A benchmarking report finds that siloed automation provides limited benefits while an integrated approach to intelligent automation enables success.

Do you know the difference between ‘automation in silos’ and ‘integrated automation’?

While many enterprises have prioritized automation, they may be struggling to scale and achieve hyper-automation. According to Gartner, hyperautomation deals with the application of advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), to increasingly automate processes and augment humans.

Hyperautomation extends across a range of tools that can be automated, but also refers to the sophistication of the automation (i.e., discover, analyze, design, automate, measure, monitor, reassess.)

In a recent benchmarking study, it was found that embracing automation holistically instead of implementing it in isolated stages, can result in better returns on investment, reduced technical debt and enhanced customer success and employee satisfaction.

The study, conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by intelligent automation software vendor Kofax, reveals organizations are making considerable headway automating key front- and back-office operations:

  • 58% of organizations have deployed automation technologies to digitize information
  • 52% are using it to automate front-desk interaction
  • 49% have implemented automation for fulfilment and verification
  • 45% use it to perform rules-based tasks
  • 44% use automation for business spend management
  • 44% automate back-office tasks
  • 38% automate decisioning
  • 30% use it to automate Accounts Payable (AP) and orchestrate workflows

Despite the typical gains of automation, several factors were reportedly preventing organizations from achieving hyperautomation:

  • Siloed automation leads to technical debt and delayed success 
    • Nearly all decision makers surveyed (98%) reported adopting an unintegrated approach to automation that resulted in unanticipated challenges.
    • Two of the most significant challenges reported were high technical debt (46%) and delayed success (35%).
    • Nearly half (45%) of enterprises report they had taken ad hoc approaches, automating their many use cases via siloed solutions from a multitude of vendors.
  • Integrated intelligent automation accelerates digital transformation
    • 99% of decision makers believed there would be considerable value in working with a single automation vendor and automation platform.
    • 52% of decision makers cited improved customer experience as the top benefit of leveraging a single-vendor platform.
    • 78% of employees said a single-vendor automation platform provided greater efficiency of their daily tasks, and 65% said it allowed them to be more productive.

The 2020 benchmarking report is based on a January 2020 survey of 450 automation and AI decision makers, and 450 individual contributors in North America, Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Sweden and the UK. It provides insights into the current state of enterprise automation.

Says Chris Huff, Kofax’s Chief Strategy Officer: “The 2020 Benchmark data clearly tells a story of enterprises moving beyond siloed, ad hoc automation and toward integrated, single-vendor intelligent automation platforms. Boards and executives understand the value of a single platform that can digitally transform a multitude of processes while providing an open architecture capable of easily connecting to third-party applications.”

Huff noted that Kofax is a champion of cloud-enablement, embedding AI to handle unstructured data, and orchestrating downstream workflows that allow business to “rapidly drive increased capacity, productivity, employee satisfaction and customer success.”