Intelligent Process Automation (IPA) is an innovative, progressive and automated form of traditional Business Process Management. Some people may refer to Intelligent Process Automation as Business Process Automation.
What is it?
The easiest way to understand Intelligent Automation is that it connects recurring business processes and applications that interact with people into a seamless end to end workflow.
The process may be small and or full enterprise scale operating across the front, middle, and back-office creating a unified and standardised end to end business process, employing different strands of automation, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in order to optimise the variety of process-driven applications.
How does it work?
Intelligent Process Automation automates any repetitive and recurring business processes using a suite of digital technologies as part of an optimised workflow. This automation can be full scale, or dependent upon human intervention, whichever yields the highest level of optimisation for each individual workflow.
The Intelligent Automation platform supports a wide variety of process-driven applications with the help of data-driven decision making across the front, middle and back-office processes are streamlined using a suite of digital services including but not limited to Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Smart Workflow.
Sean Chou, CEO and Co-Founder of Catalytic describes IPA technologies as enabling business leaders to construct their own workflows, with no limitations.
“Look at a container of LEGO and think, what can I build with this?” Sean Chou, CEO and Co-Founder of Catalytic.
By using IPA software like our no-code, AI-enabled Intelligent Automation platform from Catalytic, digital agility becomes possible, quicker and smarter, more effectively and faster than ever before.
10 Benefits of Intelligent Automation
“The mission is to elevate human potential, not to eliminate it” Max Cheprasov, Dentsu
IPA allows employees to take control and streamline their priorities and create an easy to manage organised schedule of tasks. There is no need to check with your manager what you need to do next – automated processes will keep on top of employee scheduling, meaning employees have more time to focus on their work. The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other modern technologies and the integration of human resources in the workplace with IPA creates a co-active relationship between employees and organisations.
Repetitive, manual tasks and functions can be automated into streamlined processes with IPA having the capability to simplify standard procedures which means employees will benefit and have access to real-time intelligence and so enabling pro-active decision making.
With processes now fully automated the mundane, repetitive work and low-value work activities are dissipated within the new automated process. Employees who previously spent time conducting these manual tasks can now spend time focusing on more interesting, challenging, and higher-value work without being under time pressure to complete repetitive tasks.
IPA is generally a far more cost-effective approach than traditional alternatives such as RPA. IPA software is a no-code application and so open to all non-technical business users and with minimal training requirements enables digital and process transformations to be achieved faster with increased accuracy without the need for expensive external resources.
IPA enables you to improve your relationship with your customers as the methods used by IPA are wholly customer-centric. You will now have the time and opportunity to focus on the best outcomes for customers which in turn leads to the reward of increased customer loyalty and business growth.
Minimise Human Error
It’s a well-known fact that if employees are less stressed and pressured, they will produce fewer errors. Choosing IPA for your digital transformation allows employees to see exactly what is expected from them; they can re-evaluate the steps of their process carefully and will achieve improved and more consistent results.
IPA contributes to your business's understanding of where it should be in the market, and future trends you may want to consider. Processing workflows with automation generates distinct and clear insights into KPIs and the operational roadmap of your enterprise.
Make losing and misplacing important information a thing of the past. Currently, many businesses rely on traditional email and excel documentation of vital company information. With the help of Machine learning and AI, IPA achieves absolute precision by eliminating the possibility of missing information and executes with zero errors.
All Business processes and applications can be quickly and easily integrated with IPA without compromising quality. IPA software can leverage a common layer of systems information, which makes it easily accessible to business applications and the processes so creating a unified high-performance operating domain.
Stability along with rapid processing is vital in a constantly changing, challenging business environment. IPA is agile in its methods, meaning setting up, testing, and making adjustments to highly complex workflows is flexible efficient and employee-owned and driven.
Applications of Intelligent Process Automation
- Data-driven hiring decisions – minimal risk of inequalities in the hiring process
- Greater candidate satisfaction
- Reductions in HR team resources
- Positive new hire experience
- 100% policy compliance
- Manage approvals from higher ranks for ordering something new
- Huge reduction in data errors
- Reduction in new employee training time
- Decrease in monthly audits
- Procure to Pay, Order to Cash and Record to Report processes.
- Customer / supplier onboarding process
- Credit check process
- Risk assessment process
- Significant reduction in approval time for document changes
- Product launch times improvement
- Improved compliance
- Cost estimation
- Product processing cycle
- Market research
- Customer support
- Automating responses to general enquiries
- Project prioritisation is viewed and modified easily through dynamic updates
The shift from Business Process Management to Intelligent Process Automation
Business Process Management (BPM) is a widely recognised, standard business practice. Whilst Intelligent Automation is a cumulative group of technologies integrated into one, which is used to optimise and maintain organisational processes.
The biggest difference between BPM and IPA in their goals is that BPM has always been largely concerned with managing cost. However, IPA includes elements of traditional BPM processes but evolves this with digital transformation and a deeper focus on enhanced customer experience.
Why IPA and not just RPA?
Saving and creating jobs. Intelligent Automation doesn’t encourage businesses to cut jobs, instead, it encourages them to save them. RPA requires expensive developers to be contracted into a business, whereas a no-code, cloud-based Intelligent Automation enabled platform can be used by any member of staff.
This means that Intelligent Automation enables your business to accelerate growth, using the knowledge and expertise of your current workforce.
IPA software, like Catalytic, provides three classes of cloud automation. No matter what level of experience an employee has, they can be up-skilled into a business’ automation journey. Employees with previous experience in coding or developing can become Catalytic coders, those with some experience using script may become low-coders, and those with no prior experience in automating workflows can become no-coders and begin up-skilling.
“Robots are here to give us a promotion” (Gartner, 2017).
A huge issue with traditional automation technology is that it relies on people with skills that take years to achieve. Technology should never be limited for use on only a small amount of people, which is where the rise of the Citizen Developer comes into play.
Catalytic’s no-code, cloud-based, and AI-enabled platform allows businesses to solve their own supply and demand issues. Instead of paying external developers, current talent can be retrained in no and low-code workflow automation. IPA within an organisation can be implemented in a pyramid structure, meaning those actually using code will be a small minority of the workforce, and those building simple workflows daily and complex workflows monthly will be the majority of the team. The stereotypical analogy of robots taking over jobs never has to be a reality when using IPA.
How to implement Intelligent Process Automation in your workforce?
The technology-driven world in which we live, is a world filled with promise but also challenges. We’re here to help you overcome these challenges, be prepared for future risks, and make the most of your business and its current employees.
Aurora is a certified UK, European and Australian partner of Catalytic IPA services, meaning we can help you with the Digital Transformation of your business through Intelligent Automation.
Using an AI-enabled Intelligent Automation platform, Aurora can help you to create enterprise-scale, connected, smart workflows to do more work, with the resources you already have by empowered employees to take control and accelerate your digital transformation.