Three key takeaways from HFS on scaling intelligent automation across an enterprise

According to a new survey from HFS Research, the biggest challenge noted by senior enterprise leaders in achieving target automation objectives is scalability. The problem, explains the report, is that “in more than 75 percent of cases, there is no end-to-end integrated process view and the usage of triple A technologies (analytics, artificial intelligence and automation) remains piecemeal.” 
In other words, automation technologies such as RPA are being used in one department, or organisational silo, without transparency into processes or data for the rest of the business.
What to do? Let’s explore three key takeaways from the HFS survey that can help organisations like yours plan for a more integrated and intelligent automated future.  

1. Data, data everywhere

Data chaos is wreaking havoc on organisations. With massive amounts of data in so many forms, leaders and their teams are struggling to illuminate and use the information. And without clean, integrated data, automation platforms are not set up for success. Which is most likely why less than 50 percent of leaders surveyed by HFS feel confident in achieving key targets with intelligent automation technologies.

The front, middle and back offices are full of various datatypes that either cannot be processed by OCR (Optical Character Recognition) or require multiple different OCRs to be programmed. For example, each time an accounts payable department receives a new invoice type, a new OCR model must also be trained to ingest it. 

Intelligent document processing platforms like cognitive machine reading (CMR) can do all of this in one centralised place with minimalistic training, because these platforms use integrated AI capabilities, ranging from complex computer vision technologies, like handwriting recognition and signature verification, that can read, comprehend and extract handwritten documents, to semantic extractions from source documents with mixed data-types. 

2. Fractal is fruitful

Fractal science, explains HFS, brings significant benefits to enterprise AI applications by quickly achieving good contextual and relevant accuracy, without requiring huge volumes of data and extensive, costly resources for analysis and modelling. 

What exactly is fractal science? If you’re new to the term, fractal science is known for rapidly discovering and learning self-repeating patterns from optimal data volumes. Solutions that leverage fractals can gain optimal, contextually intelligent, business-relevant models with high accuracy. And they need shorter timeframes and less data. It’s a win-win proposition across all the key objective functions for a large number of enterprise AI problems that leaders and teams are constantly grappling with. 

3. The critical first step

Achieving transformational business outcomes at scale is impossible without integrated, enterprise-wide process automation combining AI (Artificial Intelligence), analytics and automation capabilities. And according to HFS, the most critical first step in integrating processes and enabling straight-through processing is process discovery.

Survey respondents placed process discovery as a key priority in the buyer survey, second only to enterprise software solutions like SAP and Oracle. Process discovery tools enable identification of end-to-end process chains, uncover processes with the potential to be automated, and assist enterprise leaders in optimising process performance and delivering exceptional customer experiences, while also improving FTE productivity significantly. 

Clearly, scale cannot happen in fragmented siloes of tasks and functions. Instead, scale demands an integrated automation approach. That’s why, while RPA as a stand-alone can get a few tasks and functions done, it cannot help enterprises achieve scale end-to-end. 
Only integrated automation platforms can enable end-to-end, straight-through processing across the enterprise, and drive the massive scale required for achieving strategic objectives and outcomes. 

Explore these ideas in more depth by downloading the HFS survey and report.