By Gautam Khanna, Vice President and Global Head – Modernization Practice, Infosys
As organizations accelerate their modernization journeys through digital transformation initiatives, hyper-automation is fast becoming one of the most sought-after solutions that can help organizations meet their modernization goals.
Defined by Gartner as, “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”, hyper-automation is the next logical step from automating distinct repetitive activities and eliminating operational silos. It refers to the integration of complex business processes by combining multiple automation tools and data analytics to offer end-to-end automation capabilities.
With the end goal of simplifying enterprise modernization, hyper-automation focuses on accuracy, speed, and efficiency by minimizing human intervention significantly. Tasks are assigned to bots and performance is tracked in real-time, allowing people to take up higher-value tasks. When coupled with analytical tools and capabilities, hyper-automation facilitates human-machine collaboration, offering increased flexibility and enhanced return on investment. It enables greater employee productivity and improved customer satisfaction as well.
Platform-based hyper-automation gains popularity
As enterprises embark on modernization through hyper-automation, they often opt for platform-based hyper-automation, which allows various personas in a system to come together and collaborate through an integrated self-service platform. It allows them the advantage of automating routine tasks in a standardized, repeatable manner with minimal handoffs between different personas that could include developers, customers, sales teams, architects and more. Precise components and frameworks can be identified, time consuming tasks can be offloaded, and recurring tasks can be streamlined to eliminate labor-intensive efforts entirely.
Also referred to as platform engineering, platform-based hyper-automation helps transform cloud native development, database migration, mainframe modernization, and cloud application. According to research firm Omdia, “Platformized modernization can take the guesswork out of the gradual transition of legacy IT infrastructure and applications before they can be retired. By taking a platform-based approach to modernization, enterprises can leverage the low-code/no-code features of the platform to generate a microservices skeleton that has all the basic code and best practices encoded, and by adding in the business logic and rules, robust and high-quality microservices can be quickly developed and deployed.”
Platform-based hyper-automation reduces operating costs and human workloads, ensures faster time to market, improves risk management, and offers better-quality results, all with minimum disruption to business continuity.
Let’s examine some of the use cases of platform-based hyper-automation.
Omdia cites an instance where a property and casualty insurance company transformed its existing IT system into a modernized stack. This involved migrating over ten million lines of mainframe code, with zero disruptions. With platform-based automation, the company became agile, retiring legacy systems within 18 months of commencing the project. As a result, ticket inventory was reduced by about 70 percent, maintenance team productivity went up by about 10 percent, and agent productivity spiked on account of a 20 percent reduction in data entry efforts. In addition, the time needed to initiate new policies fell by about 20 percent, while policy rollout time was reduced by 30 percent.
In another example, a North American auto manufacturer was looking to modernize its pricing and product configurations app for models and accessories. Since it involved manual data entry and meant accessing data housed in legacy databases that lacked a workflow mechanism, the company did not have visibility or control over job execution. They wanted a more scalable, flexible, and modular app. All pricing data was migrated to a new system, and 34 years of data were accessed from local and remote databases and analyzed. Platform-based automation reduced effort and brought about a whopping 90 percent reduction in data entry errors.
Hyper-automation is growing exponentially as organizations are realizing that it can help them gain competitive advantage. By tackling bottlenecks and eliminating time-consuming manual processes, organizations can realize cost savings, increased productivity, and maximum efficiency. Organizations can also achieve better forecasting abilities, higher employee engagement, and easier decision-making. Hyper-automation is undeniably poised to change the way enterprises do business in the future.