What is intelligent automation? Here are 3 key capabilities

What is intelligent automation?

Ask three technology leaders, and you’re likely to get three diverging answers.

Some circles describe intelligent automation (IA) as “a more advanced form of robotic process automation.”

So, is this definition of IA correct?

Well, no. Not really.

OK, not at all.

AI vs IA vs RPA

It’s easy to understand the lack of unity, as the internet is full of definitions of IA that equate it with AI, and often with RPA tucked neatly into one or both of the other concepts. And while AI is certainly a part of IA — which includes robotic process automation (RPA) — it’s not the only defining factor.

Here’s how Alan Pelz-Sharpe, founder of the analyst firm Deep Analysis, defines intelligent automation:

Intelligent automation describes a wide range of technologies and strategies deployed to reduce human intervention in business processes by predetermining criteria, tasks, relationships, and related actions, and then encoding these structures in machines.

A practical guide to intelligent automation, Deep Analysis, sponsored by Hyland

RPA empowers organizations to configure software bots to automatically perform highly repetitive, tedious, error-prone tasks that often prevent them from doing more strategic work.

In fact, IA goes far beyond RPA and AI to include the smart application of the technology itself. A focus on evaluating the organization and truly applying technologies where they can increase productivity and efficiency is key.

In summary, AI and RPA are often considered components of intelligent automation. But, neither AI nor RPA are intelligent automation as a whole.

3 key capabilities of intelligent automation

Looking at it through the lens of the specific content services capabilities that provide IA in key process areas can be a useful way to further define exactly where and how you can use IA to deliver information, reduce costs, improve speed and accuracy, and remove bottlenecks.

Let’s take a quick look at three of the key content services capabilities that could help your organization intelligently automate processes.

1. Intelligent capture

As its name suggests, intelligent capture comes with built-in, human-like smarts based in artificial intelligence. The right intelligent capture solution should provide flexibility and learning capabilities that allow it to process completely new documents with limited human intervention.

In fact, data extraction and capture that uses intelligent automation allow organizations to better serve customers by enabling them to classify, extract, and validate critical incoming information and provide faster, easier access to content to those who need it most.

With that critical information, employees make more-informed decisions to provide better service.

2. Customer communication management

Customer communication management (CCM) lets organizations intelligently automate the workplace with tools that have built-in logic, intelligent routing, and machine-learning functionality. This allows you to serve the right information to customers via their preferred communication methods.

A Forrester study commissioned by Hyland, Content at your service: How modern content services platforms power digital transformation, makes a specific key recommendation for organizations looking to deploy IA in conjunction with CCM:

“Customers want consistency in their communications — regardless of delivery channel or format. Look for opportunities to use intelligent automation services to categorize, tag, and summarize content for easier consumption. Use content services to delivery meaningful information via preferred apps and interfaces.”

3. Workflow

This is an important content services capability for organizations large and small. By automating processes that support customer service, workflow improves customer satisfaction — the top digital transformation goal for many modern enterprises.

Workflow can be as minimal as routing of documents for approval. But it’s best when it uses IA functionalities like build-in logic, intelligent routing, and contextual information retrieval.

Want examples of intelligent automation? Here are 5 examples of what IA could look like at your organization.

IA helps you stay agile

If you’re starting to get the idea that IA is a much larger concept than just one or two specific technologies, you’re on the right track.

Now that you know what intelligent automation is, is your enterprise ready to win with intelligent automation strategies?

A practical guide to intelligent automation, an ebook by technology analyst Alan Pelz-Sharpe, founder of Deep Analysis.

 

Hyland's team of technology professionals share leadership insights, technology news and insider information about how content services can help your organization deliver the best experiences of the digital age to users and the people you serve.
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Hyland’s team of technology professionals share leadership insights, technology news and insider information about how content services can help your organization deliver the best experiences of the digital age to... read more about: Hyland