The Shift to Intelligent Automation, Away from Legacy RPA
Many industry experts are predicting 2022 to be the year Intelligent Automation (IA) will hit exponential growth and come of age. This news is not surprising, mainly due to what has transpired in the past year. Buying patterns of consumers have changed dramatically due to the pandemic, while the more progressive, future-ready organizations have speeded up their digital transformation.
But it is not just the pandemic that is driving this change. We have seen a healthy shift in companies’ adopting IA and moving away from legacy Robotic Processing Automation (RPA) that has failed to deliver on its promises.
What do I mean by this? There are legacy vendors in this space that have successfully grown the RPA business category over the past decade. They have done so by promising that their bots will transform your enterprise. But these rules-based and deterministic bots can only automate a single process. Most importantly, they can’t think for themselves. Only when you power bots with AI skills can you successfully transform a business end to end.
What we see happening is many of these early customers of RPA are frustrated because the promise was never realized – the promise that it will “transform your enterprise.” As a result, these early buyers of automation are now looking for more intelligent capabilities around data and handling variable data, human interaction, and unstructured documents.
Company executives desire two opposed objectives: the agility and flexibility to address rapidly changing market conditions, and control around how processes get executed. Typically, you would think these two things can't live together. Because if you have control and things are always executed in a certain way, you lose agility and flexibility.
Here is where Laiye can deliver that promise. But first, let us look at where you find these two opposed objectives in a company.
The Four Components
There are processes for how things get executed in all companies – they are usually not linear, but with many diversions. Most of these processes deal with some form of documents – for example, invoices, receipts, or insurance claims. This represents the ‘control side,’ which is rigid and requires handling in a certain way.
Secondly, you have the people. They think, handle variable data and apply their judgment to processes and documents to do what's right for the company.
Next is the communication element. Whether it's communications between human to human, human to machine, machine to human – all of these forms of communication are critical. The final component is collaboration, which is how all the different parts of a company weave together.
When you look at these four components, on one side, you have the processes and documentation, which represents control, and on the other side, the communication and collaboration, which fosters agility. Companies are starting to look at intelligent capabilities when applying technology to bring both sides together.
The Best of Both Worlds
Intelligent capabilities are the parts of the solution that are not deterministic and rules-based, but they can be automated with technologies such as machine learning and conversational AI, with humans applying judgment.
The solution to all of this is fourfold. When you look at processes, there is an obvious way to execute things, but at the same time, there must be a way to adapt as business conditions change quickly. This agility is typically delivered by solutions such as process orchestration, or RPA, with humans in the loop. And for documents, you need to extract and validate information, clean it up and ultimately understand what is going on and how to find the relevant formation. This is where technology such as intelligent document processing, or IDP, plays a critical role. And because these documents are variable, some element of machine learning or AI is mandatory to find the relevant information.
On the other side of the equation is communication, which is the ability to understand and infer context, and is delivered through technology such as conversational AI, Chatbots, or natural language processing. And finally, it’s collaboration, which is about building an ecosystem, either within a company or externally, which can be modified on the fly to deliver on agility.
The Laiye Factor
The capacity to adapt to rapidly evolving business environments and work processes makes Laiye uniquely positioned to fulfil this promise of transforming an organization. We provide solutions to all four of these components. Arguably, you could combine a mix of components from different companies to cobble together a solution. But that will always be more costly, and the point of intersection tends to be where failure occurs.
What is different about Laiye is that we automate the core processes of businesses, and the business impact is enormous. As Forrester says, “companies with advanced automation programs will obliterate—not merely beat—the competition.”
As a company, we envision a future where businesses and people are transformed by the power of intelligent automation, helping companies and people do better and be better.