Hyperautomation: 4 emerging technologies to have on your radar

By Ken Payne, Hyland

Hyperautomation is one of the most talked about trends in the business world today. The “hyper” prefix, while pointing to a higher level of automation, suggests the state of automation today needs to be even more rapid so organizations can not only keep up, but also stay ahead of the accelerating pace of change.

“Hyperautomation is a business-driven, disciplined approach that organizations use to rapidly identify, vet and automate as many business IT processes as possible,” says Gartner.

It describes the overarching strategy of how organizations can achieve end-to-end automation, at the core of which is technology like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and robotic process automation (RPA) — essential digital building blocks that automate tasks and create a data-driven culture.

Gartner, in its “Emerging Technologies and Trends Impact Radar: Hyperautomation” report, published in the beginning of 2022, named a list of emerging technologies in hyperautomation based on time to adoption. Of the more than a dozen technologies predicted to make an impact in the next 0–8 years, four stick out to our digital transformation experts.

Here’s a breakdown of four hyperautomation trends Hyland believes will help create the most impact for your organization in the coming years.

#1: Low code

What it is: Low-code platforms make it quick and easy to build applications through visual design elements (think point-and-click and dropdowns), bypassing costly and time-consuming custom coding. In a business context, this accelerates the delivery of mission-critical applications like business process management (BPM), enterprise content management (ECM) and case management tools as and when needed.

Why low code matters:

Lowers the technical bar for line-of-business users that need the agility to configure their applications in response to change

Eases the pressure on stretched IT departments and competition for resources internally while freeing up IT to work on strategic projects

Cuts down on lengthy development cycles significantly so you can rapidly design solutions and achieve ROI faster

Gartner’s impact prediction: 0–1 year

#2: Process mining and discovery

What it is: Process mining reveals what processes are happening, by examining event data and applying pattern recognition techniques to create workflow models.

Process discovery, on the other hand, answers how the processes are happening, and combines digital tools and the human element to model how processes and people interact within your organization.

Why process mining and discovery matters:

Extracts useful information about the history, and future potential, of all your processes comprehensively

Pieces together a complete view of what’s happening and where bottlenecks are occurring

Prepares your employees and business better to withstand disruptive forces

Gartner’s impact prediction: 1–3 years

#3: Intelligent document processing

What it is: Intelligent document processing harnesses the combined power of ML, optical character recognition (OCR) and intelligent automation (IA) to unlock the power of your content and deliver it to the right person at the right time.

Why intelligent document processing matters:

Finds and extracts crucial data on your incoming documents automatically

Captures data accurately, especially in unstructured formats, so it moves efficiently through your organization

Speeds up the capture process and reduces input errors from manual entry

Gartner’s impact prediction: 1–3 years

#4: Cloud ERP suites for product-centric enterprises

What it is: Hosting solutions on the cloud moves software from a physical server to a virtual server. It provides your employees with secure, scalable access to the critical information they need, where and when they need it.

Why cloud accessibility matters:

Fuels the hyperautomation engine by hosting all essential technologies in a decentralized space, so they can integrate and interact with each other

Enables you to swap solutions out, upgrade or downgrade depending on your business needs

Paves the way for true business agility and scalability as you’re not handcuffed to any one solution

Gartner’s impact prediction: 3–6 years

A NASA photo of Earth's dark side, showing lit-up connection points across the hemisphere.

What you stand to gain with hyperautomation

The benefits of hyperautomation are clearly seen in how it improves processes, but it doesn’t end there. In fact, it creates an enhanced experience for the people involved in the process — your employees and customers.

In the wake of The Great Resignation, organization leaders have had to examine what contributes to employee retention. One of the top two reasons cited for the mass exit is lack of opportunities for advancement, according to Pew Research Center.

Hyperautomation alleviates this dead-end by allowing your employees to shift from low- to high-value work, throwing open the windows of opportunities for increased involvement in driving organizational success.

Resiliency within the organization

Once you’ve shifted the burden of repetitive, manual tasks from the employee to the technology, you can start creating resiliency within your processes. As organizations embrace new ways of working, be it hybrid or decentralized, hyperautomation helps to ensure day-to-day business operations continue to run seamlessly even as your workforce evolves around it.

A survey by ABBY revealed that “six in 10 (61%) employees say their job is made more difficult through trouble accessing data in documents, and nearly a quarter (24%) lose a full day of productivity per week searching documents for information they need, to serve customers.”

With hyperautomation, even if that information is scattered in multiple systems and departments, employees can get a complete view of their customers. This translates to quicker response times and more productive interactions, making your customers feel valued.

5 steps to developing a resilient hyperautomation strategy

You likely have some automation technology in place, so your hyperautomation strategy should not overwrite what you’ve established thus far but rather augment and push your processes to the next level.

Here are five steps to help you get started with your hyperautomation initiative.

Step 1: Identify your business goals

Ask: What existing processes will benefit most from automation?

Automation doesn’t have to be turned on at the same time across your entire organization. Instead, there are many low-hanging fruits that are easier to begin with and can immediately impact ROI. To pinpoint what areas to tackle, identify which processes are the most important to achieving business goals.

Step 2: Use process mining to automate discovery

Ask: What’s happening on a process and people level?

Once you know your starting point, talk to the people involved to understand the current state of things. Complement this with process mining tools that automate the discovery process, so you know exactly what processes are happening and how your employees interact with those processes.

Step 3: Create a workflow map

Ask: How do our processes and people work together?

Look at how your processes flow into each other, and what information needs to feed into each stage. This gives you a view of the type of tasks that’s being run and where potential obstacles are likely to crop up.

Step 4: Connect your resources

Ask: What needs to change and how do you handle that change?

Communicate how the technology works and how it benefits the people within the process. Change is difficult, but effective communication is key to building the skillsets, confidence and inertia within your team to manage more complex tools and take on larger automation projects.

> Learn more | Build a culture that embraces new technology

Step 5: Review the outcomes

Ask: Have you achieved your goals?

At the end of the day, hyperautomation isn’t about how much more advanced your modernization strategy is. All that means nothing if the capabilities you’ve turned on did not help you achieve success. Set checkpoints to review how far you’ve advanced the goals you identified in step 1.

Deliver on the promise of hyperautomation

Hyperautomation is the next evolution in the automation journey. Regardless of how you choose to get started or what digital transformation trends you eventually incorporate, the technologies you use have to integrate and work together to truly deliver on the promise of hyperautomation.

Learn more about how your organization can grow smarter, starting with building a strong intelligent automation foundation.

Ken Payne is Hyland’s Product Manager for Automation.