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Hyper-automation Propels Superior Business Process Redesign

When the world was disrupted by a global pandemic during 2020, many CEOs and their board of directors were consumed by reacting to immediate problems. Meanwhile, a few forwarding-thinking enterprise leaders also paused to invest in accelerating their prescient digital transformation agenda.

What enables executives to envision an opportunity while others see only challenges? Strategic foresight, and a willingness to embrace the apparent changes that are transforming the legacy status quo.

During this period of uncertainty, hyper-automation investment has gained new momentum. Hyperautomation is the application of advanced technologies that augment humans by helping to streamline processes in new ways that are significantly more impactful than the legacy approach.

Hyperautomation Market Development

The global market for technology that enables hyperautomation will reach $596.6 billion in 2022, according to the latest worldwide market study by Gartner. This is up from $481.6 billion in 2020, and a forecast of $532.4 billion at the end of 2021.

"Hyperautomation has shifted from an option to a condition of survival," said Fabrizio Biscotti, vice president at Gartner. "Organizations will require more IT and business process automation as they are forced to accelerate digital transformation plans in a post-COVID-19, digital-first world."

Hyperautomation is an approach that enables organizations to rapidly identify, vet and automate as many processes as possible using technology, such as robotic process automation (RPA), low-code application platforms (LCAP), artificial intelligence (AI), and virtual assistants.

According to the Gartner assessment, tools such as RPA, LCAP, and AI are considered process-agnostic software applications. They can be used in any organization, across multiple IT and business use cases.

Process-agnostic software will likely be most in demand as key enablers of the hyperautomation trend. The market is expected to see double-digit growth through 2022. Other software used to automate more specific tasks, such as ERP, supply chain, and CRM systems will also contribute to the growth of the market.

Gartner predicts that through 2024, the large enterprise drive towards hyperautomation will lead more organizations to adopt at least three out of the 20 process-agonistic types of software that enable hyperautomation.

"Organizations are transitioning from a loosely coupled set of automation technologies to a more connected automation strategy," said Cathy Tornbohm, vice president at Gartner.

The fastest-growing category of hyperautomation-enabling software includes tools that provide visibility to map business activities, automate and manage content ingestion, orchestrate work across multiple systems, and provide complex rule engines.

Technologies to automate content ingestion, such as signature verification tools, optical character recognition, document ingestion, conversational AI, and natural language technology (NLT) will be in high demand.

Gartner analysts say organizations will need such tools to automate the digitalization and structuring of data and content – for example, automating the process of digitalizing and sorting paper records.

Outlook for Hyperautomation Applications Growth

Gartner expects that by 2024, organizations will lower operational costs by approximately 30 percent by combining hyperautomation technologies with redesigned operational processes.

"The shift towards hyperautomation will be a key factor enabling enterprises to achieve operational excellence, and subsequently cost savings, in a digital-first world," said Ms. Tornbohm.

That said, I believe enterprise CIOs and CTOs will seek out the professional services of IT vendors that have already demonstrated their deep domain industry knowledge and associated expertise.

Typically, the successful deployment of hyperautomation software requires a thoughtful and thorough analysis of the prior business processes. Rather than merely automating existing activities as-is, savvy business process consultants can reimagine the steps that lead to the desired business outcome.

Improving, redesigning, and automating processes can be enhanced by Agile and Design Thinking methodologies that have proven to be effective tools that empower consultants to help their clients achieve the full potential of their digital transformation agenda. They are 'must-have' skills for superior business process reengineering.

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