What is Robotic Process Automation and Hyperautomation?

March 21, 2023
What is Robotic Process Automation and Hyperautomation?

Isaac Asimov and other science fiction creators predicted humans and robots working together to further humankind’s progress. And while they were right, it looks a little different today than imagined.

Instead of full-figured automatons running around, we have come to rely on virtual “bots” or “digital assistants”. Essentially, we have foregone the physical form and utilized robotic intelligence in everything from data input to complex business decisions.

But that doesn’t mean bots lack the human touch. Many bots are assigned avatars, like Archie and Leia (who we will meet at the end of this article). And we promise they follow Asimov’s three laws of robotics.

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

RPA stands for Robotic Process Automation, which in colloquial terms means “robots that automatically complete certain tasks and processes.”

RPA is most commonly used to complete time-consuming and menial tasks, such as data input and information organization. After all, it’s no surprise humans first utilized bots to do the things they don’t want to do.

Human employees often dread the repetitive and “laborious” work of such tasks, leading to mistakes and reduced productivity. But bots were literally programmed for the job.

Businesses are now using bots to free up their employees’ time and efforts. They realize that employee potential and a lot of time is being wasted on simple tasks that RPA can do better and faster.

Employees can instead be used to complete more critical tasks that require innovation, creativity, and human sense. Human employees are becoming “knowledge workers” that are more valuable because of RPA assistance.

Is Implementing RPA a Huge Undertaking for Businesses?

The feedback of RPA in the past had to rely heavily on “it’s worth it once it’s finally up and running,” with an emphasis on ‘finally.’ And while it is still very much worth the wait, the wait is hardly worth mentioning thanks to recent advancements. Now, an RPA system can go from vision to fully operational solution in just three to four weeks.

In the meantime, as your digital assistant is learning and understanding your business, you can redirect human employees on to important tasks that require more resources.

Once ‘trained’, your new RPA assistant can complete repetitive, mundane tasks without pre-prompting; They can do it fast, and with an extremely low error rate, so your human team have accurate information at their fingertips.

Best of all, RPA never needs a refresher course, and any changes or updates are implemented easily.

What is Hyperautomation?

To give you a clue, hyperautomation is also known as “intelligent automation.”

As either name suggests, it takes automation to the next level.

In “Gartner Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020,” hyperautomation is defined as “deal(ing) with the application of advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), to increasingly automate processes and augment humans.”

Essentially, hyperautomation or intelligent automation (IA) bots think and learn for themselves. While that might give Mr Asimov goosebumps, it’s a sigh of relief to businesses everywhere.

An IA bot or hyperautomation bot uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to get better at its job. It learns where to get the information that is needed and processes it into a usable form for knowledge workers.

Hyperautomation is particularly useful with high-volume demands. It can sift through what would be an insurmountable amount of information for a human and efficiently extract specific data.

Intelligent automation / hyperautomation can be used across multiple industries, such as:

  • Insurance: Can identify exceptions, suspected fraud, over-threshold amounts, and more.
  • Healthcare: Analyze provider data to determine insurance network status, and much more.
  • Banking and Finances: Can reconcile accounts, post journal entries, and more.
  • Mortgages and Loans: process loan applications, verify and match loan data, and more.
  • Human Resources: process onboarding, enrol new hires in payroll and benefits systems, etc.

The above are just a few examples. Every industry has its own version of repetitive, time-consuming, mundane challenges that could be resolved with hyperautomation.

Meet the Robots

Much to Mr Asimov’s relief, RPA and hyperautomation bots are not meant to replace human workers. They are meant to supplement human workers.

The goal is to capitalize on knowledge workers’ value by lightening the load with bots. Since these bots often work closely with employees and customers alike, they are often given human-like qualities and even human avatars.

As examples, meet Archie and Leia.

Archie is a digital PPP loan officer who can process loan applications in one minute. As a hyperautomation bot, Archie helps banks and lenders significantly improve efficiency and accuracy for loan processing.

Leia is also a hyperautomation bot, but she specializes in employee onboarding. From verifying W-4s to enrolling new hires in payroll and training courses, Leia can complete the onboarding process in just two minutes.

But Archie and Leia aren’t limited by those job titles. They can help automate a lot of other things, too, like insurance claims processing, invoice processing, accounting, stock management and more.

Prolifics have been leading the way on Intelligent Business Automation, enabling organisations to create their own bespoke digital assistant.

Conclusion: RPA and Hyperautomation

RPA and hyperautomation bots exist for one main reason: to make work easier.

These bots can improve efficiency, accuracy, and productivity with a domino effect that improves the entire businesses. Knowledge employees are released from monotony and feel more valued, and business owners reap the benefits of the improved work environment.

So, these bots may not be automatons like Mr Asimov’s robots, but their input in helping businesses succeed cannot be overlooked.

Contact our team to begin your journey into RPA & Hyperautomation.

First featured on: The AI Journal