agile. Companies can leverage new software robotics solutions or disruptive AI capabilities such as machine learning, natural language processing, advanced analytics, and sentiment analysis as these emerge – without needing to undergo time-consuming and disruptive IT change projects.
With everything seamlessly integrated, the low-code development platform can also easily route tasks between software bots, AI agents and humans – effortlessly starting robotic and non-robotic processes from one central platform to keep every process running smoothly.
Traditionally, business process automation has focused on achieving better cost control and operational efficiency. While these goals remain important, the new era of intelligent automation opens up many more avenues for improvement. These include enhancing the customer experience, optimizing the use of skills and knowledge in the organization, enabling swifter and better-informed decisions and, most importantly, accelerating the pace and scale of digital transformation to remain competitive.
In the future, an even bigger wave of technology change can be expected. Those companies that take an agile approach to intelligent automation now will be able to take advantage of new business innovation opportunities as these emerge.
Credits: Jason Trent, Sr. Director Product Strategy – K2.com